The Lamoille County Court Diversion Restorative Justice Programs, Inc. Newsletter reported:
“Jason Brueck, co-founder of Siskin Ecological Adventures, and the day’s keynote speaker, shared his own personal stories of bringing children outside and allowing them opportunities for self guided exploration.
Mark Scott and Carol Maloney provided concrete examples of how nature and the great outdoors can be used to build community and leadership skills. They highlighted outdoor and adventure activities and groups Lamoille County offered in the past year. Some examples included Sprockids (a mountain biking program), snow shoeing, sledding, kayaking, flag football, and ropes courses.
The afternoon was filled with lively, small group discussion using Open Space Technology; a method of interest-driven information sharing and solution- seeking. Participants were invited to visit ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center.”
Matthew Bratner, Youth Development Coordinator for the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, shared one of the ideas that came out of the conference focused around getting the kids involved in the state parks. They would go out to the state park and spend a few hours doing something educational or recreational in the park and then in exchange they would do some service in the park. So they are not only gaining from being there, they are doing something to benefit the park. Ideally it would be something beyond picking up trash or mowing a lawn. The work would be something that will be more long standing like fixing a trail where they could come back years later and still see the work they’ve done… and give them a sense of pride in what they’ve done for the community. There are plans to follow up in the Spring to make the connection for the Diversion kids, the Youth Conservation Corps and the state parks.