High Rocks Academy for Girls is Recruiting

It is officially recruiting season for High Rocks Academy for Girls! Know a middle or high school girl that is looking for an adventure this summer? Then camp at High Rocks is perfect for her! If you know a girl that would like to apply to High Rocks or would like to recommend someone for High Rocks, please contact Kendra at (304)653-4891 or admissions@highrocks.org.

Help Plan the 2016 Our Children, Our Future Student Leadership Institute


*Credit for Photo to Our Children, Our Future

High Rocks is helping host a Student Policy Summit this summer, where students will make their own plans and priorities for what needs to change in this state. Those top priorities can become bills in the next Legislative session, and your voice as a young person can become WV law. Participate from start to finish! Who’s in?

“Every time positive social change happens in American history, students and young people are leading the way. In that spirit, we are proud to beteaming up with high school students, college students, young workers, young entrepreneurs, youth development organizations, and allies to plan our first ever student-led Summer Institute.”


High Rocks is seeking AmeriCorps Members and Interns!

Open Positions:

6 Month AmeriCorps Position at The Hub

Location: Lewisburg, WV
Start Date: March 1, 2016 or March 16, 2016
Description:. The Hub is a drop in teen center run by High Rocks in Lewisburg, WV. We’re looking for a member to run programming and be a mentor to young people. Members serving at The Hub, our connected student cafe in downtown Lewisburg, will serve as a mentor to youth participants, create and facilitate structured activities focused on art, music, entrepreneurship and empowerment, and support the day-to-day activities of The Hub.

6 Month AmeriCorps Position at Trillium Arts Collective

Location: Lewisburg, WV
Start Date: March 1, 2016 or March 16, 2016
Description: This position provides a unique opportunity to assist a non-profit arts organization that has been in Lewisburg, WV for 32 years. Stage production, volunteer recruitment and management, marketing, writing, graphic design, editing and media skills are useful. Computer skills and experience in social-networking is required. Trillium will provide training as needed. The AmeriCorps member attends and takes minutes at committee and board meetings which will provide full immersion in the workings of this non-profit arts organization. This position is ideal for recent college grads or someone ready for a change.

6 Month AmeriCorps Position at Friends Of the Lower Greenbrier River

Location: Alderson, WV
Start Date: March 1, 2016 or March 16, 2016
Description: Friends of the Lower Greenbrier Watershed Organization (FOLGR) will engage one AmeriCorps member to serve in Monroe, Summers, and Greenbrier Counties. The member will implement curriculum for the watershed and environmental educational programs developed by FOLGR, involving in-class educational activities and field-based activities, such as water quality monitoring and macro-invertebrates identification and assessment. The member will strive to strengthen our organizational capacity in the watershed community by developing volunteer recruitment and retention strategies and by developing service opportunities and community service events that engage community members to improve their communities.

Summer teaching Intern – Camp

Location: Hillsboro, WV
Start Date: June 1, 2016
Description:  Each summer, High Rocks becomes a hands-on, hearts-on classroom for college students from around the country. Interns gain direct experience mentoring teens and also participate fully in the program as theory builders and analysts learning about social change, women’s issues, and Appalachian studies in partnership with young people, staff and volunteers. Service in communities is enriched and complemented by a series of seminars that invite interns to explore regional history, development, theory, media and art. Each intern supports staff in summer programs (including two residential summer camps), and also completes an individual project and an intern group project. The internship has two main components–seminars and hands-on experience working with teenagers. This two-part approach is designed to deepen the experiences of the summer interns so that they leave High Rocks with theoretical as well as practical knowledge about the region and state, the challenges facing girls, ethical social change, and effective community service. Housing is provided and meals are provided while summer camps are in session. Interns also receive a stipend for the summer. Individual interns have, in some cases, worked with their colleges to secure academic credit.

Summer Teaching Intern – The Hub

Location: Lewisburg, WV
Start Date: June 1, 2016
Description: High Rocks believes in youth spaces—places where young people can be comfortable expressing themselves. At High Rocks we find great value in creating safe environments for youth to interact with supportive adults and to face intellectual, emotional, and physical challenges. Our youth centers will facilitate our award-winning educational programming and allow for more youth engagement in the community at large. Interns will support programming and daily operations at High Rocks Youth Centers. They will create, implement, and facilitate workshops, events, and other programming based on High Rocks curriculum. They will strive to create an environment of learning and inspiration.

