Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How do I register?
Answer: There are two phases of registering. The pre-registration period is open until the end of August. Schools that sign up before May 31st may receive a 30-50% subsidization on their registration fees. After that, you may continue to pre-register for events but you will not receive the 50% subsidization. Once you have pre-registered, we will ask for a more detailed registration of each student that will be due 10 days prior to the event. For an EXAMPLE of this registration, click here.
Question: Is there anything I need to do over the summer?
Answer: No! Once you have pre-registered, there is really nothing you need to do over the summer. If you want to start thinking ahead, you could start fundraising (see a separate item about that), advise students to look at the website (also addressed here), and even submit the request for a field trip to your administration but, truly, all of that can wait until school starts again. You all work hard, so I hope you have a relaxing and fun break.
Question: Does pre-registration obligate me or my school in any way?
Answer: No! Pre-registration is a way for us to begin planning for the event. We use these numbers to reserve cabin space at the event facilities. However, if you register before May 31st, you may receive a 30-50% subsidization on your registration fees.
Question: How many students should attend?
Answer: Teams consist of 2-5 students each, and schools may have more than one team participating. Typically, teachers feel comfortable bringing 4-10 students. Keep in mind, if the facility is full, we may limit your school to one team. You will be warned of that well in advance of the registration deadline.
Question: How many chaperones do I need to bring?
Answer: If you have 6 or fewer students, you will probably not need to bring an additional chaperone. For groups larger than 6 students, please plan on an additional chaperone. Once we get final numbers, and if you let me know that you are having a hard time finding one, we may need only one chaperone from your school if we have enough adults to put one in each cabin. But we won’t know that until 10 days prior to the start of the event, so all of you should make every effort to have that person identified and ready to go.
Question: How/when do I pay?
Answer: We prefer that payments be made via check but you may also pay with Paypal. Registration fees are due the day the event starts. Unless otherwise requested, we will send you an invoice when you send in your finalized registration details. IF YOU NEED EXTRA TIME TO REQUEST REGISTRATION FEE PAYMENT, you must notify us and send in your best estimate of your students’ finalized registration details IN ADVANCE of the registration deadline.
Question: Will the Forestry Challenge help us fundraise?
Answer: The good news is that by pre-registering before May 31, you have already qualified for potential registration fee subsidization of 30-50%. There are fundraising ideas, including a sample fundraising letter, linked on the “For Teachers” pages of the website. If you start fundraising when school starts, you should be successful in raising the fees in time to get them to us 10 days prior to the start of the event. However, if you are still coming up short, I may be able to help you identify potential sponsors in your area.
Question: Do you have any ideas for recruiting students?
Answer: If you would like to make this opportunity open to all students at your school, not just ones in your classes, I would suggest having an informational meeting during lunch. A sample blurb for the school bulletin is linked on the “For Teachers” pages. To recruit the students in your classes, that page has links to suggested pages to show students, to get them energized and ready to commit.
If you have a large group of students interested in participating and need some help paring down your student numbers, here are a few ideas from experienced Challenge teachers:
“I tell them to study the website and focus on learning objectives. Then I give some of your quizzes and have them share knowledge of the focus topic. I only do this when I have to shave it down.” – Katie Alling, Nevada Union HS
“Our process is very similar to that of a sports team tryout. We hold practices and do performance tasks, and that alone whittles out a lot of the kids. If I need to narrow it down further, I base it on skills and assessments.” – Amanda Driver, Monache HS
Question: Do the students need to prepare and, if so, how do they do that?
Answer: Preparation is not absolutely necessary but is highly recommended. A list of topics students will be learning at the event and links to explain those topics are contained on the “For Students” pages of the website. Much of the content on the pages will remain the same as in 2018, and changes specific to 2019 will be finalized by the middle of August. Many teachers organize a regular meeting time at lunch or after school to go over the topics and prepare for the event. If your students do not prepare, not to worry, we will at least train students on the use of forestry tools at the event. The training focuses on hands-on skills that are hard to teach in a classroom and is not a complete review of what will be tested.
Question: I do not have forestry expertise. Is there anyone who can help my students prepare?
Answer: Yes! On your pre-registration form, we asked if you would like a forester to visit your school. For those of you who requested a forester and don’t already have one, I will be working over the summer to recruit a forester in your area. I will send an introductory email to you and the forester at the beginning of August. Once matched, it will be up to you and your forester to arrange a time for him/her to visit campus. I will be telling the foresters that they will need to make one visit, but hopefully they will be able to visit more than once if you would like.