ICCS sophomores traveled to East Tennessee last month for a weekend-long retreat at the Great Smoky Mountain Research Center at Tremont. A residential environmental learning center located within the heart of the Smoky Mountains National Park, Tremont is a private, nonprofit organization that provides educational programs that increase the awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the natural and cultural resources of the Great Smoky Mountains and promotes stewardship of these resources.
"We believe it is important to expose our girls to a counter-cultural weekend, with an emphasis on team building, stewardship of the environment, and developing science skills," science chair and sophomore advisor Helen Stearnes said.
The girls' activity-packed itinerary included stream ecology, ethnobotany, and Smoky Mountains ecology studies and a night hike, during which students learned about nocturnal animals and night vision. Evenings were spent in small groups with nightly prayer and campfire talks about the cultural heritage of the Smoky Mountains. The class also attended Mass together at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Townsend.