Master Educators Increase Our Ability to Spread Outdoor Ethics

October 30, 2018
Heather Darley
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference


Master Educators Increase Our Ability to Spread Outdoor Ethics
New Leave No Trace Master Educators in Trail Conference Ranks. Photo by Christian Hamilton.


The Trail Conference takes land stewardship seriously. We work on the belief that the most effective way to advance change for the environment is through public participation, sustainable, on-the-ground solutions, and user education. To support that value, we are proud to announce we have five new Leave No Trace Master Educators in our ranks. The Master Educator course is the top tier of Leave No Trace training, and our learning journey took place during the rainy week of July 23-27.

Backpacking for four days and three nights on the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail in Harriman State Park, our Master Educators learned and practiced Leave No Trace skills and wilderness ethics through discussion, scenarios, handson activities, and teaching our first lessons in the field. Each day we hiked and stopped to learn the seven principles of Leave No Trace, as well as how to craft and teach our own lessons, no matter the setting.

Our new Master Educators are Appalachian Trail Rockland and Orange Trail Chair Moe Lemire, trail maintainer and Invasives Strike Force volunteer Richard Furst, NYS Department of Conservation Forester Bryan Ellis, Conservation Corps Manager Geoff Hamilton, and me. Thank you to our course provider, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and our fearless leaders, Marian Orlousky and Ryan Seltzer.

Taking this course on the very first trail the Trail Conference ever built almost 100 years ago was a truly special experience. Walking that path, you can almost feel the sense of adventure that blazed the passion and dedication for the outdoors we still advocate for today. Promoting these principles is exactly what’s going to protect this trail and many others for another 100 years.

We are excited to offer both the Leave No Trace Trainer course as well as Awareness Workshops. Join us in learning and practicing Leave No Trace principles and ensuring that the trails and natural areas we share are sustainable and accessible for all to enjoy for generations to come. Stay tuned for future workshops.