By Maria Corse
It probably doesn’t surprise quite a few of you that the one defining characteristic I am most proud of is my decisiveness. I like making decisions and I thrive in a dynamic, ever changing, creative environment that requires a commitment to shaking things up every once in a while, with new ideas and schemes. Dithering, quite simply, has never really been part of my personal vocabulary - until this past week.
As mentioned a couple weeks ago, DRC is in the process of creating a brand new, innovative program that we, dearly, hope will foster a love and appreciation for the outdoors, nature, and our fragile environment in our student members and eventually children in the community who do not have the opportunity to be outside. Trish Pielnik, a person who is consistently captivated and enthralled by her connections to nature, is the coordinator for this project.
All of our plans are moving along beautifully. Trish and I have developed a comprehensive plan to share with potential collaborators and funders. We have been researching Nature Deficit Disorder along with programs around the world that are designed to combat it. Trish has been connecting with people in her extensive network to gather ideas for specific activities and themes to implement, as well as potential grant opportunities. We are also in the process of contacting local institutions, organizations, and individuals who may be interested in offering opportunities and equipment through this program.
Our one road block --- the piece that is driving me a bit crazy (because of my, afore mentioned, decisive personality) --- is finding (choosing) a name. We cannot continue to call it the Outdoor Program at DRC! (How un-sexy and boring can you get?) I have generated thousands of words and potential titles that sort of fit (most of which come to me at 4am), and, Trish is in the same boat, but nothing has announced itself, to either of us, as the perfect match. At this point, my brain is on complete vocab overload, and, I am sick, to death, of typing words into the thesaurus.
Therefore, with this very long winded tale, Trish and I are desperately seeking your input. We, simply, need your help to generate a name. We want it to reveal a sense of awe and wonder, as well as complete immersion, a 'connectedness', and deep affinity with nature. It absolutely needs to be original and it would be an added bonus if we could connect to the theme of trees or plants (Deep Root). It should be two – three words long, because, “at DRC” will be added onto the end.
The closest we have come are: Wild about Nature, Natural Wonder, Jumping into Nature, and Tapping into Nature. We also really like the words: exploration or explore, captivated, and immersed. Someone has suggested somehow tying in the title of Last Child in the Woods – The 2005 book, by Richard Louv, that defined and recognized Nature Deficit Disorder within modern society. As you can see, we are overwhelmed with an abundance of appropriate words and concepts. Please help us!
You can send your suggestion(s) or votes to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We look forward to reading your submissions and feedback. We promise to share the new name before we leave for the Liberated Learners Conference in Amherst MA, early Friday morning. Thank you!
P.S. The person who offers the winning name will be fully credited and recognized. They will also have the opportunity to spend some time with our students immersed in the wonders of the natural world.