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by Laura Moss

Spring is here, summer is on its way, and many people are dusting off their tents and getting ready to head into the great outdoors. Eco-friendly camping may seem a bit redundant — after all, what’s greener than getting back to nature and spending a weekend in the woods? But not all campers are as green as they could be.

Here are 10 environmental camping tips that will help you truly abide by the leave-no-trace principles.

Buy used gear
If you're not an avid camper, there's no reason to invest in lots of new camping equipment. Instead, look for backpacks, tents and other gear at second-hand stores. You can also search for used gear on sites like Craigslist and freecycle, or check out swapping and trading sites like or

Leave the gadgets at home
Don't bring unnecessary gadgets with you when you're heading into the wilderness, especially those that require batteries or need to be hooked up to your car. If you have a sleeping pad or air mattress that needs to be inflated, use a foot pump. Instead of bringing along a radio or portable DVD player, listen to the sounds of nature or bring a book. Not only will you be technology-free, but you'll also have a lighter backpack.

The two exceptions: a flashlight and a cell phone. Bring a crankable or shakable flashlight so it won't lose charge, and always keep that cell phone handy just in case of an emergency.

Camp nearby
Cut down on both travel time and emissions by camping in a nearby state park or campground. Search the U.S. National Park Service for a park near you, or search for a local national forest that allows camping.

Stay on the trail
Whether you're heading out for a day hike or trekking through the backcountry for weeks, it's important to minimize your impact on the environment. Follow signs, cairns and trail markers and stay on the beaten path. Trailblazing and wandering off the trail can cause native plant life to be trampled and lead to soil erosion

Pick the right campsite
State and national parks often have many well-established campsites with areas designated for tents and campfires. However, if you're truly heading into the backcountry, take care selecting your campsite. Look for a durable surface to set up your tent such as gravel, packed dirt or a rock slab — you won't have as much impact on the land and you'll have a safe place to build a campfire. While they may be scenic, avoid more fragile ecosystems such as those on the banks of lakes and rivers.

Build a safe campfire
Roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories around the campfire are classic camping activities, but make sure you're abiding by fire safety rules to ensure that campfire doesn't get out of hand.

Be aware of any bans or fire restrictions during forest fire season. Keep the fire contained in a fire pit. If there's not one at your campsite, construct a basic fire ring using large stones.

Build the fire away from flammables like tents, clothing and backpacks. Keep the fire small to ensure you can keep it under control. Don't burn food because you may attract unwanted guests like skunks and bears.

Put the fire out at least 45 minutes before you leave the site or go to bed. Pour water on the coals and stir the ash several times to ensure the flames are out.

Bring reusable dishes
It may be tempting to toss the paper plates and plastic forks into your pack, but it's best to bring reusable silverware, plates and cooking ware. There are a variety of greener options available — from lightweight titanium plates to foldable plastic bowls that take up virtually no space — that you'll be able to reuse for all your outdoor escapades.

Do your business the right way

If you're going to be in the woods for a few days, nature is going to call and it's best to be prepared. Here's what you'll need if your campsite doesn't have bathrooms or an outhouse: a small shovel, toilet paper and a small bag. When it's time to go, find a spot at least 200 feet away from campsites and water sources — regardless of whether it's number one or number two.

Dig a hole about 6 inches deep before you get down to business, and be sure to cover it up afterward. Put your soiled paper into a bag to throw away when you get back to civilization. If the idea of putting that bag back into your pack is too much for you, burn it in the campfire. Just remember: That may be the same fire you're cooking over.

Updated: 7/29/2014 1:00:21 PM


Drop-in math tutors will be available this quarter in the Math Center, L-221, from Monday through Thursday at 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Tutors can help with most levels of math. Some tutors can also help with science. Check with Jane Jansen in L-203A for availability.

Updated: 7/23/2014 1:54:09 PM


Tutoring Center, L-203

The writing tutors can help any SVC student with writing for any class. Sign-up sheets are located in L-203, or stop by to see if a tutor is available!

9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Sign-up sheets located in L-203 for a 30-minute session, or drop by to see if a tutor is available. All other AESL tutoring hours are in the East Campus building.

3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Students can drop by anytime during the scheduled hours. Tutors can help with most levels of math and some tutors can also help with science. Tutoring will be offered in the Math Center in L-221. Check with Jane Jansen in Room L-203A for availability.

Mondays - Thursdays
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Drop by anytime during the scheduled hours for help with Chem 121 and BIOL 211, 241, 242 & 260.

