Field Instruction students enjoyed another hands-on lesson this week as they prepared for Conserve School’s upcoming Exploration Week. Field Instructors Julia Dodd and Rebecca Deatsman led activities that introduced students to the art of hanging bear bags, setting up tents, and going “number 2” in the woods. The lesson began with a skit during which Julia and Rebecca did everything you are not supposed to do on trail: yelling, littering, feeding animals, defecating in streams, etc. This led into a discussion of Leave No Trace (LNT) principles. LNT is an international education program that promotes skills and ethics that support safe and sustainable use of natural areas so that human impacts on the landscape are minimized. Conserve School teaches and follows the seven LNT principles, which are:
- Prepare and plan ahead.
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
- Dispose of waste properly.
- Leave what you find.
- Minimize campfire impacts.
- Respect wildlife.
- Be considerate of other visitors.
In the spirit of LNT Principle 1, students spent the rest of the lesson preparing for tasks they will need to do during Exploration Week. Food and other odorous items need to be hung in bear bags high enough, and far enough from the tree trunk and branches, that bears cannot reach them. Tents need to be set up properly to work their best, with all the right parts in all the right places. Individuals who enter the wilderness need to know, and not be embarrassed by, the procedures for taking care of their own personal waste. Students spent the class period outside working together to hang bear bags, set up tents, and dig catholes using trowels.
-Graduate Fellow Maria Kopecky