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20 April 2007

Coordinator of JSU Field Schools Introduces Son--
Creator of GEEKs in the Woods

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 and has an email address 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


According to Washington, DC representatives (  :

 “Josh 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

The 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 here.

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 Washington, 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

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