Blue Ridge

“How to Prep for a 8-night Group Camping Adventure!?!”

First, find a group of amazing educators that are willing to travel and camp with a bunch of strangers for 9 days. No camping experience required, just enthusiasm for exploring the nature world! Then, gather them for a meeting to go over the trip details and get to know one another. Finally, give them a thorough packing list and see what happens…

Here’s how our group has been preparing for our Blue Ridge Institute!

Chris Keffer: “I’m getting excited for our trip.  Well, I’ve been excited for our trip, but it’s time to get serious now. I’ve been going through last minute needs: What do I have vs. what I need vs. what I’d like to have.  I’ve found I don’t need to purchase many things, but the purchases I have made will be useful to me beyond our adventure, so that’s okay. The best investment?  Waterproofing!  Seems strange right now because we are in a drought, but I’ve noticed a trend of storms and showers, anywhere but over my garden.  I look forward to some cooling rain, but getting wet and staying wet is not my idea of a good time.”

Erin Quinlan: “My excitement is growing along with the pile of stuff for packing.  Princess Rainbow Sparkles has already claimed the pile as her own.  Unfortunately, she hasn’t even started packing…”

Holly Kolarova: “I am really excited for the trip!  I am looking forward to challenging myself, learning about our wonderful state, and sharing adventures with my fellow teachers.  I have been hiking every day, sometimes twice a day, to build up stamina. I took a trip up Big Glassy at Carl Sandburg National  Park Site when I was breaking in my new hiking boots.  I recently requested and received a bilingual book about the state parks (and I have copies to share)! I can’t wait to use the books and my experiences from the trip with my students.”

Abby Goodson: “I am so excited for the trip to begin! This weekend, I started pulling together the gear I’ll need to take with me. Porter and Luna were very curious about it and a little sad to hear they are not on the packing list for next week!”

Rich Bowerman: “I prepared by getting out there and camping!  Pictured above is my set up at Goose Creek State Park near Washington, NC in the coastal plain, which is a totally different ecosystem than we will experience along the Blue Ridge in July. I bicycled and hiked the 14.3 miles of the Mountains to Sea Trail that runs along the beach on Ocracoke Island.  The Mountains to Sea Trail runs for over 1,175 miles starting at Kuwohi in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and ending at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in the Outer Banks. I attended a teacher workshop at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) on Ocracoke Island.  The 5-day workshop was North Carolina History Unfolded Inquiry-Based Project.  Very interesting! Finally, I’ve returned to Henderson County in the mountains to wrap up my preparations for the Blue Ridge Institute adventure!”

Luba Tyer: “I’m beyond excited to dive into the Appalachians in just 5 days. I’ve been brainstorming a presentation on the “Turk’s Cap Lily,” my expert topic for the trip. I’m figuring out the ways to create paper flowers in 5 minutes!”

Kate Keller: “The check list that Melissa and Megan provided has been awesome!  This week, I have been getting my things together and laying it all out in our spare room. Before I pack things in a bag, I like to have everything in sight. I have a list and I am checking it twice. I have a lot of precious fur or feather pets at home. I’m spending any extra time with my animals and working on getting all my farm chores completed before I leave on this amazing trip! I’m excited to have the opportunity to learn from so many experts about the place that I call home! I am really excited to be a part of this cohort and look forward to coming back with more knowledge and ideas to support our programming at our state forests.”

Almost forgot the last step in our preparations: asking y’all to cross your fingers and toes for good weather during our travels! And please wish us well or ask questions while we’re on the road by leaving comments on the blog.



what do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.