Lewis Hall - L-203
Tuesdays — 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Wednesdays — 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Tutoring Center - L-203

Students can drop by anytime during the scheduled hours. Tutors can help with all levels of OFTEC and basic computer questions. Last day for OFTEC/computer tutoring is Wednesday, August 6.

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays
10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

One-on-one tutoring in most subjects is available for students in the TRiO Student Support Services program. If you are a TRiO student in need of tutoring, stop by the TRiO office in the new Lewis Hall, L-201C, or call 416-7636 to make an appointment with a TRiO counselor.

For additional information about the tutoring program, contact Jane Jansen at 360-416-7852 or email her at

Updated: 7/23/2014 1:39:30 PM


This Golf Tournament to help out Skagit Valley kids will be held at the Avalon Links golf course. Got your team yet? Visit to register; or call 360-428-5972.

Updated: 7/22/2014 2:54:17 PM


Study Abroad in Ireland and Israel
Study abroad opportunities in Ireland and Israel are available. For more information, contact SVC Study Abroad Advisor, Ted Maloney,, 360-416-7774.

Study Abroad in Costa Rica
Study Spanish this summer in Costa Rica! Immerse yourself in language and culture while surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty and the warm, and the welcoming people of Costa Rica. Program runs August 23-September 20, and earns 5 college credits of Spanish. Cost: $2949 plus airfare plus tuition. Application deadline extended to June 23! To apply go to, or contact SVC study abroad adviser Ted Maloney,, 360-416-7774.

Study Abroad in London
Study in London Fall Quarter 2014 and earn credit at SVC! This is a great opportunity for a first-ever study abroad, living in a great international city with a long historical tradition, but without a language barrier! Program dates: September 27-December 5, 2014. Register for 15 credits and pay tuition at SVC. Course taught are Intercultural Communication, Introduction to Film, and British Life & Culture. Consult with your advisor to make sure these courses keep you on track for your degree. Program fee is $6875, not including airfare or tuition. To learn more about the program, visit To apply, contact study abroad advisor Ted Maloney,, 360-416-7774, for a preliminary application.

Updated: 5/29/2014 1:17:00 PM


All SVC students now have access to FREE online tutoring through the Western eTutoring Consortium!

Students can access eTutoring from any computer with an internet connection, even from home!

Subjects eTutors can help with include:

  • Writing
  • Math – Developmental through Calculus, and Statistics
  • Sciences – Anatomy & Physiology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics
  • Accounting, Economics
  • MS Office, Web Development
  • Spanish

eTutoring Services Include:

  • eWriting Lab: allows students to submit a draft to an eTutor, ask for specific feedback, and receive their work back with an eTutor’s response within 24-48 hours.
  • eChat: allows students to meet live with an eTutor in one-on-one tutoring sessions via a fully interactive, virtual online environment.
  • eQuestions: allows students to leave a specific question in any subject for an eTutor. They will receive a response within 48 hours (usually sooner).

How do you get started? Log on to eTutoring at:

You’ll find instructions for how to log on here!

This service is made possible through your Skagit Valley College Student Technology Fee.

Questions?  Please contact:

Jane Jansen

Updated: 4/17/2014 1:39:59 PM


Students—posts textbooks you would like to sell! The Book Sale Bulletin Board is located in the Cardinal Center near the Multipurpose Room and staff lounge. Students are welcome to write or take a post.

Updated: 1/2/2014 2:30:33 PM


Do you have trouble logging in, understanding your computer or your email? Does the Moodle Muddle have you scratching your head? Contact SOS!!

S-O-S stands for Student Online Support.

Updated: 1/4/2013 1:26:59 PM


Your SVC Student Government is excited to present a new Moodle website that is now available to you. This Moodle page will allow you to:

  • Chat with members of your Student Government.
  • Access Student Government minutes and agendas.
  • Access information about events for students that are going on around the school.
  • Share your thoughts about issues, ideas, and things that you would like to see changed.
To take full advantage of the great features on this new Web site, you must first register by doing the following:
  1. Log into your Moodle account
  2. Locate the search courses bar
  3. Search “student government”
  4. Click on the "Groups/Clubs/Non-classes" link
  5. Click on the "Student Government" link
  6. Click "Yes" when asked if you want to enroll
What does Student Government do?
  • Makes decisions on school related matters. ASSVC approves clubs, decides where student money is to be spent, and solves student issues.
  • Represents the students on committees such as the Tech Fee Committee (decides where technology money is to be spent), S & A (decides how much money each part of the school gets), and the Instruction Committee (reviews issues like learning communities and LIA).
We hope you will visit this site, because your opinions and ideas are important to us.
Updated: 8/9/2012 12:02:37 PM
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