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The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education is a wildlife foundation located in Philadelphia, PA that teaches people the importance of the environment around us. The Schuylkill Center owns 340 acres of forests, ponds, and hiking trails.
I have been a member of the Schuylkill Center for eleven years. I used to be a student from 2008 to 2012. From 2008 to 2009, I was a student of the Nature Ramblers and eight years old when I started. The Nature Ramblers has three different groups that are categorized by ages. Every year, the counselors make their own group names, based on animals found in nature. For example, The Wiggly Worms, Army Ants, and Radical Raccoons. Each group studies the nature, animals, and wonders of the Schuylkill Center property.
From 2010 to 2012, I was a student of the Adventure Trek, the group of kids that go on a variety of camping trips in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. One of my favorite camping trips was Cherry Springs State Park. I was amazed to see our galaxy for the first time. Everything was visible with a naked eye. It was as if the usual night sky fell closer to Earth. This camping trip memory is why I have always been interested in astronomy.
I remember the one time when we were packing up our campsite to go back home from the Assateague Islands in New Jersey. We were loading up the buses with our supplies, and a wild horse had come up to us to eat our bread. We couldn’t do anything about it because we would end up getting bit or kicked by the horse, so all we did was enjoyed seeing a wild horse up close eating our food.
I was a counselor in training from 2016 to 2018. A counselor in training (or CIT) is a volunteer position for younger adults who learn how to be a real counselor by shadowing a current counselor. There can be one to three counselors in training with one or two real counselors. It’s good to have this position in a group because younger people will be able to connect with kids and share similar points of view. I also like to think of a counselor in training as a real counselor’s assistant. I took this opportunity because I wanted a reason to be at the Schuylkill Center and I miss the memories of being there.
I interned at the Schuylkill Center in the year of 2018 for my Senior project in high school in order to graduate. I knew it was going to be easy to work there because I was already familiar with The Schuylkill Center, who works here, and how things work. For three weeks, I worked to get rid of invasive plants, planted more trees, mulching them, and putting up fences around them. I also helped with setting up a fundraiser that was supported by the Phillies baseball team. I cleaned the lights filled with bugs, swept the floor, and hung up paper lanterns. I worked with several other seniors from different local high schools throughout the entire experience.
Taking part in the Schuylkill Center is the reason why I dedicate my life to natural sciences. I had my greatest childhood moments here, exploring places and making discoveries I would have never seen on my own. All the kids who come here have fun and make friends. I will continue to give my services to the greatest place a kid can possibly be. Believe me, this is a safe, caring, and loving community. Considering being a part of the Schuylkill Center family? We open the door for everyone.