Are you part of a home school group?
All of Sullivan County Conservation District's seasonal programs are available to be taught to home school students that live within Sullivan County. We ask that one parent act as the Lead Contact for each home school group. A group must be made up of a minimum of 6 students, mixed ages are welcome. If your group is social distancing, there is a maximum of 12 students and if not, a maximum of 25 students per program. Programs can be taught at the forest classroom at the Eco Ag Center in Unity, along the Unity Mountain Trail starting at the Marshall Pond Trailhead, or at other public lands in Sullivan County if transporting students to our site is a challenge for your group. Make sure to wear layers and be prepared for being outside the whole time.
What is a Lead Contact?
The Lead Contact will be the one communicating with the Education and Outreach Specialist (EOS) about programming and group needs. They will be responsible for knowing emergency contact and pertinent medical information for each student in the group and making sure there is at least one Parent Helper per ten students is present at each program. We ask that parents of students 7 years old and under attend the program with their children. The Lead Contact will be responsible for communicating this and other pertinent information with the home school group acting as a liaison. If waivers are required of parents/guardians, the Lead Contact will make sure the waivers are signed and given to the EOS before the program date. Waivers will only need to be signed once for the school year.
What is a Parent Helper?
Parent helpers can be any adult with the group that is not already responsible for students younger than 7 years old. If the lead contact is not attending the program, they should know emergency contact and pertinent medical information for each student attending. Parent helpers do their best to keep students engaged during the lesson, work with students that might be struggling, and bring students to the port-a-potty when needed.
What programs do we offer?
We are offering three types of school year programming to home school groups: Seasonal Field Days, Choose your Own Monthly Lessons, and Seasonal Series. Please contact us if you would like us to lead a program for your home school cooperative.
Seasonal Field Days
This includes 1 fall, 2 winter, and 1 spring field day. Field classes are 1.5 - 3 hours long. Scheduling & location are flexible, but topics will be decided by the instructor based on what can be taught each season.
Choose Your Own Monthly Lessons
This choice has the most flexibility concerning time frame, topic, and location. Choose from any of the seasonal programs each month. Grade groups can be combined for small groups. This option is offered the 3rd Friday of each month or Tuesday or Wednesdays when there isn't a series happening.
These lessons are for ages 8+ and run for five consecutive weeks for 2 hours each week. They can be held on Tuesdays or Wednesdays either from 10-12 or 1-3. They are held at County Lands Education Sites and occur rain, shine, or snow. There are multiple topics to choose from and more will be added durign the year. Descriptions of each series can be found below.
Nature Art Series| Fall/Spring
This 5 week series will allow you to express yourself and share your experiences in nature with others through different forms of art. We will use our senses to experience the natural world and tap into our creativity as we learn to use a nature journal, construct 3-D art with natural materials, and playact. For ages 8+.
Be a Scientist| Fall/Spring
Do you want to learn how to explore and investigate the natural world like a scientist? This 5 week series will help you learn what scientists do by participating in field studies and possibly creating your own field study. We will use scientific practices to study things like spider webs, lichen, and insects. It is amazing how much there is to discover and learn outdoors when you know how to observe, question, investigate and reflect. For ages 8+.
Wilderness Navigation Series| Fall/Spring
Do you want to learn how to explore and navigate the wilderness? This 5 week series will help you learn how to use a map and compass to find your way from point A to point B. You will also learn some basic wilderness skills, including what to do if you get lost in the woods (though you won’t get lost with us). We will practice these orienteering and wilderness skills while exploring the Marshall Pond and Unity Mountain properties. For ages 10+.
Winter Survival Series| Winter
Discover how plants and animals survive long, cold, dark New England winters. Topics may include migration, hibernation, food cacheing, tracking, and tree identification. This is a 3-5 week series. For ages 8+.
Special Note: If there is deep snow and you have snowshoes and know how to use them, bring them along. Make sure to bring lots of extra layers and a wear a waterproof layer on the outside. Snowpants, snow boots, winter coat, hat and gloves are recommended.