2019-2020 Education Leaders - Cape Elizabeth Land Trust

2019-2020 Education Leaders

2019-2020 Education Leaders

Join CELT’S Education Team!

The programs that CELT offers to local students have a rich tradition of being led by various adult volunteers in the community. We are looking for new generation of leaders to join this effort: volunteers who are excited to work with kids, enjoy exploring the outdoors, and want to give back to their community. Volunteers lead hands-on, experiential and fun field trips and programs for 1st, 3rd and 4th grade students. Training and support will be provided!

Why be a walk leader?

Photo by Martha Agan
  1. Be present for amazing nature experiences: previous walk leaders have caught baby painted turtles, found salamanders, and seen incredible wildflower displays!
  2. Meet neighbors in your community who share your interest, and enjoy an end-of-year celebration of your work.
  3. Hear the “oohs” and “whoas” and “that’s so cool!” from kids and know that you are facilitating those experiences.
  4. Inspire the youth of today to love and respect the natural world by helping them have fun while exploring it.

Time Commitment

Being an education leader includes:

  • A pre-trip leader hike for each field trip you are leading. These last about 1.5 hours, and are scheduled the week before the field trips take place.
  • Two 1.5-hour trips per grade, per season. For example, if you were only leading first grade trips, this would mean two trips in winter. 4th grade leaders usually lead two trips in each of the fall, winter, and spring.
  • Reserving one make-up date during your field trip week (usually Friday)
  • Communicating with other leaders via email or phone as schedules change.
  • Post walk recap/debrief with CELT staff and/or Committee Chair, either through email or group Google doc.
  • Completing background check forms to allow you as a volunteer to work with Pond Cove Elementary students.

Total time commitment varies depending on how many trips you lead. One trip may require as few as 5 hours over two weeks, whereas a volunteer who leads all three 4th grade walks should expect to commit about 20 hours between September and May.

Descriptions of Field Trips

CELT has long-established programs with 1st, 3rd, and 4th grade classes from Pond Cove Elementary School. While these three programs make up the bulk of our volunteer needs, there may be additional opportunities as new pilot programs arise.

First Grade:
One winter trip (generally February). This is an hour-long program at Great Pond. We meet at the beginning of the trail across from Kettle Cove Creamery, then walk out to Great Pond and back. There is one trip leader per class (18 students), as well as the teacher and one or two adult chaperones. With this grade, our focus is primarily sensory exploration of the habitat as we proceed along the trail, and exploration of the ways that wildlife use food, shelter and water to survive.

Photo by Martha Agan

Third Grade:
One spring trip. This is an hour and forty-five-minute field trip in Robinson Woods (RW) II. We meet at the RW parking lot next to the Belfield Rd. outlet, then walk out down the Pond Trail to the bridge and waterfall and walk back. There are two trip leaders per class (about 22 students), as well as the teacher and several adult chaperones.

Our objectives for this field trip are to help students understand that all living things have a life cycle that consists of being born, growing, reproducing and dying; and to emphasize that all living things have unique physical or behavioral characteristics to help them survive in their habitat. These characteristics can be influenced by the environment.

Fourth Grade:
This is the most involved of the field trips we offer, and the longest-running; it was started 12 years ago by enthusiastic and devoted Pond Cove parents. It consists of one fall (generally October), one winter (generally February) and one spring (generally May) trip, all along the same trail at Robinson Woods. The fall and spring trips are an hour and a half. The winter trip is an hour. We meet at the RW parking lot kiosk and walk a loop of the Wildflower and Outer Loop trails. There are two trip leaders per class (so about 10 students per leader), as well as the teacher and one or two adult chaperones.

The three overall goals of these field trips are to experience the seasonal changes along the same stretch of trail; explore the relevant adaptations of wildlife to those changes; and help the students gain the appreciation and understanding necessary to discuss the RW woodland ecosystem with familiarity.

Comparing an adult dragonfly (left) with a newly-molted adult (right). Photo by Sarah Adams

Previous volunteers say…

“It is so rewarding to see a kid’s eyes open wide when they see a snake or salamander for the first time or hold frog eggs and better understand the relationships that connect us all.” –Lisa Gent, 10+ year volunteer

“I get so much pleasure out of the children discovering something special in the woods, and then sharing it with their classmates. The wonder and excitement that you as a leader/teacher in the woods is infectious…the kids get so excited to see what we as adults often consider ‘ordinary.’” –Suzanne McGinn, 10+ year volunteer

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