RAVE Camp Summer of 2018

 Twenty educators came together this summer for three days of excellence in professional development. Participants represented the Alaska Gateway School District, Copper River District and the Tanana City School District. RAVE Camp went further than offering exploration of existing Career and Technical opportunities.  From the outset the RAVE Camp focused on innovation within Alaska. Particularly in areas that educators have identified as being vital components of successful career pathways for students. 

 Alaska Gateway School District in partnership with Brightways Learning built a framework for professional development that evaluated at all stages of the planning if the opportunities being developed for educators met the high standards and vision of the vanguard team.

 Participants, housed at the Twin Bears Camp 30 miles out of Fairbanks, were asked to commit to many new experiences both day and night of their three day career growth experience.  The camp offered reasonably priced accommodation and ensured that camp participants had the opportunity to collaborate and build professional connections both day and night.

 Highlights of the RAVE Camp included a visit to Calypso Farm, where at every turn Tom Zimmerman offered insights and teaching strategies for bringing sustainable agricultural to life for Alaskan students.  The tour of the One Tree showroom explored how scientists and teachers are coming together to create lessons around the Boreal Forest.  One Tree also invited educators to join in the CocoRAHS project, exciting citizen science geared towards Alaskan weather.

 Educators gave feedback about the inspiring advice offered by Kevin Fochs, state president of the FFA and there was an excited buzz when participants explored how the Junior Achievement can work in rural Alaska for high school students. 

 Evenings saw campers exploring technology and art with our artist in residence Chris Greenfield-Pastro and sharing inspiration around the campfire.  Lively discussions also fired up over late night Brownies and hot cocoa.  The camp environment made these interchanges so possible and so valuable. 

 The RAVE camp finished with a visit to the Chena Hot springs.  Geo thermal energy and commercial greenhouse use were aspects of learning extension for the final day of camp. 

 RAVE camp was a successful professional growth commitment for educators from 3 school districts.  RAVE camp achieved excellence in professional development, and quality interactions for educators across the interior of Alaska. More significantly it collated resources that extend and complement the work that educators are developing and implementing with students in Alaska.