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Local home school team competes in Envirothon

Posted on Monday, September 9, 2013 at 4:26 pm

For the past couple of months, you may have read about the Lincoln County Home School Team going to Bozeman, Mont., to compete at the National North American Envirothon.

This is an annual national event for high school students, and the location for the event changes every year. Teams must compete and win at a local regional contest and possibly a larger secondary regional/state level to be eligible to represent their state at the national level.

Environthon competition

The Lincoln County Home School Team first competed and won at the regional competition that was hosted by the Southern Middle Tennessee Resource Conservation & Development Council on April 18 at Davy Crockett State Park in Lawrenceburg. The team then went on to the state competition that was a two-day event in Crossville, which won them the honor to represent Tennessee at the National North American Envirothon in Bozeman.

The North American Envirothon took place at the Montana State University from Aug. 4-10. The weeklong event was packed with competitive testing and numerous activities. The North American Envirothon tests teams on their knowledge of soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife and a current environmental issue. Each team’s knowledge is tested under the supervision of foresters, soil scientists, wildlife specialists and other natural resource professionals. Teamwork, problem-solving and presentation skills are evaluated as each team offers a panel of judges and oral presentation with recommendations for solving the specific challenge that is presented during the competition.

 Each day the dining hall opened for breakfast at 6:30 a.m., and most of the activities began at 8 to 8:30 a.m. The schedule kept all who attended busy all day long until curfew at 10:30 p.m., leaving very little free time. One of the many trip highlights was a trip to Yellowstone Park to see Old Faithful.

There were 57 teams from all over the United States and Canada at the national Envirothon.

“The level of competition was extraordinary, and for our team to be among them was considered an esteem honor all in itself,” said Janet Reyes of the Lincoln County Soil Conservation District.

This year’s first place winner was the team from Mount Academy in Espus, New York – “Our team placed 39th, not bad for their first time at nationals,” Reyes said.

The Lincoln County Home School Team members Bethany Avilla, Evan Buck, Tori Buck, Hayley Cowan and Jesse Franklin were accompanied by advisor/chaperones Tracie Cowan, C.C. Franklin, William Simmons, the Lincoln County Soil Conservation District Technician, and Janet Reyes, Lincoln County Soil Conservation District Secretary.

“The trip was a remarkable experience, both fun and memorable,” Reyes said. “Again, the Lincoln County Home School Team, parents, family, friends and the Lincoln County Soil Conservation District want to thank the entire Lincoln County community and the wonderful people of the state of Tennessee,” added Reyes.

“This all would not have been possible without all heartfelt prayers and the sincere support from everyone.”

Next year the event will be at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.”

For more information on the Envirothon, please call the Lincoln County Soil Conservation District Office at 438-2450, ext. 3, or come by the office at 820 William D. Jones Boulevard.