Summer Grow Appalachia Intern

Location: Hillsboro, WV
Start Date: June 1, 2016
Description: High Rocks Grow Appalachia supports more than 30 gardens in and around Pocahontas County, WV. We are dedicated to helping mountain families plant a healthy future for themselves and their communities. We provide them with skills and resources to grow sustainable, nutritious food, teaching them how to prepare and preserve food in a healthy way, empowering them to share their knowledge in the community, creating programs to provide food to elderly and disabled residents in need, and developing local farmers’ markets to sell surplus food. The Grow Appalachia intern will serve with the Grow Appalachia team at High Rocks to increase vegetable production and local sales using organic practices. They will help increase the community’s access to locally grown vegetables and build relationships and systems that strengthen the local food economy.

Summer Wellness Team Intern

Location: Hillsboro, WV
Start Date: June 1, 2016
Description: Camps are the heart of High Rocks. Our summer Nutrition, Wellness, and Garden intern team will serve as mentors, role models, and cooks during the two camps: New Beginnings for 7th grade girls (12 days) and Camp Steele for 8th-12th graders (15 days). During camp they will work as a team with the Executive Chef to plan and prepare nutritional meals, work in the High Rocks camp garden with teens, and lead wellness activities.

Year Round AmeriCorps Member – College Access and High Rocks For Girls

Location: Hillsboro, WV
Start Date:  September 19, 2016
Description: High Rocks AmeriCorps members improve academic achievement by providing area youth with programs that support them both to succeed in school, and also discover skills and interests that keep them engaged in learning within and beyond the classroom. AmeriCorps members provide direct service in all the key components of the High Rocks programming.

Year Round AmeriCorps Member – High Rocks Media Program and Youth Community Action

Location: Hillsboro, WV
Start Date: September 19, 2016
Description: High Rocks is seeking one full time AmeriCorps member to facilitate our Youth Community Action and Media programs. They will serve as mentors to youth, lead weekly community action meetings for young people, help facilitate youth to develop their voice and find social issues they are passionate about, bring young people on trips to the state legislature and other events, and organize and facilitate media workshops.

Year Round AmeriCorps Member – The Hub

Location: Lewisburg, WV
Start Date: September 19, 2016
Description: The Hub is a drop in teen center run by High Rocks in Lewisburg, WV. We’re looking for a member to run programming and be a mentor to young people. Members serving at The Hub, our connected student cafe in downtown Lewisburg, will serve as a mentors to youth participants, create and facilitate structured activities focused on art, music, entrepreneurship and empowerment, and support the day-to-day activities of The Hub.

For more information or to apply for a position contact shelby@highrocks.org or call (304)653-4891

Legacy Fund Update

What a great start to 2016! We are more than halfway to our goal! We have raised $43,806 between the online fundraiser and checks received here in the lodge, which leverages $73,850 from our matching fund donor in Legacy Fund match. That’s a total of $117,656 for the Legacy Fund in total.

70 people and families have donated to the fund. THANK YOU!!!!

We have $60,150 remaining in matching funds we can get for High Rocks with the support of this community.

55% raised! Thank you for loving the High Rocks.

Front Page News!

Steele Studio made it to the front page of the Nicholas Chronicle for the jewelry sale we hosted during the Hometown Holiday Marketplace in Richwood. Thanks everyone who came out to the event!


Grow Appalachia: Salsa for all!

Salsa for all!

by Emily Barrineau  Though tomato vines have long been frozen and cleared away and we are only beginning to lay the groundwork for many more bushels in 2016, here at High Rocks we are still in the midst of canning season! I have been working on a salsa fundraiser project, with an entire chest freezer full of tomatos and peppers waiting to be canned. Our goal is to make salsa that we can sell to the public, serve at our youth centers, and feature on the menu for our new food trailer. We have jumped through many hoops, and still have a few to go. The first thing we had to do was find a recipe. We started with one from the Ball® canning cookbook. Our first round of salsa making was with a group of college students from Haverford College and some Grow Appalachia participants. We spent about six hours making about 30 cans of salsa. The salsa was good but there wasn’t anything that made it stand out.


