A big cornerstone of Natural Connections Academy is enabling students to be stewards of the environment. To do that, we will be sharing and following the Leave No Trace for Every Kid program. This program, from the organization Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics (LNT.org), follows 7 principles.
The principles are:
· Plan ahead and prepare
· Travel & camp on durable surfaces
· Dispose of waste properly
· Leave what you find
· Minimize campfire impacts
· Respect wildlife
· Be considerate of other visitors
We will be using Bigfoot's Playbook: A Youth Educator's Guide to Leave No Trace Activities, Games, and Experiential Curriculum to expose students to activities that will help them to better understand the LNT principles. Our academy will also be working toward becoming accredited in the Leave No Trace Youth Program in the future.
I was just reading an article regarding the National Park system and how the amount of vandalism has increased with increased visitors during the COVID-19 shutdown. It seems that people visiting the parks have lost the true meaning of what it means to enjoy the outdoors. Now, I know this is not everyone, but all it takes is one person who thinks it would be cool to deface a rock in Zion National Park. That graffiti detracts from the reason they went to visit the park. Anyway, my point is this. We must teach the younger generations to enjoy, do no harm, leave no trace when they visit these iconic places.
When the students of NCA are outside enjoying the environment, we need to teach them with meaningful, hands-on activities how we affect nature and how we need to take care of it. When we go to Heyburn State Park, students will need to follow the Leave No Trace ethics so that others, as well as ourselves, will be able to enjoy this slice of beauty for years to come, that is in our own backyards.
I think it is very important to protect our environment as does most everyone. But to me, if we don’t, it will take away our opportunity to teach children to love the amazing world around us. And that is only one small part of what we hope to accomplish at Natural Connections Academy.
The article I was reading is located here.