Where Does Sc3 Take Place?
Sc3 students live and study on the 530 acre NCTC facility in Shepherdstown, WV. Set on a forested property on the Potomac River, NCTC is an exceptional, state-of-the-art facility with access to top-rate national researchers, field experts, teachers and leadership trainers. As part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Department of Interior, they host over 15,000 individuals in a variety of Science, Conservation and Leadership trainings annually.
How many Students attend Sc3?
Sc3 accepts up to 150 qualified and highly motivated Student Fellows, and up to 30 Faculty Fellows from across the U.S. and around the world. We strive for an equal ratio of boys and girls with diverse backgrounds and interests.
Who is an Sc3 Fellow?
Sc3 Fellows are rising 9th to 12th grade students who are intellectually curious and interested in understanding complex environmental, economic and social issues. We seek students who are excited to learn and make a positive difference in the world.
What is a Personal Action Plan (Sc3 Commitment)?
At the core of Sc3's mission is a desire to stimulate and enable effective Commitments to action. For more information on the Personal Action Plan, please read more about The Sc3 Commitment >>
What is A “Cohort”?
Cohorts are our assigned student groups, made up of approximately 10 students each, supported by two Faculty Fellows and one Student Coordinator. The Student Coordinators are Former Sc3 Student Fellows who have graduated from High School and are selected to return. Cohorts work together over the span of the conference taking on projects and exchanging ideas as they learn about a variety of sustainability efforts. Students have the opportunity to also regularly interact and work with all the other Fellows from different Cohorts.
What leadership skills will I learn?
The Congress trains students in general leadership, sustainable design, and organizational skills. Students will also be challenged to develop their presentation skills, team building, group problem solving and public speaking skills. While at Sc3, Fellows are immersed in the conservation ethos and leave NCTC with a greater appreciation for and understanding of America’s conservation heritage.
Where is NCTC? How do we get there?
NCTC is located in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, 85 miles northwest of Washington DC. Shuttle service is provided for Sc3 students to and from the Union Train Station and Dulles Airport. See Travel Instructions >>
Where do we sleep?
Students are assigned, according to their Cohort to one of four lodges at NCTC.Boys and girls sleep on separate floors and faculty rooms are dispersed among the student rooms. There are two students to a room. SC3 students must adhere to quiet hours and have nightly check-ins with adult cohort leaders.
What are the NCTC facilities like?
NCTC is a small, state of the art campus with an instructional area and “Commons” or living area. SC3 students work in the campus auditorium, and in classrooms assigned to their individual Cohorts. Students also work and learn outdoors on the 530-acre campus.
How is the Food?
The food at Sc3 is healthy and delicious, with local meats, vegetarian meals, and other local food offerings. NCTC works with any student on special dietary needs.
What should I bring?
Please see the Packing List for what to bring and what to leave at home.
Will I be able to do laundry?
Each dorm has washers and dryers available for students.
Will we be able to swim?
We have a river trip early in the program and students participate in a river study on the Potomac. There are no formal swim facilities. However, you MUST bring surf shoes, old tennis shoes or Tevas to wear as needed. Flip-flops are NOT acceptable. There are strict guidelines about when and where we may swim. All students and staff will wear life jackets as needed. The river trip is optional. If you wish not to participate, you should notify the Program Directors and your Cohort Coordinators.
How much money should I bring?
All transportation to and from NCTC, meals, entertainment and lodging are covered in the program fee, so you won't need money while you're at Sc3. However, students can spend money on snacks at the vending machines or souvenirs in the gift shop. Bring enough money for your travel needs and whatever else you may need.
Contacting Us During Sc3
Cell phones work on the NCTC campus but in case you cannot get reception you may call the front desk at: 304-876-1600, and ask for the on duty Sc3 Supervisor.
Policy On Cell Phones, Music Players, & Other Electronics
When students arrive at Sc3, we will require that these devices not be used during program and cohort times. We prefer to discourage the use of electronic devices because we want students to be in tune with each other and to our natural surroundings. Cell phone coverage is spotty at NCTC depending on your service provider. Students are encouraged to bring musical instruments for use after hours and at SC3 bonfire events. See Packing List >>
Release and Waiver Forms
Several release and waiver forms are required by Sc3 and by the organizations that will be providing us with programmatic services. All of our partner organizations have excellent reputations for high quality and safe educational work with students.
Medical Concerns and Security
Student safety is paramount at the NCTC. There is 24-hour coverage for all types of medical issues and emergencies. There is an experienced Outdoor Emergency Care responder on staff, and a physician is on call for the duration of the SC3 event. If a student has special medical concerns or dietary needs, please communicate those on the required Medical Authorization Form. NCTC is a facility of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Site is operated similar to a college, with 24-hour on-site security. There are clear student behavioral guidelines, including quiet hours in the dorms. Students are encouraged to bring sunscreen and insect repellent. We encourage students to leave valuables at home, although many dorm rooms have small safes to safeguard valuables.