A five-member team of students from Carroll County's Venturing Crew 202 won the 24th annual Maryland Envirothon — an outdoor natural resources competition that challenges students to identify and categorize living resources, perform soil surveys and solve other complex natural resource issues.
More than 100 challengers from 18 counties across Maryland took part in this year's competition, held June 18-19 at the Camp Pecometh in Queen Anne's County.
The five Carroll County students attend three different high schools in the region. Team members are: Rebecca Gross, Ben Fleury, Elliot Hirtle, Amy Donna Bittier, Madison Warfield and coach Claudia Lewis.
Venturing is a youth development program of the Boy Scouts of America that's open to both young men and women who are ages 14 to 20 years of age.
The team will next participate in the Diamond Jim striped bass tagging component of the Maryland Fishing Challenge sponsored by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, on the Chesapeake Bay on June 26.
The second place team was the Clear Spring Trailblazers from Clear Spring High School in Washington County.
The third place team, the Grapes, is from Harford Christian High School in Harford County.
The Maryland Envirothon is held once a year at an outdoor environmental education center, where students take part studying Maryland's natural resources. Working in teams of five with one to two alternates, students are trained and tested in four natural resource areas including soils, aquatics, forestry and wildlife plus an environmental issue that changes from year to year.
This year's special environmental issue was Sustainable Agriculture.
Venturing Crew 202 scored 437.1 points out of a possible 500. They were followed by the teams from Washington County (416.9 points) and Harford County (409.4 points).
Members of the top three teams are awarded scholarships ranging from $300 to $1,000 through the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board Scholarship Program. In addition, winning team members received a wildlife print, Maryland Envirothon shirt and other prizes.
The Carroll County team was also the high scorer in the "soils" category of the competition with a score of 93.0 points out of a possible 100. The Mid-Atlantic Association of Professional Soil Scientists (MAPSS) presented each member of the team with a cash award of $50 and gifts.