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Fortson 4-H Center: Environmental Education

Classes Offered

Classes Offered and "What to Wear"

Our program offers 18 day and night classes that you can choose from! All of our classes are research, academic and curriculum based, aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards in a variety of discipline areas. These engaging, hands-on classes are categorized into 5 areas: Outdoor Skills, Team Building, Ecology, Living History and Night Classes. Take a look at a brief description of each class below!

Each class description also includes the suggested (or required) attire for that class. Please note: flip-flops (or any sandal without a heel strap) are not acceptable to wear anywhere outside of the dorm.

fortson signOutdoor Skills

  • Archery
  • Canoeing
  • Orienteering
  • Wilderness Survival

Team Building

  • Team Initiative 1
  • Team Initiatives 2
  • High Elements

Ecology

  • Entomology
  • Herpetology
  • Forest Ecology
  • Pond Ecology

Living History

  • Farm to Plate
  • Pioneer Days
  • Native American Studies

Night Classes

  • Amphibians
  • Campfire
  • Native American Games
  • Sensory Awareness

Outdoor Skills

Archery
This is a 2-hour class where students will be introduced to some basic archery skills (safety, history and shooting technique).  Students will use what they have learned to shoot targets on the archery range.
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

Canoeing
This 2-hour class will give students the opportunity to paddle around our pond while learning proper strokes, parts of a canoe, and teamwork.
What to wear: Clothes and shoes that can get wet are suggested.

Orienteering
compass(Limited space available) Students will be introduced to some basic orienteering skills (compass use and pacing).  After being refreshed on a few math concepts, students will get an opportunity to test what they’ve learned by venturing out onto an orienteering course at Fortson.
What to wear: Whatever is comfortable.

Wilderness Survival
Students will work in teams while learning and practicing methods of safety and survival. Students will use teamwork while building survival shelters and fires (not lit) in this 2-hour class.
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Clothes that can get dirty are suggested.

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Team Building

Team Initiatives 1 (K-4th Grade)
Students are introduced to the principles of team building.  Without ever going on the low element course, students will explore what it takes to be an effective team.  Topics that may be addressed are trust, goal setting, challenge, problem solving and just plain fun!
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, whatever is comfortable.

 

Team Initiatives 2 (5th Grade and Up)
children playingGroups focus on the principles of team building by working through a progression of initiatives and elements.  The aspects addressed in this 2-hour class may include goal setting, trust, problem solving, planning, and cooperation. Most groups will progress onto our low elements course during this class. Can be combined with Team Initiatives 1 for a more in depth team building experience!
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, whatever is comfortable.

 

High Elements (3rd Grade and Up)
Choose between our climbing wall or zip line for this high-adventure-based 2-hour class that not only focuses on adrenal thrills, but also on overcoming internal challenges through group support.  Space is limited, additional cost required.
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Shorts or pants that would fit well with a tight-fitting seat harness are suggested. Gym shorts are NOT recommended.

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Ecology

Entomology
Students will develop a better understanding of insects through collection, classification and observation.  During this 2-hour class, students will use collection devices and explore the insect life at Fortson.  Concepts learned will be basic insect anatomy and the important role insects play in a healthy ecosystem.
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, whatever is comfortable.

Herpetology
Students get the opportunity to handle, observe and learn about reptiles and amphibians.  Characteristics and adaptations of snakes, turtles, lizards, frogs and more will be discussed.  Many of the misconceptions about these beneficial, but often misunderstood, animals will also be dispelled.
What to wear: Whatever is comfortable.

Forest Ecology
Students will have the opportunity to learn about and study some of the components of a Georgia Piedmont forest ecosystem.  Exploring the forest floor, learning the identifying characteristics of common species of trees, and learning about the process of decay in forests are all some of the topics in this class.
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, whatever is comfortable.

 Pond Ecology
crayfishStudents will use nets to identify common organisms found in the Fortson Pond.  Aquatic organisms, characteristics of ponds and the movement of energy in the food web will be discussed through exploration and hands-on activities.
What to wear: Clothes and shoes (particularly sandals) that can get wet and muddy are strongly suggested. Students have the option of getting knee-deep into the pond.

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Living History

Farm to Plate
Fortson FarmStudents will learn healthy lifestyle choices. Students will also see farm animals during this class and learn about the food they provide for us. The class focuses on how food gets from the farm to the plate - the process it goes through to get there. Students will be able to collect and candle eggs, milk a goat, plant a seed, harvest fruit and vegetables and use them in a smoothie they can drink.
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, whatever is comfortable.

Pioneer Days
lanternRediscover life from a bygone era. This 2-hour class guides students through typical “chores” associated with life on a settler's farm during this time period.  Some chores could include candle making, cotton seeding, washing clothes, making butter and making corn bread over the open fire.
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, whatever is comfortable.

 

Native American Studies

Students will learn about the history and culture of Native Americans of Georgia through a variety of hands-on learning activities.  Students will help in the construction of our waddle and daub house, use a mortar and pestle to make cornmeal, practice their spear throwing ability and more during this 2-hour class.
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, whatever is comfortable.

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Night Classes--- all night classes are 1 hour long

Amphibians
Students will learn what makes amphibians different from reptiles and how metamorphosis works while observing several captive amphibian species.  They will also get the chance to go on a frog search around the Fortson pond.
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, whatever is comfortable. As students will be around (but not in) the pond, shoes have the possibility of becoming muddy and/or damp.

campfireCampfire
Instructors lead students in a fun-filled hour of songs, skits, and stories! S’mores are also included!
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are suggested. Otherwise, whatever is comfortable.

Native American Games
Native Americans played games not only for fun, but also to build skills and sometimes to settle arguments.  Students will be able to enhance their skills as warriors and hunters in games like Fire Keeper, Zuni Kick Stick and Bear Rug!
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are suggested. Otherwise, whatever is comfortable.

Sensory Awareness Hike
Students are given the opportunity to explore their environment through sensory activities and experiences.  Emphasis is placed on using the senses at night as they explore Fortson in the dark with a variety of different activities.
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, whatever is comfortable.

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