MAEOE 2020: The Shore

In February I had the pleasure of attending and participating in the 2020 MAEOE conference: Exploring Connections: Linking Nature, People, and Mindfulness.

The conference committee reached out and asked if I was interested in creating the logo for the conference, of course I said YES!  Art, nature, people, and mindfulness are all passions of mine. It was such a fun project to work on, and they asked me to create the logo again for next year’s convention: Climate, Nature, People and Education: It’s All Connected.

February 6-9, 2020, the Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education brought together educators, resource personnel, scientists and researchers to share their experiences and ideas at the Princess Royale in Ocean City, MD. The weather was all rainy and cloudy most of the time, but we had a nice sunny day and a beautiful clear sky for a beautiful full moon.

The weekend began on Thursday with breakfast at the Bayside Skillet, it was delicious and hugemongous!  Perfect for keeping my fueled for the amazing Leopold Educational Program workshop. Peggy Eppig shared with us the land ethic and conservation education of Aldo Leopold.

Aldo Leopold was an American author, philosopher, scientist, ecologist, forester, conservationist, and environmentalist. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin and is best known for his book A Sand County Almanac, which has sold more than two million copies.  

This full day workshop was full of learning and inspirational moments. We first went outside to the beach to spend time in nature. The beach provided a moment of clarity as well as discovery, of self and the world around me.

Learning about land ethics was a transformative moment for me. I am ever grateful for what Peggy shared with us that day.  I see another layer to my being and how it all connects to the path of knowledge of self.  Creative expression is simply a part of the whole. Our interconnectedness to all of creation is the energy, stewardship is the interaction of our connectedness…the product is beauty and love through creative expression.

Friday was a day of  hands-on sessions. One session I attended that day was taught me how to dye with natural plants. We experimented with cranberries, turmeric, and onions to name a few. I was excited to take it back to school and share it with my students!

Friday was also full of social time! I love that MAEOE schedules in time for us to network and mingle. We had lunch, a first timers meeting, and happy hour! I also created a banner for people to fill in with their intentions for the conference! It turned out so cool!

Fridays field experience was a trip to the Indian River Lifesaving Station. That place showed me the shore in a whole new light.

Saturday sessions were jam packed and the exhibit hall was super busy. There was a silent auction in which I won a few things!  Then we had a social dance costume party in the ballroom. MAEOE had an Eco Superhero contest that Ridgely entered! My green club students turned me into Rainebow Earth Brite! The kids made everything from recycled materials! My motto was I turn litter into glitter and trashy into flashy! We didn’t win the contest, however it was SUPER fun!

I left on Sunday after a morning meditation.

The shore gave me clarity and peace, to my center and on my journey in this life.

 

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