Carroll County Teens Take Home Top Honors at Maryland Envirothon
ANNAPOLIS, MD – A team of five high school students from Carroll County won the 28th annual Maryland Envirothon — an outdoor natural resources competition that challenges students to identify and categorize living resources, perform soil surveys, and solve other complex natural resource issues. Approximately 85 participants from 17 counties across Maryland took part in this year’s competition. The event was held on June 14 and 15 at the Western Maryland 4-H Education Center in Garrett County.
The Carroll County team, known as Venturing Crew 202, is sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America and includes co-ed team members from area schools. This is the second year in a row that the Venturing Crew 202 team has won the state competition. As the winner of the Maryland Envirothon, Venturing Crew 202 will represent Maryland at the North American Envirothon which will be held at Idaho State University in July. More than 40 teams from the United States and Canada are expected to compete.
The Maryland Envirothon is held once a year at an outdoor environmental education center. Participants study Maryland’s natural resources for a year in hopes of winning the competition. Working in teams of five with one to two alternates, students are trained and tested in four natural resource areas including soils, aquatics, forestry and wildlife, plus an environmental issue that changes each year. This year’s environmental issue was Western Rangeland and Pasture Management.
Each team’s knowledge was tested under the supervision of foresters, soil scientists and wildlife specialists. Teamwork, problem solving and presentation skills were evaluated as each team gave an oral presentation containing recommendations for solving an environmental challenge. Every team was given a cumulative point total by the panel of judges and the highest scoring team won.
At this year’s competition the Carroll County team scored 441 points out of a possible 500. They were followed by teams from Calvert County (393 points) and Harford County (384.5 points).
Members of the top three teams were awarded scholarships ranging from $200 to $500 through the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board Scholarship Program. In addition, winning team members received a wildlife print, Maryland Envirothon shirt and other prizes.
Established in 1990, the objectives of the Maryland Envirothon are twofold — to test students’ environmental knowledge and understanding of state resource issues, and to instill a desire to learn more about the natural world. Winning teams compete at the local, state and international levels. The first Envirothon competition was held in Pennsylvania in 1979. Since then more than 30 states, Canada and Australia have embraced the program and sent teams to the international competition.
The Maryland Envirothon is sponsored by the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts and the State Soil Conservation Committee. Contributors and supporters include the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Department of Environment, the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board, Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Garrett College-Natural Resources and Wildlife Technology Program, Chaney Foundation LTD, Western Maryland Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc., Mid-Atlantic Association of Professional Soil Scientists, South Mountain Creamery, Howard County Garden Club, Catoctin Mountain Orchard, Mt. Airy Garden Club, SWCS Pocomoke Chapter, The Wildlife Society, James Meyers, and the Rural Maryland Council.
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