By Katie Koerten
The Hitchcock Center for the Environment is excited to be weaving a birding theme through three programs this December to connect young people with the avian world.
By Jessica Schultz
On October 25, 2018, the Hitchcock Center was pleased to be honored with the Stavros’ Paul Winske Access Award for our efforts to design accessibility, in all its forms, into our building design, programming and daily operations.
We are happy to announce that Aemelia Thompson has joined the Hitchcock Center’s education team as a part-time environmental educator. She leads the Second Saturday Science program, in addition to facilitating field trips, and summer camp programs. Aemelia started at Hitchcock as a Nature Summer Camp counselor in 2018 and has been with the staff part-time since September, 2018.
By Katie Koerten
So what does it mean to be a leader? This is a question we ask of the LITs (Leaders in Training) every year. This year one of our Spiral Three campers (more on this in the next paragraph) came up with a beautiful and succinct quote for us that became the biggest overarching theme of our two weeks together: “Put the group before yourself.” This is a concept that comes up again and again in the transition of our oldest campers to leaders in training, and to counselor in training.
By Edward Watt & Gillian Andrews
Last summer our area, which has a strong agricultural economy, experienced a severe drought. We chose to explore this issue in-depth with our students, who understood firsthand the importance of water as a resource and of conserving water in their communities.
By Katie Koerten
Another summer camp season has come to an end, as well as another season of Leadership Training Camp. This year we had a fabulous group of 13-16 year-olds. All of them had participated in Hitchcock programs before, most of them had attended summer camp itself for years and were ready for the next step.
In just over 6 years, we have raised a phenomenal $6,252,488, an average of a little over $1M per year, through the Center’s Building for the Future capital campaign. Our total fundraising goal of $6,777,342 is comprised of two phases – $5,837,342 for Phase One and $940,000 for Phase Two (link). Today we have less than $525,000 left to raise—still a chunk of change but a drop in the bucket compared to what we have already raised.
The Hitchcock Center recently received a grant award in the amount of $20,000 from the Francis R. Dewing Foundation to start-up a new early childhood education program this fall. The Hitchcock Center’s Small Wonders: Using Science and Nature to Grow Young Minds will increase the integration of high quality science and nature-based education into early childhood programs and schools throughout the Pioneer Valley. A total of 375 early childhood educators, providers and professionals will be assisted along with an estimated 1,500 students and children.
These past two weeks I have been doing an externship/internship at the Hitchcock Center for the environment. An externship is a way for me to build on already known skills. I was placed in a job shadowing “externship” in which I can connect more deeply with one field and develop hard skills that I can use on college applications.
By Ted Watt
On April 9th forty environmental and outdoor educators gathered at the Hitchcock Center for a day-long professional training on ticks and tick-borne diseases. All the participants, in one way or another, take young people and adults and a wide variety of audiences outdoors for learning, for experiences, and for fun! And we seek to increase others’ comfort and safety in the outdoors. So it seemed natural for us to learn as much as we could about these critters so we can educate our audiences about how to stay safe and avoid being bitten.