2020 Young Environmental Stewards’ Summer Conference

    This weeklong virtual conference will challenge you to discover the place you call home, “who” shares the outdoor space with you, how eco-healthy is your “neighborhood”, and what can you do to become an #environmentalinfluencer? Using the Eco-Challenge as a launching pad, and Canvas as our on-line platform, we will combine real-time & on-your-own time learning and doing. The program is designed to allow you to work at a comfortable pace, but gain valuable skills and experience.

    Each morning you will check in live, together with like-minded students and staff from the Center for Environment & Society, followed by an afternoon exploring your local environment with guiding topics like:

    • Where do I live? What’s my Watershed?
    • How’s my neighborhood doing? Ecosystem Health and Eco-conscious land use.
    • Who shares this space with me? Biodiversity of the watershed with One Small Square of Backyard.
    • What lies beneath my local waterway? Using technology, Aquabotz, to explore the bottoms.
    • Choose your own adventure! Which topic is most interesting in your understanding of your place?
      • Social Science & Environmentalism: Environmental Justice
      • Mapping out the Stories of home: Story Mapping GIS
      • History of my place & its people: Archaeology
      • Save the World—well at least do my part: Environmental Stewardship in Action

    What do these modules involve, and how will they come together?


    You’ll spend the week exploring the connections between you and your space. Each day, we will begin by exploring a specific topic as a group in a short remote session. You’ll then follow this up on your own later that day, pursuing an outdoor exploration.  That’s right, you will still have the opportunity to “get in the field” with this conference! Instead of exploring our backyard and the Chester River, we will help you explore your own neighborhood and local waterways. If you don’t have access to one, we can help you find one that is accessible, or even make a river in a bottle. We’ll even provide you with various tools and instruments that you’ll need to undertake these investigations.

    After each of these explorations, we will gather as a group and discuss your discoveries. That will lead us to the next phase of investigation, discussing another topic as a group and then pursuing it individually. Some of these explorations may be done in small teams, linking you with one or two team-mates for a joint investigation.

    Toward the end of the program, we will look for common themes and links. We will develop a joint statement on how we value our own neighborhoods and environments and what we can do to protect them. Finally, we’ll look at how the skills and knowledge you have gained might help you in applying to college or in the work world. 


    As a conference participant, you will receive a kit of tools to help you accomplish the outdoor exploration components of the conference. This kit will include: Aquabotz, Binoculars, Nature Journal, activities, and of course, a t-shirt & Washington College Swag!

    A deposit of $150 will ensure that your kit is sent straight to your door, with a prepaid return label. After the conclusion of the conference, we will refund your deposit as soon as your kit is returned. Once you register for the conference, we will be in contact about the best way to get you the tool kit!


    Program Fee: $200 – scholarships available, more information provided in application

    If you decide you would like to apply and enroll at Washington College, you will receive a $1,000 Engagement Credit towards your Financial Aid package.

    Registration is no longer available because the registration deadline has passed.

    Do You. Do it All. Do it Here.