Coordinator of JSU Field Schools Introduces Son--
Creator of GEEKs in the
My name is Renee Morrison and I
coordinate the Jacksonville State University Field Schools. My fifteen year old
freshman son, Joshua, attends White Plains High
School and is an officer in the Student Council
Association. He is the SCA Environmental and Community Liaison for White Plains
High School. Last month, Joshua wrote a
letter (signed by “Geeks in the Woods”) to the National Initiative for More Kids
in the Woods Forum in Atlanta and I read the letter to an audience of more than
300 elected officials, national directors, environmental educators and officers
of public lands. The letter received a standing ovation. Since then Joshua has
developed an organization called GEEKs in the Woods (Gaming Environmentally
Educated Kids) which is
focused on nature and outdoor recreation. He has created his own website www.geeksinthewoods.org and has an
email address firstname.lastname@example.org. He has
over fifty members (kids ages 15 -19) and still the applications for membership
are pouring in!
He has received national attention
and is posted as top billing on the DC based national organization (American
Recreation Coalition) at www.funoutdoors.com.
According to Washington, DC representatives (www.funoutdoors.com)
Morrison, a 15 year old student at White Plains High School in Calhoun County,
Alabama, noticed that his generation had lost touch with the natural world,
captured by the virtual world of PS3, Wii and IPODs. In response to that
disturbing trend and inspired by Richard Louv's book "Last Child in the Woods"
and his mother, Renee Morrison, an educator for the Jacksonville State
University Field Schools, Josh created a group called "GEEKs in the Woods". Now,
Joshua and his friends are reaching out to their generation and promoting nature
through outdoor experiences and the group's website at www.geeksinthewoods.org
GEEKs in the Woods submitted a remarkable letter about what it takes to connect
kids with nature that was read at the Atlanta-area regional Recreation Forum
held in Marietta,
Georgia in March.
"What do we want to do outside?," it asks. "Absolutely nothing...unless you can
show us the “YO” factor...unless you can explain how we are linked to the
outdoors and the planet...unless you can make it relate directly to our life. If
you make it personal and global, we will notice!" To read the letter, click
Joshua has been
invited to the National Forum in Washington
DC to represent White Plains
High School, Calhoun County School System,
the Student Council Association, and Generation Y by reading his letter to this
large group of policy makers and national educators. WHAT AN HONOR!!!!
The National Forum for the “More
Kids in the Woods” initiative is being held on April 30th (Monday) in
DC. We will be traveling to DC on Saturday
morning, meeting with officials and touring educational facilities over the
weekend, and presenting to the forum on Monday, if Josh’s principal will agree
to exempt him from classes that day.
Josh is also being nominated for
the 2007 Brower Youth Award which will be given to a North American teenager who
has led a dynamic environmental campaign or project. If he wins, he will receive
a $3000 cash prize, a trip to San
Francisco CA for the
awards and a wilderness camping trip. For more info on this award visit www.broweryouthawards.org
for news releases by using the request form at www.jsu.edu/newswire/request.