Recently, area educators convened with the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) for the 2023 Inquiring Voices professional development day for teachers.
According to Sanne van der Ros, the coordinator of the Inquiring Voices event, “this gathering aims to bring environmental educators together to strengthen the connections among themselves within the network of CBEEN that would last long after they leave the gathering.”
Educators from Golden, Nelson, Edgewood, Revelstoke, Cranbrook, Kimberley (kaqawakanmituk in Ktunaxa language), Castlegar, Fernie, ʔaq̓am, Canal Flats, Elkford, Crowsnest Pass, Creston, and Windermere participated in the three-day cooperation at Blue Lake Camp on October 19–21.
“We had an incredible time being together in person at Blue Lake Camp. There was a unique sense of community and connection because everyone could feel each other’s energy and share the space for several days, according to van der Ros. “Educators in the Basin who don’t live close to one another can nonetheless support one another from a distance thanks to the bonds that were forged during their in-person meetings.
It is amazing, in my opinion; magic occurs when driven individuals are brought together in the proper environment and with enough time to interact, share, and learn from one another.
There were ceremonies, awards, networking opportunities, and orientation during the gathering.
Van der Ros added that the primary goal of the conference is for participants to actively work toward enhancing their instruction by exchanging best practices in environmental education. This is accomplished through “Open Spaces sessions,” a five-minute sharing period, and discussions that take place during the educators’ time together.