Each fall the Eco-School Network hosts an overnight retreat at a retreat center about 45 minutes from Portland. The time away provides an opportunity for our members to connect with each other and learn about all aspects of greening their schools.
This is a joint retreat for all Oregon Eco-School Networks. In addition to the educational workshops, the retreat includes time for parents to network, socialize, consult with each other, spend time in nature, and get reenergized for their work in the new school year.
Here are some examples of past topics:
- Environmental Justice in our Schools Gerald Scrutchions, teacher and environmental justice leader, lead a session on the history of environmental injustice in Oregon and we practiced skills for shaping our projects to advance equity, justice, and diversity.
- Project Management and Team Building. Paul Spindel, trainer, coach, and PSU professor, led this workshop on project management and teambuilding, providing helpful tools, strategies, and skills for parent volunteers.
- Connecting Children with Nature. Kelly Hogan, Director of Mother Earth School; Bethany Thomas, Co-Founder of Ecology in Classrooms and Outdoors; and Kendra Callahan, Corvallis parent, discussed best practices for connecting children with nature in and outside the classroom.
- Building Sustainable Schools. An architect who has designed schools led a discussion on the importance of integrating sustainability in school infrastructure and facilities.
- Oregon Green Schools. Bailey Payne, Regional Coordinator, demonstrated the free OGS resources available for parents (i.e. calculators, environmental assessment, and curriculum)