The intent of this lesson is to teach the learner that while our natural resources are readily available, their continued availability depends upon the responsible behavior and stewardship of everyone.
Two Fifty-Five Minute Class Periods
The learner will:
- work in troopes to identify and reflect on necessities for survival.
- identify National Parks Rules and regulations and the need for them.
- identify the natural resources in National Parks.
- define stewardship and common good.
- determine the role everyone plays in being stewards for the common good.
Dress as if you were going on a camping trip, ie backpack, sleeping bag, hat, walking stick, etc. As the learners enter the classroom, collect their homework from the previous class and set it aside. Begin by asking them if any of them have ever gone camping? Share with them that by camping you don’t mean staying in a cabin, or sleeping in a tent in someone’s back yard. The question is “Has anyone ever really “roughed-it”? “Has anyone hiked into the woods away from showers, bathrooms, grocery stores, and fast food restaurants?” Has anyone had to carry all their food and supplies into the back country and survived? Share that those who have had any camping experiences like this will find it to be helpful for the activity the class is about to experience.
- Assign the learners into “Troops” of three to six per troop and instruct them that they are to take a few minutes to elect a Troop Leader whose responsibility it will be to keep the troop on task, and making sure that everyone in the troop gets a chance to contribute. The Troop Leader will appoint a member of their troop to be Troop Recorder, whose job it will be to record the information requested of the troop. All troop members will be expected speak for their troop as appropriate.
- Once the troops have been organized, tell the learners each troop has been planning to go on a backpacking hike in the Rocky Mountain Wilderness Area for a week. Hiking permits have already been issued for each troop by the proper authorities and final plans need to be made for the adventure.
If possible, show pictures of a wilderness area. i.e.
- Distribute to each troop a copy of the Rocky Mountain Wilderness Park “Rules and Regulations for Campers and Hikers.” (Attachment One) along with one large piece of paper, and a marker.
- Take the time to review the handout together to make sure everyone understands it. Discuss why these rules and regulations might be important and if these rules and regulations reflect a wise use of the Park’s natural resources.
- Ask the learners if they would consider someone who follows these Rules and Regulations to be acting responsibly? Discuss what might happen if these rules and regulation were not followed.
- Ask,” If someone were to say that responsible campers and hikers need to act in the best interest of the ”common good,” what would that mean? (to work together for the greater benefit of alland the preservation of the park)
- Ask too, “If someone were to say that campers and hikers who obey the rules and regulations set forth by the National Parks represent good "stewardship" of our natural resources,” what would be meant by this statement? (Definition of "stewardship"; The conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care (i.e. stewardship of our natural resources)
- Tell the learners that they will need to keep the Rocky Mountain Wilderness Park Rules and Regulations for reference in the next exercise. Each troop will be required to list at least ten (10) supplies that they must take with them in order to survive on their hike for one full week. All park rules and regulations must be obeyed.
- Using the large sheet of paper and the marker,tell the troop Recorder to neatly write their troop’s list of ten (10) most needed supplies and to write this list large enough so that it can be seen and read anywhere in the classroom.
- Once each troop has finished listing their ten (10) most needed supplies, ask them to rank in order of importance the needed supplies by placing a circled “1” next to the most important thing, a circled “2” next to the next most important thing, and so on.
- Display the troop’s lists.
- Review these lists engaging the learners in questions that address areas of similarities and differences, eliciting comments and opinions. The objective is to get to the basic necessities (i.e. food and water), the importance of conserving to avoid having to carry so many supplies, and the benefit of renewable resources. Conserving and protecting the resources of the park should be a part of this discussion as it relates to future campers and hikers.
- Be sure to point out those troops that made use of the natural resources in the park and note other natural resources that were taken along as one of the ‘\"needed items" that the park itself provided as a natural resource. (i.e. water, air, wood, shelter, etc)
- Review the “Rules and Regulations for Campers and Hikers” (Attachment One) and ask the learners if there are other things that should have been included in the rules.
- Conclude this lesson by having the learners, individually or in troops, begin to develop and design a motto (less than ten words) that could be used by the National Parks on a sign at their entrance to remind campers and hikers to be responsible citizens for the common good. A sample of such a motto is provided in the ROCKY MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS NATIONAL PARK Rules and Regulations for Park Use; Campers and Hikers handout. The motto is ”Take only pictures and leave only footprints!”
The completion of the homework assignment from Lesson One, the class discussion, individual involvement in the troop activities, and the development and design of a motto encouraging individuals to be responsible citizens while in National Parks form the basis for assessment in this lesson.
Interactive Parent / Student Homework:
Complete the development and design of a motto that could be used by the National Parks to remind campers and hikers to be responsible citizens for the common good while in National Park areas.
Lesson Developed By:Dennis VanHaitsma
ROCKY MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS NATIONAL PARK
Rules and Regulations for Park Use; Campers and Hikers
Each year, use of the wilderness areas in the Rocky Mountain Wilderness National Park is limited to a pre-determined number of persons. That number is determined based upon inspection of the camping and hiking areas used the previous years, in order to maintain the pristine nature of the entire park.
Visitors not abiding by the park rules and regulations will be removed and fined.
Before entering Rocky Mountain Wilderness National Park, an application must be made for a Park Use Permission Form. This form must be completed including information regarding the type and dates of intended usage (e.g. hiking, camping, day, week, month, etc.)
Hikers must follow pre-planned route indicated in your completed permission form.
Longer term hikers must read the following carefully.
Park rules prohibit open fires, except in designated camping and picnic areas containing fire pits.
Wood for fires may not be brought into the park. In order to prevent the introduction of undesirable insects, wood must be bought at the camp store facility. Wood bought in the park must be left in the park when you leave.
All trash created at park must be either packed out of park, or deposited in trash bins located in designated camping and picnic areas only.
Remember: Take only pictures and leave only footprints!
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