by Brooke Myres
South Carolina Envirothon Coordinator
Out of 45 states, 6 Canadian Provinces, and 2 Chinese Delegations, our South Carolina Envirothon team from Spartanburg High School finished sixth overall at the 2019 National Conservation Foundation (NCF) Envirothon! Hosted by North Carolina State University in Raleigh, the teams competed daily from July 28 through August 2 in tests related to soils, aquatics, wildlife, forestry and a current issue: “Agriculture and the Environment: Knowledge and technology to feed the world.”
We are so proud of our South Carolina Envirothon team from Spartanburg! Each of the students won a $200 scholarship!
I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to the 2019 NCF Envirothon competition alongside the South Carolina team, who earned their ticket to Nationals after taking first place at South Carolina’s 23rd annual Envirothon in April. It was an awesome experience where I learned SO MUCH! I watched as these students worked tirelessly to place in this competition.
The opening ceremonies were held on Sunday, July 27th, during which the presentation of each competitors flag was honored in a beautiful flag ceremony.
The national competition kicked off on Monday. Our South Carolina team spent the entire day outdoors in the summer heat, meeting with professionals from the different topic areas. After which, the students came back to campus, ate dinner, and got right back to studying into the wee hours of the night. Pure dedication! On Tuesday, the team headed back outdoors to take written tests on the topic areas. Wednesday was the annual Fun Day where we visited Fort Macon State Park and the North Carolina Aquarium. This allowed the students to decompress with a much-needed brain break! On Thursday morning, the team went right back to work as they received a conflict scenario regarding the current issue. They worked diligently throughout the day to create an oral presentation about their resolution to the scenario.
Friday was the final day of competition. They started off that morning presenting their resolution to a panel of judges. Finally, on Friday evening, after a long, challenging week of academia, the topic winners and top eight teams were announced. I was beyond thrilled when South Carolina was announced winning sixth place overall!! They are a great team with awesome, dedicated coaches who truly deserved their spot in the top eight!
Throughout the week, as I got to know the students, I learned how dedicated this team and their school really was to this competition. This high school treats the Envirothon as a sport. Prior to the state and national competitions, each of the individuals on the team had to compete with other students in their school to even be on the team. They were tested with written exams, and only the top-scoring students made Spartanburg High School’s “A-team.” Their coaches are very dedicated to the Envirothon mission, going above and beyond for their students. I watched the coaches cheer the students on, give them pep talks, advice and words of encouragement throughout the week. It was clear that the relationship between the coaches and the students was very meaningful to both parties. The principal of their school even sent them a video of encouragement before the first test day, which really brightened each of their faces, including the coaches.
It was a pleasure to join our state’s top Envirothon team at the national competition — and watch them put their natural resources knowledge to the test. I wish each of these students the best of luck as they move onto their college years!
The Envirothon cycle is beginning again as we prepare for the 2020 South Carolina Envirothon! We will host a coaches’ training seminar on Saturday, February 1st, where team leaders and interested individuals can learn about what to expect at the competition and how to prepare their team. This is a free workshop, and it comes with no obligation to bring a team. The 2020 S.C. Envirothon competition will be held on Friday, April 24th. The Current Issue will be: “water resources management: local control and local solutions.” Coaches training and competition details will be posted to the S.C. Envirothon website as they become available. Feel free to email me, Brooke Myres, S.C. Envirothon Coordinator, with questions or to request more information: MyresB@dnr.sc.gov.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on South Carolina Wild are solely those of the authors, and do not reflect official policies, positions, or endorsements of activity or products by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.