Mountain Learning: Essential Elements & Activities

The following lessons and activities comprise TMI's Mountain Learning courses. We are happy to design a custom program to fit your group's needs using any combination of the opportunities below.

Group Dynamics: Games and mixer activities immediately engage the students in active learning about each other, their instructors, and their course.

Team Development: Group initiatives promote cooperation, communication, trust, decision making, problem solving, and leadership development.

Service Learning Projects:  Participate in a variety of service learning projects including trail maintenance, watershed restoration through tree planting and invasive species control.

Geology: Learn about the geologic history of the Appalachians.  Hike to the top of Spruce Knob for a bird's eye view of ancient tectonic activity and current rock layers.

Forest Heritage: Discover the history of West Virginia’s forests, including such topics as logging, railroads, homesteads, and National Forest development.

Beaver Pond Ecology: Follow the waterways to find traces of beaver activity and discover clues about a beaver’s lifestyle.

Stream Ecology:  Study a pristine mountain stream in the headwaters of the Potomac or Mississippi River.  Learn to sample physical, chemical, and biological properties of the stream and why water quality is important to human and environmental health.  Single and multi-day watershed education experiences are offered.

Orienteering and Hiking to Spruce Knob: A view from the top! Learn map & compass land navigation and work together to find the highest point in West Virginia.

Nocturnal Explorations: Explore the night with games, hikes, and discovery activities.

Astronomy:  On clear nights, students explore the night sky using the naked eye, binoculars, and our observatory’s telescope.  We have access to one of the darkest skies in the east: a real treat for astronomers of any experience level.

Canoeing:  Students may explore the Greenbrier, Delaware, or Potomac River on multi-day canoe trips.  Alternatively, students can relax on the calm waters of nearby Spruce Knob Lake.

Whitewater Rafting:  The lively Shenandoah and Cheat rivers make West Virginia a hotspot for rafting.

Survival Skills: Learn about survival skills, including fire building, shelter construction, and other outdoor-exploration skills through fun games and activities.

Caving: Learn about West Virginia's colorful subterranean ecology, geology, and history in an undeveloped cave. After a brief lesson in the grotto, we'll follow Gandy Creek as it winds through the cave for 3/4 of a mile. This cave offers large passageways and is an excellent first time cave!