Hartford Area Career & Technology Center
Hi, my name is Jordan Holmes and I am a junior at Lebanon High School. I am also a student in the Natural Resources program at the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center. In the Natural Resources class we have 13 students who come from different schools in the upper valley. We have kids from Mascoma, Windsor, Hartford and Lebanon. One of the best parts of this class is getting to know kids from different schools and becoming friends with them.
During our junior year in the program, we are partnered up with someone in our class to share a chainsaw with. I share a chainsaw with Louis Boutin from Mascoma Valley Regional High School. One of the biggest projects that we have to do in our junior year is build a log cabin with our partner in only 15, hour-long days. The cabin has to be freestanding and less than 64 square feet. We have to fell all the logs and make notches in them to put the logs together. We are given minimal materials to work with such as twine and a sheet of plastic. Part of this project is a competition to see who can make the best cabin. There are seven cabins in total and everyone made their cabin with their chainsaw partners.
In the class, so far I have learned many new things that have benefited me greatly. We have learned how to use chainsaws and how to maintain them. We also have learned the safety associated with each new piece of equipment and are tested to make sure we are ready to use that piece. In the fall, we did a unit on forest math and learned about cords, acres, and all kinds of information that will help us when we further our careers. We are currently finishing our unit on glaciers and will move on to geography in the northeast. This spring, we will be starting a maple-sugaring unit, learning about how that process is completed.
An important part of our class is community service. Last fall, we performed community service for the town of Hartford and helped clear trees at one of the radio towers. The Natural Resources class has taught me a lot of useful things that I can use in my future and I am looking forward to the next year and a half that I have in the program.