Jones Juniors to Spend Second Semester Outside

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Artwork by Ciara Greene '17

Jones juniors Katie Treskow and Amelia Curry, both '17, are excited to attend Conserve School, a semester school consisting of conservation, environmental stewardship, and survival. "I'm excited to go on backpacking trips and camp in the woods by ourselves." said Curry.

Alicia Wala '16, Associate Editor, Copy

After first semester finals, most students prepare themselves for the final semester of the year. However, for Amelia Curry and  Katie Treskow, both ‘17, who are attending Conserve School for their second semester of junior year, they get to live in the woods for four months.

“Conserve School is a semester school where you learn about conservation, environmental stewardship, how to be kind to nature, [and] survival” said Treskow. “and you get to live in the woods.”

From first impressions, Conserve School is not always perceived to be a school whose focus is solely on the environment..

“Conserve School sounds like it would teach conservatives, or something religious,” said Mike Tobias ‘16.

Others guessed a little closer to the real definition.

“I think Conserve School would teach something with farming, or maybe math,” said Isabella Rios ‘16.

Located on Conserve School’s website, the school’s goal is that it “inspires young people to environmental stewardship through academics and engagement with the forests, lakes, and wildlife…”

After a fairly straightforward application requiring some personal information, two letters of recommendation, and a phone interview, Curry was accepted into Conserve School.

“I’m most excited about getting to live somewhere else for a long time, learning environmental stewardship, and conservation,” said Curry. “I really can’t want to go on backpacking trips, and I think they let us camp in the woods by ourselves at least once.”

To achieve the goal of Conserve School, the students have to spend four months in the woods located near Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin.

“I have to bring a lot of stuff,” said Treskow. “like all of the things you would bring for being in a dorm, but since we’re also going to be there during the winter, I have to bring heavy-duty outdoor camping equipment. A sleeping bag they want me to bring costs $400, but it would be provided if I didn’t have one, and it’s a free semester school, so the cost is worth it.”

Designed primarily for juniors, the Conserve School website also states that it will “accommodate advanced sophomores.”

In regards to schoolwork, Curry and Treskow have to transfer out of Jones for the second semester of the school year and then transfer back for their senior year. They leave for Conserve School on Jan 29, forcing them to take all of their finals before then. The only class Treskow definitely will have to make up is biology, which she will take over the summer.

“I’m kind of worried that I won’t be on the same page with the other students in math,” said Treskow. “and I can’t take the AP tests for AP Gov or AP Lang.”

Despite her worries, Treskow is really looking forward to the next four months.

“I’m looking forward to being in the woods, having no people for miles, seeing the stars, and being away from the city,” she said. “since I’ve never had the opportunity to be out of the city.”

In the beginning, she was a little on-the fence about Conserve School, but Treskow decided she wanted to go because she really liked nature, wanted an adventure, and was persuaded by Curry.

“My mom found it [Conserve School] somehow, and it seemed really cool,” said Curry. “I usually go camping every year, so I applied.”

Conserve school, while relatively unheard of at Jones, is something Treskow suggests people look into.

“Anyone who’s outdoorsy and appreciates the environment should look into Conserve School,” said Treskow. “Also, anyone that just wants to learn more [about the environment].”

Curry and Treskow are ready for their next few months at Conserve School, and they know they have many experiences awaiting them near Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin.

“I’ve heard that this becomes a really tight-knit community,” said Curry. “I’ve heard lots of good stuff from the alumni, and it’s gorgeous there.”