There’s no stopping winter education — not even in the midst of global pandemic.
That’s the mindset Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness is bringing to its Winter Tracks program this year. And while a few tweaks are implemented to keep students safe, the end result is the same: connecting regional students to their wild backyard.
In past years, Winter Tracks brought students out into the wild, where instructors hosted guided tours of winter ecosystems. Of course, that wasn’t possible this season. But thanks to our first ever Great Outdoors Accessibility Trunk, or GOAT, boxes, the Winter Tracks educational experience is now available in a digital format.
Our GOAT boxes are packed with educational supplies for lessons in tree identification, orienteering and animal tracking. Using the supply boxes, our volunteer instructors can guide students through Winter Tracks lessons remotely and safely.
Teaching lessons over Zoom is certainly a different experience from the usual field trips. But so far, students are responding well to the change.
The 2021 Winter Tracks season brings seasonal learning to nearly 300 students across 14 classrooms in five schools. Three counties — Bonner, Lincoln and Sanders — are participating in the program. And it’s all thanks to the program’s terrific sponsors: TC Energy, All Seasons Floral and Garden, and Idaho Forest Products Commission.
Winter Tracks is a special experience in any context. The Friends are happy to do our part in bringing the outdoors indoors..