The GEA Adventure Club is gearing up for another year of exciting adventures! This year's "Eco-Trips" include Sesquicentennial State Park, Poinsett State Park, Peachtree Rock and last year's favorites, Kalmia Gardens and Congaree National Park. We will once again complete the program with a graduation and awards ceremony at the summit of Mt. Mitchell!
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The GEA Adventure Club program encompasses a curriculum for middle school aged adolescents that offers academic and applied knowledge of outdoor activities and inspires interest in the environment and as a result reshapes the priorities of the target population. Each 6-month program consists of hikes and activities at state and national parks in South Carolina to build awareness of the variety of activities and resources available at no cost for healthy recreation. The program builds confidence, knowledge, and physical strength and stamina each month toward the program goal of hiking to the highest summit on the east coast of the United States, Mt. Mitchell.
On April 9, 2016, the GEA Adventure Club returned to Kalmia Gardens at Coker College in Hartsville, SC and hiked both the garden path and the 3 mile loop trail into Segars-McKinnon Heritage Preserve. Aundrea Dolan, graduate student at Coastal Carolina University gave a great presenation on the various eco systems and how they were all interrelated. As a bonus to our adventure, Kalmia Gardens was holding their Earth Day Festival. Following our hike, we were able to enjoy the various crafts, animals, plants & gardening, and scientific displays.
On Saturday, March 12, the GEA Adventure Club visited Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve and Nature Concercatory in Lexington, SC. Prior to our adventure, Sam Ladewig, Coastal Carolina PhD student gave a presentation on the ecological dangers of micro plastics and spoke of the need to recycle.
The Adventure Club "Adopted" the Peachtree Rock trail for the day and collected plastics and other trash they found along the trail.
On February 13, 2016 the Adventure Club ventured to Poinsett State Park near Sumter SC for a beautiful 2 mile hike along the Scout Trail and a picnic lunch by the lake.
Our first Eco-Trip of 2016 we visited Sesqucentennial State Park on January 16, 2016. GEA President and Founder, Tom Mullikin gave a brief presentation of the various Eco-Regions found within our state.
So proud of all of our GEA Adventurers! The students, parents and other sponsors made this program historic. We will continue to work together to ensure better health and a greater appreciation for our beautiful environment. Congratulations to all on an outstanding effort hiking to the summit of the highest peak on the east coast of the United States of America. Traveling to Mt Mitchell, we stayed overnight at the beautiful Cabin Creek Lodge in Montreat, NC. On Saturday morning, May 29, 2015, we began our ascent up the Mt. Mitchell trail. Starting at the Black Mountain Campground on the Toe River, we gained 3600' in elevation over 5 1/2 miles to reach the summit of the East's highest peak. Touted as one of the toughest continuous climbs in the region, we enjoyed a varied forest that changed with the elevation. The spectacular views from high up along the trail faded into a fog as the clouds rolled in as we approached the summit. All Adventures embarking succeeded in reaching the top.
On Saturday, May 16, The GEA Adventure Club visited Kalmia Gardens of Coker College in Hartsville, SC. Prior to our adventure, Margaret Buckelew from the Pine Tree Hill Wildlife Care & Exotic Rescue gave us a very informative presentation on the native snakes of South Carolina. Her presentation taught us about the various (5) native venomous snakes and how to recognize them. She brought handouts, rattle snake rattles, a snake skin and a live baby snake recently captured and awaiting release.
We then toured the gardens along the board walks at Kalmia Gardens, hiked the 3.5 mile loop into the Segars-McKinnon Heritage Preserve, drank from the Artisan Well and climbed the 93 steps back to the picnic area.
On April 11, 2015, The GEA Adventure Club visited the Congaree National Park.
After a quick briefing by the Park Ranger, we set off down the Kingsnake Trail. We were lucky enough to spot two different groups of wild hogs which crossed our path looking for dry ground.
On March 21, 2015, the GEA Adventure Club visited Andrew Jackson State Park in Lancaster, South Carolina. Represenatative Laurie Slade Funderburk met with the Club members prior to our trip in the GEA Training Center and discussed the State Park System in South Carolina. We walked both nature trails at Andrew Jackson State Park - the 1.1 mile Crawford Trail loop and the 1.0 mile Garden of the Washaws Trail around the 18-acre park lake.
On February 14, 2015, the GEA Adventure Club visited Sequicentennial State in Columbia, South Carolina. Col. Tom Smith, Jr., conducted the environmental education presentation and led the group on a 2 mile hike along the Sesquicenntial Lake trail.
January 17, 2015
A very special THANK YOU to all those who have given their support to our Adventure Club!!