River Restoration and Student Climate and Conservation Congress (Sc3)


This June, I attended the Student Climate and Conservation Congress (Sc3) for a second year in a row. Sc3 is a six day conference at the National Conservation Training Center in Sheperdstown, West Virginia. It focuses on teaching high school students about different environmental issues that we may not have been aware of, and helping us think of ways that we can be active in our communities. Even more students showed up this year compared to last year (there were about 140!) The students were again from all over the country, and a few were international. Sc3 is run by the Green Schools Alliance (GSA), a worldwide network of schools that try to be environmentally friendly and active. Friends NYC is part of the GSA, and we participate in some of their environmental challenges each year.
There were again many conservationist speakers this year, and we got to listen to a few people each day. Among the speakers was Pete Dominick, a comedian and talk show host on Sirus XM radio returned for the week, and broadcasted his show each morning from the National Conservation Training Center. We also got to listen to the author of “Energy,” Tom Butler, Historian Doug Brinkley, author of “Environmental Debt” Amy Larkin, and creator of the NYC truck farm, Ian Cheney. Each of these speakers had a unique interest in conservation, and their presentations were interactive and kept us involved throughout. Ian Cheney showed a short movie about how he took a pickup truck and grew a garden in the back, while he drove around NYC selling his produce to local restaurants. I thought this movie showed how localized food products can be distributed in a city as big as New York, which was very powerful.
We also took a kayaking trip down the Potomac River, which was a great community building experience, and we even had a moment of silence while on the river, and I thought that was a really great reflection of the Quaker value that I am so used to at Friends. I had the opportunity to be a part of a TV broadcast/workshop with Pete Dominick and a NASA Scientist, who studies plant photosynthesis from satellites looking down on Earth.
Throughout the conference, we toured around different discussion groups, where we spent time talking about an issue before presenting on it in front of the conference. I chose the Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle group. We watched some of the movie “Bag It” and talked about ways to educate people on how to recycle different number plastics. On the last day, we did a recycling skit for our presentation, which was really fun.
For the second year in a row, one of my favorite parts about going to Sc3 was the extensive network of people whom I met. There were plenty of new students and the conference, and some old friends that returned. While there were kids from Miami to San Francisco, I was able to connect with some peers from schools around NYC, and we are hoping we can meet this year to talk about environmental issues at our schools. I became a GSA intern while at the conference, so I will be blogging at greenschoolsalliance.wordpress.com throughout the year, with around 30 other interns. I also got to talk more to Peg Watson, the President of the Green Schools Alliance, and I hope she will be able to speak at Friends sometime this year. I had another great week at Sc3, and I am excited at the possibility of returning next year.

One thought on “River Restoration and Student Climate and Conservation Congress (Sc3)

  1. Ben,
    I am glad to see you returned to Sc3. I remeber that first year when you applied for the scholarship to attend. You certainly have been able to network with many other students and adults who share your concerns about the environment. I would be interested in talking to you about the possibility of having some of these speakers come to do workshops during Day of Concern on January 21. Let’s set up a meeting.

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