#TeachingTuesday: Fuquay Varina High School Field Trip

Well it’s day late, but we wanted to share for #TeachingTuesday about the field trip we hosted for Fuquay Varina High School last Thursday! Ms. Moore brought a group of students from her Hort II/Honors class to learn about our company and the landscape industry as whole, as well as tour our facility and do some hands-on activities.

Scott (President), Herbie (Installation Manager), and I (Caitlin, Recruiting Specialist and Company Ambassador) started things off by introducing ourselves and talking about the business and how we each contribute our skills. It was a particularly meaningful group for Scott to speak with, since he is a FVHS graduate himself! This group of students was the most engaged we have ever had. They asked so many insightful questions, such as what our biggest failures were and how we came back from them, how Scott decided he wanted to start his own business and how he was able to build a client base, what was a company goal that we have not achieved yet, and much more.

After that, Blake (Operations Specialist) took the students on a quick tour of the shop and the yard, ending in our equipment storage area, where we had some activities set up. First, the students put together their own planters with summer annuals to take home (with Mother’s Day right around the corner, many students mentioned they planned to give away their planters to their mothers).

Next, we had a paver laying competition! Ms. Moore broke the students into two groups, and they each battled to be the first to fill a 5′ x 5′ square with a random pattern using 4 different-sized paver types. Here’s the catch:

  • No two pavers of the same size could be placed side-by-side
  • Joints could not exceed 38″ in length

Through this activity, students naturally gained experience in teamwork and problem-solving, but they also learned practical industry knowledge, such as the definition of a “joint” in hardscaping, and why keeping the length short is important.

Scott gives some tips on the layout.
The winning team!
So close! Only a few blocks left.

After we all ate lunch together (sandwiches from Bagels Plus!), we talked a little bit about different job opportunities for high school students within our company, and gave out frisbees to everyone. One of the students (Sydney) actually worked with our floriculture division last summer, and two of the other students (Clarissa and Lexi) just started working with us yesterday, helping organize flower orders after school. We love supporting Fuquay Varina High School students! Go Bengals!

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Teaching Tuesday: Visitors from Alamance CC and South Johnston HS!

Last week was very busy for everyone at Myatt! We had two school groups come to our facility in Fuquay to learn from our fantastic staff. The first group was from the Horticulture Technology program at Alamance Community College and they came by for the afternoon on Wednesday, then Friday morning we had a group of high school students from South Johnston. Both groups were absolutely wonderful–intelligent, driven young people with so much potential. We are excited to be partnering with local schools like these and sharing our knowledge and passion for landscaping!

Alamance Community College

The students from ACC are part of a team of more than 20 students who will be heading to Fort Collins, Colorado in a few weeks to compete at the National Collegiate Landscape Competition (NCLC) hosted by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) at Colorado State University. The three students who visited us are each competing in a multitude of events, but we were specifically training them for truck and trailer driving, and operating skid steers, mini track loaders, and mini excavators.

Practicing backing a trailer
Checking fluids and doing a safety inspection
Practicing with the skid steer
Practicing with the mini excavator

They got pretty good by the end of the afternoon! We wish all of the ACC team the best of luck in Colorado! A big shout-out of thanks to Matt Parks of Herc Rentals Inc. in Apex for supplying the skid steer to help these students get competition-ready!

South Johnston High School

The group from SJHS came to learn about plant ID for the Certified Young Plant Professional exam, which is given by the North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association, and to learn how to construct patios and walkways from pavers. The students were truly a fantastic group, engaged in what they were doing and already very knowledgeable! Their teacher, Cindy Adams, is clearly doing a great job with the horticulture program at SJHS.

After a review, students took a practice plant ID quiz in one of our greenhouses
Installation Manager Herbie led a classroom session as well as hands-on learning activities
Learning about grade and paver patterns
Problem-solving, teamwork, communication…So many skills being practiced!
Lunch from Bagels Plus!
Fantastic group of students with bright futures!

#FeatureFriday: West Johnson High School Field Trip

Yesterday, we hosted thirteen horticulture students, a teacher, and an assistant teacher from West Johnson High School in Benson on a field trip to learn about the landscaping industry. This was our first time hosting such an event, but we were excited to share our facilities, our experiences, and our knowledge with young people, and encourage them to consider careers in the industry in the future. Everyone had a blast, and we hope they left with a better understanding of the diverse roles and partnerships that are essential in leading a landscape company to success.

The tour started off with short talks from Scott Myatt, company founder and president; Ryan Kimbro, Maintenance Division Manager; and Herbie Champion, Install Division Manager. They shared the history of the company as well their own professional development through the years, and talked about some interesting facets of their jobs (while the students enjoyed coffee and doughnuts from Krispy Kreme!).

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Scott Myatt talks about the importance of standing behind your work.

Next, Blake Bennett led a tour of our facilities, introducing all of our support staff and explaining many of our organizational processes. