~This blog entry is brought to you from the electronic portfolio of CS7 student Shellie Newago. Conserve School electronic portfolios connect student experiences to the school’s learning goals. Shellie is from Bayfield, Wisconsin where she attends Bayfield High School.~
Conserve School Learning Goal: Demonstrates the observational and reflective skills necessary to the development of a meaningful and lasting sense of place.
Last week, FOR SCHOOL, we got dropped off at camp sites for a duration of two days in which we would cook, sleep, and live without anyone else. I was pretty confident that I wouldn’t have any problems and I’m glad to say I didn’t! It was just very cold at moments. I think the learning goal really ties into this camping trip because for a great amount of time out in the woods alone I did a lot of observing, reflecting, and appreciating that I will remember for the rest of my life. I’ve never been on my own before and this trip gave me that chance to be on my own and enjoy it. The first thing that happened after I set up my tent is I went exploring (in sight of the tent of course). My solo site was beautiful. A curved path to the road in one direction and the old shooting range in the other. The bog was on one side and a clearing with a patch of trees on the other. I favored the clearing with trees because it was really pretty. All of it was, but this area particularly stuck out to me. It felt peaceful and safe at the same time. I remember just standing there, when a chipmunk didn’t realize I was there and ran right up to me. I have never been that close to a chipmunk before. It was awesome! It looked at me with curious, daring eyes, scurried closer then bolted away. That was an experience that meant a lot to me. It’s weird how something as little as that can change the way you feel. I also had a lot of time for reflecting. Bethany, a graduate fellow, gave the whole field instruction class some reflection cards. Some cards had poems, others had quotes or random thoughts. One card that stuck out to me was a quote by William Cronan:
“We go to sanctuaries to remember the things we hold most dear, the things we cherish and love. And then-our greatest challenge- we return home seeking to enact this wisdom as best we can in our daily lives.”
I agree with this quote because I can relate to it. You go into the wilderness to feel comfort and seek refuge. You gain wisdom while you are there and you start to heal but as soon as you come back your heart is torn between society’s influence and natures love. It made me think a little.
~Shellie Newago, Conserve School Semester 7
More photos from Shellie’s semester at Conserve School.
Conserve School provides a semester-long immersion for high school students in environmental studies and outdoor activities that deepens their love of nature, reinforces their commitment to conservation, and equips them to take meaningful action as environmental stewards. Thanks to the generosity of Conserve School’s friends and its founder James Lowenstine all accepted students receive significant scholarship support.