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Attention Baltimore Wood campers

New director of ed started Feb. 1

As of Feb. 1 Centers for Nature Education at Baltimore Woods' boasts a SUNY Environmental School of Forestry dual major. The new camp director and educator, Tom Meier, focused on Foresty and Biology while up on Syracuse's hill.

"I tried to focus as much as I could on interpretation," Meier said. "Education at ESF has been huge for me."

So much so that his professor, Andy Saunder recommended him to CNE Director Patty Weiss for his new position.

Meier will direct children from 5 to 12 year olds. He said the main strengths he brings to the job are a general comfort with the outdoors and a good knowledge of ecology.

"I have an ability to connect with kids," he said. "I don't talk down to them."

Meier, whose first job at 13 was at a Boy Scout camp, has worked in the camp environment all along. From his first of many merit badges in canoeing, he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

"Scouts can be powerful when it is run right," he said.

His father retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, which means Meier did a fair share of moving around while growing up. Kentucky was his last home before college and he worked in New Hampshire before arriving in Marcellus. Meier finds CNY's environs to be a cross between his former states as Kentucky has similar hardwoods in hickory, oaks and cherry. But our white pines and spruce you won't see in Kentucky but are common in New England.

In New Hampshire Meier worked first at the Stone Environmental Schools of New England, which ran a camp school for grades three to seven. Then he worked with at risk teenagers.

"It was an allied based approach, with us all working side by side together," he said. "Many had never been out of a city. It was tricky -- but fascinating, (I was) exposed to stuff I didn't know about."

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