Youth Watershed Explorers

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Looking down the Brandywine Creek on a sunny summer day.

Youth Watershed Explorers (YWE) is a program that pairs field “investigative” experiences with virtual learning. Explorers will be guided through three challenges, all of which focus on the significance of First State National Historical Park's Brandywine Valley unit. Each challenge will consist of short virtual learning sessions that build upon the in-nature components.

Explorers will need an adult to help them get out into nature to begin the field tasks, but should be able to complete those tasks on their own using the YWE-designed field notebooks and resources we provide once Explorers are registered.

The three challenges will have the Explorers analyzing water quality in the creeks and streams in the park, revealing the hidden secrets of the landscape, and forming a lasting connection to the watershed. At the completion of the program each participant will receive a certificate and a Junior Ranger Badge.

 
 

How much does it cost?

Free! However, transportation is not included so Explorers will need a chaperone to drive them to and from the challenge locations. The chaperone must remain with the Explorers throughout the challenge.


Who can participate?

The science and history content is appropriate for Explorers between the ages of 12-16, so any youth between those ages are welcome to register. We have also designed the challenges to meet the Ranger Certificate criteria for Scouts BSA and Girl Scouts and encourage Scouts to register.


What and when are the challenges?

Each challenge will consist of a 30-minute Zoom conversation before and after the field experience. There will be a week between the two Zoom virtual sessions so that, on their own time, Explorers have time to accomplish the field components of the challenges at the Brandywine Valley unit of the park. Each Explorer must attend both virtual conversations in order to gain credit for their certificate. *A chaperone will need to accompany the Explorer when picking up their challenge field kits - more detailed information on this in the registration form below.*

Challenges: Descriptions (each challenge not to exceed 1.5 hours): Pre Challenge Virtual Session: Post Challenge Virtual Session: Total Time Commitment:

#1: Watershed
Health

Explorers will conduct a water assessment of the Brandywine watershed within First State National Historical Park by visiting at least 3 water points within the park.

October 1st,
7:00pm - 7:30pm

October 8th, 7:00pm - 7:30pm

Challenge:
1.5 Hours
Virtual: 1 Hour

#2: The Mighty Brandywine

Explorers will discover a few of the historical uses of the Brandywine Creek, and its tributaries, by understanding how water provides a means for energy and transportation.

October 15th,
7:00pm - 7:30pm

October 22nd, 7:00pm - 7:30pm

Challenge:
1.5 Hours
Virtual: 1 Hour

#3: Adopt a Water Droplet

Explorers will explore the park to find their favorite spot. Once the Explorer selects their spot, they will write/draw/sing/etc to describe the importance of nature. This challenge will explore ways to be a great steward and how to help preserve that spot for future generations to enjoy.

October 29th,
7:00pm - 7:30pm

November 5th, 7:00pm - 7:30pm

Challenge:
1.5 Hours
Virtual: 1 Hour


How do I register?

Simply fill out this registration form for either your troop or child! After we have had a chance to review your form, the planning team will contact you with the information you need to get started. Registration deadline is Sunday September 27, 2020!


I’m a Scout - Are there additional badges that I can earn?

Scouts BSA:

  • Hiking (requirement #4) - While participating in this program Scout BSA members will have the opportunity to explore some of the trails within First State National Historical Park’s Brandywine Valley unit to help prepare for a longer hike.
  • Art (requirement #4) - While participating in this program Scout BSA members will have the opportunity to capture the beauty of the Brandywine Valley during challenge #2.

Girl Scouts:

  • Cadette Think Like a Citizen Scientist - While participating in this program Girl Scout members will have the opportunity to complete a water quality assessment within First State National Historical Park’s Brandywine Valley.
  • Cadette Trail Adventure - While participating in this program Girl Scout members will have the opportunity to explore some of the trails within First State National Historical Park’s Brandywine Valley unit to help prepare for a longer hike.
  • Cadette Outdoor Art Appreciation - While participating in this program Girl Scout members will have the opportunity to capture the beauty of the Brandywine Valley during challenge #2.

Scouts will need to reach out to their council to verify that this program will count towards the desired badge and have their council representative sign off on the credits.


 
Kids hold a worm

What materials are needed to participate?

  • A device that can connect to zoom (phone, tablet, computer, laptop, etc.)

  • A chaperone willing to drive and participate in the programs.

  • Something hard to write on (book, clipboard, folder, etc.)

  • Closed-toe shoes.

  • Bug Spray *recommended.

  • Weather appropriate clothing for field experiences.


What organizations are involved?

This program was made possible by a grant from the National Park Trust and is being co-managed by the Stroud Water Research Center and First State National Historical Park.

Last updated: September 28, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

New Castle Court House Museum
Attn: First State NHP
211 Delaware Street

New Castle, DE 19720

Phone:

(302) 544-6363
This phone number is not staffed. You can leave a message on the park's main phone number (302-544-6363) and we will return your call as soon as possible. If you are visiting one of the seven sites, and need specific information, please refer to the "Places to Go" page for phone numbers and addresses of each site.

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