So my next task was to improve the salsa recipe. I read that you could change the amount of hot peppers as long as you replaced the amount with another type of pepper. I also decided to replace half of the yellow onion with red onion. The salsa needed more spices so I added more garlic, oregano, and ground cumin. Both the red onions and oregano came from the High Rocks garden. Another problem with the salsa was the consistency. We were working with frozen tomatoes and it made it too watery. I defrosted the tomatoes the night before so that I could pour off the extra liquid.



The next batch of salsa was made with a group of girls at the penguin overnight. I taught them about the process for canning food. They did a great job chopping up the ingredients and with helping in the canning process. They were excited about learning that you could preserve the food that you grow in your garden. Now that I found the recipe that we are going to use I need to see if I can recreate the salsa and can it so that we can send it into the WVU extension office so that they can test it. After they test it, we can move on to the other steps on getting our kitchen certified.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday with families or friends!

High Rocks Assists Students in their College Search

Virginia Tech (3)The college search can be an incredibly difficult process for today’s high school students, with thousands of colleges and universities to choose from in the United States alone. The stress of this decision often begins much earlier than senior year as students attempt to navigate the options available to them. Although resources exist to aid in this process, the final decision is a very personal one.

For this reason, it is often helpful to visit a variety of colleges and universities to gain a better sense of what college is like. High Rocks Academy for Girls hopes to assist students in the college search and application process by providing free college trips to girls in the 7th-12th grades.

Trips are available throughout the school year. This fall, High Rocks girls have already traveled to seven colleges and universities in four different states. These include West Virginia University, Chatham University, Carnegie Mellon University, Roanoke College, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Duke University.
This experience also allows students to explore other areas of the country and learn about their options. One High Rocks participant said, “I got to go to places I wouldn’t have been able to without this.”

Students who attend college trips with High Rocks have the opportunity to meet with an admissions counselor, attend an information session led by the office of admissions, and take a tour of campus with a current student. This allows them to ask any questions they might have, as well as learning more about academics and campus life. Additionally, if High Rocks alumnae currently attend any of the colleges or universities on the trip, participants have the chance to meet with them to learn about their experiences and ask questions.

Grow Appalachia: Planting Ahead-Extending your Season

Planting Ahead-Extending your Season

by Emily Barrineau Winter is coming! This is my least favorite time of the year because of the bitter weather and the less time I will get to spend outside. The days are getting shorter which means there is less sunlight that the plants can turn into energy. Winter also means less fresh produce from the garden unless you have a way to keep the plants warmer and product them from the elements. Not everyone has space or resources for a high tunnel but there are some other ways that you can still have some fresh veggies throughout the winter.

?If you already have some winter hardy plants you want to protect from the cold weather you can extend their season by making a low tunnel out of wire and a row cover. You may use PVC pipe for an alternative to wire to construct the hoops of the tunnel. For the cover, you can use plastic or a floating row cover. Plastic can protect against lower temperatures and snow, but you will have to let some ventilation in on sunny days so it doesn’t get too hot. The floating row cover does a good job at letting sunlight in but does not protect against the elements as well as the plastic when there are below freezing temperatures.

To build the low tunnel you want to place a wire hoop every 4 feet. To make the hoops, you want to cut the wire 6 ½ feet long and make a 1 inch diameter loop about a foot from the end on each side. When you cut your row cover you want to make sure that you leave a few feet or more at the end so that you can secure the cover by tying a rope at the end and tying that to a stake or stick to put in the ground. To secure the sides of the cover you can bury the edges or use rocks or sandbags.

?At our season extension workshops we taught the participants how to use wire and floating row cover to protect their crops and we also taught them about overwintering crops. Overwintering is great if you want to get a head start on the next season. To do this, you want to sow your seeds into the garden and protect them with the low tunnel. When you overwinter crops they begin to grow but stop because the days get too short, but when the days get longer they begin growing again. By overwintering you are able to harvest some veggies a month earlier than normal. Just make sure that when you are harvesting your crops that you do this when the temperatures are above freezing.

Another way to extend your season and/or overwinter is to use a cold frame. A cold frame is a bottomless box that sits on the soil. There is a cover that goes over the box that can be made out of glass plastic and the sides are usually made from wood. You can buy a cold frame or you can get creative and make it yourself. The internet provides lots of ideas for building, such as using recycled windows as the cover and having the sides be made out of straw bales. Even when the days are getting shorter, I hope you can make your winter a little brighter with some fresh veggies!