Earlier this week, we were delighted to host the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education’s (MAEOE) Green Careers event at ThorpeWood’s lodge. This event focused on bringing together high schoolers with 30+ green professionals from a huge range of fields – including environmental education, forestry, parks, agriculture, and more. 60 Students from Frederick County High Schools were hand selected by their teachers to attend the event.
These students began the day on a hike down our Coffee Hollow trail with ThorpeWood’s program people, me and Clare. After a brief moment of silence overlooking the ravine, we headed back inside to get down to business. Over the course of the next 2+ hours, the students cycled through the green professionals’ presentations. The students learned what the jobs were like on a day-to-day basis, the career path the professionals took to arrive at their jobs, and received advice on how to enter the field (Everyone highlighted volunteerism and internships!)
We ThorpeWoodians were delighted to participate in a few ways. First, we were proud to host the event in our beautiful timber-frame lodge and make use of our nearby breathtaking trails. Second, as ThorpeWood’s program director, I served as one of the green professionals, talking to the high schoolers about outdoor education, forest therapy, and how I came to serve at ThorpeWood. Both my story and that of Clare, our community liaison/barn manager, served the tone of the day well. I started at ThorpeWood as an intern. Clare started as a volunteer. Each of us did good work and were offered full-time positions.
The day ended with everyone having lunch and cookies in the lodge. Students were encouraged to talk more with the professionals – and the professionals also took the opportunity to network amongst themselves. It was so energizing and meaningful to be a part of MAEOE’s Green Careers event. We were honored to host such meaningful thoughts, ideas, discussions, and inspiration. We hope the day guided many of the high schoolers at the start of their professional lives.