Sc3 at NCTC - A Resounding Success!

Author Barry Lopez with SC3 students // Photo Credit: USFWS

The fourth annual Student Climate and Conservation Congress (Sc3) from June 24-29, 2012, at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV, was a resounding success. This collaboration between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Green School’s Alliance gathered 100 students from across the United States to share ideas, learn from extraordinary speakers, challenge the status quo, and collaborate with adults and peers alike.

The Student Climate and Conservation Congress was founded upon the belief that the future of the earth lies in the hands of our youth. Sc3 seeks to “empower outstanding environmental leaders with the skills, knowledge, and tools necessary to address natural resource conservation challenges and better serve their schools and communities.”

Throughout the week, students were encouraged to explore new perspectives, cultivate ideas, think creatively, and work together as a community. The organization of the conference hasn't changed much in four years, and yet, each year has proved to be completely independent from the others. The days were broken up into themes including getting outside, the arts, sustainability/leadership, and science.

With every conference comes a new community, one that creates a unique culture for itself. Rather than passively absorbing information, Sc3 gives students the chance to comment on current issues and present possible solutions. Sc3 is a platform upon which every student’s voice may be heard – regardless of background, age, race, opinion, or interest. By the end of the week, the hope is that each student has gained the knowledge and confidence necessary to implement climate and conservation projects in their homes, schools, and communities.

During the week, students had the opportunity to meet conservation heroes like Barry Lopez, kayak the Potomac River, and participate in workshops geared toward nature. By the screams of fun, laughter, and excitement exhibited by the students during the week, the 2012 Sc3 was a resounding success.

By Aimee Chase, FWS Sc3 2012 intern and winner of the 2012 Joseph Piehuta Prize

 -- published --  July 4, 2012
 -- photo credit --  USFWS

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