We all know people who are born to be outdoors. From an early age they’ve been fishing, hunting, camping and hiking. They don’t want to spend their work days tied to a desk – and some of them are lucky enough not to.
Eric Beaver, a senior environmental professional with PPL Electric Utilities, is one of those people. And he volunteers his time every year to support kids who feel the same pull.
Beaver, who’s based in Montoursville, is a volunteer with the Susquehanna Valley Envirothon. That’s an annual competition in which teams of high school students spend the day outdoors, taking tests on aquatics, forestry, soils and other environmental subjects.
(This year’s event is scheduled for April 25 at Shikellamy State Park. PPL Electric Utilities is proud to be among the sponsors as part of the company’s commitment to the environment, and to education.)
Local Envirothon competitions take place across Pennsylvania, and local winning teams can move on to statewide or even national competitions. The Susquehanna Valley Envirothon is a pretty big one, as local competitions go: It draws more than 200 competitors a year from Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties.
The Envirothon wasn’t around when Beaver was growing up, or at least his school didn’t participate.
But several years ago, when he worked for the Potter County conservation district, he got involved in supporting the Envirothon there. When he moved to a similar job in Lycoming County, he did the same. And when he joined PPL, he connected with the Susquehanna Valley event.
As a volunteer, he helps guide the student teams from station to station to take the variety of tests and challenges they face during the day.
“It’s good to see these kids being interested in the environment,” he says. “It’s a good experience listening to these kids and interacting with them, and seeing how interested they are.”
It’s possible that Beaver, who grew up in Northumberland and Montour counties, sees some of himself in the participants. Growing up, he was strongly interested in hunting, fishing, and generally spending time outdoors.
“It’s just nice to be outside, that’s for sure,” he says.
Stay tuned to PPL Stories for more stories of PPL Electric Utilities employees’ service to their communities.