New trail planned at Telstar
Since November, middle and high school students from Telstar have been visiting the 4-H Camp at Bryant Pond on a weekly basis for S.T.E.M. (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and outdoor skills based experiential education.
During their time at Bryant Pond, students have gone snowshoeing to the top of Mt. Christopher, learned to build fire in the winter, paddled in the lake, gone fishing, experienced team-building on high and low ropes courses, and helped with a maple sugaring project (200 gallons of sap were processed into five gallons of syrup).
Throughout the outdoor fun and learning, they also spent about half of each day focusing on physics through hands-on S.T.E.M. curriculum.
Students built model bridges, model towers, and model wind turbines, all while learning about the physics behind them.
This was done, in part, to prepare the students for a service learning project that began May 8.
On that day students from John Eliot and Meryl Kelly’s High School class took to the trail behind Telstar’s GOT FARMS greenhouse.
The objective is to create a nature trail that will serve as an outdoor classroom and a place to simply enjoy. Students worked with Phil Catanese of the 4-H Camp to measure distances and angles, and will then build real (not model) bridges of their own to bridge the gaps across the creeks on the trail.
They used loppers, hand pruners, shovels, and rakes to create a trail that only after one day of work already looked ready to use.
The trail is expected to be a loop connecting to other existing nordic trails.
Plans also include nature/outdoor-education stations, comprised of kiosks with natural history information, picnic-table areas for outdoor learning, and a possible pavilion.
The camp staff will also do a GPS curriculum with the students and create a geocache on the trail.
(Brian Lenberg is with Americorps VISTA, working at the University of Maine 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Bryant Pond.)