HCAS Birders Scholarship 2020

High Country Audubon Society (HCAS) is pleased to announce a scholarship opportunity to support up to four young birders who would like to attend a Carolina Bird Club meeting but lack the necessary funds.

This Scholarship program is designed to encourage participation in birding activities by a younger group than is typically found at these events. We believe that lack of funds is one reason few younger birders attend the CBC meetings. HCAS hopes that this scholarship opportunity will help our next generation of birders to participate in these meetings and will allow them to experience the wonders of birding in a setting that provides tremendous learning opportunities.

The Carolina Bird Club’s website states that, “The Carolina Bird Club holds general meetings three times a year, in mid-winter, spring, and fall.  The winter meeting in 2020 will be at Litchfield Beach (SC) January 17 – 19, the spring meeting will be in Black Mountain (NC) April 30 – May 3, and the fall meeting in late September or early October. The main focus of the meetings is birding, thus the meeting location is rotated among good birding locations in the three regions of the club: eastern and western North Carolina, and South Carolina. Meetings also feature evening programs and social hours on Friday and Saturday.”

Information about past and future Carolina Bird Club meetings can be found on its website at http://www.carolinabirdclub.org/meetings/

The HCAS Birding Scholarship will award up to $700 to a college student or recent graduate, or up to four students/graduates who apply as a group, to help them attend a CBC meeting in either North or South Carolina during the 2020 calendar year. Only currently-enrolled students or people who have graduated within one year of the CBC meeting may apply. Applicants must be 25-years-old or younger at the time of the meeting and live in or attend school in one of the five counties covered by HCAS (Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Watauga and Wilkes counties).

Acceptable Expenses:

Amount: Up to $700 will be provided, with the following limits:

Expense HCAS will …
Meeting registration ($30) pay for up to 4 recipients (up to $120 total)
Membership in CBC ($15-30) pay for up to 4 recipients (up to $120 total)
Hotel room ($300) pay for one room for three nights (up to $300)
Evening banquet ($30) pay for up to 4 recipients (up to $120 total)
Gas stipend ($40) provide a check to cover this expense

The award winner(s) will be asked to write a short story (approximately 300 – 500 words in length) for the High Country Audubon Society’s newsletter, High Country Hoots, describing their experience at the meeting.

The Young Birders Scholarship began in 2015 when two anonymous HCAS members donated $250 to HCAS to help Alexandra Vlk, a recent college graduate and intern on the Blue Ridge Parkway, attend the CBC 2015 winter meeting at Nags Head. The chapter’s Board decided to make the scholarship an official program and supported three Appalachian State University students attending the spring meeting in 2016. In 2018 one student from Lees-McRae College attended the Winter CBC meeting at Wrightsville Beach.  In 2019 three Lees-McRae College students went to the Outer Banks meeting.

2020 Application for the Young Birders Scholarship

Applications are due by November 23, 2019, and the person(s) selected will be announced by November 27. Funds will be available in time to be used for registration for the selected meeting.

Contact Bob Cherry at contactus@highcountryaudubon.org if you have questions.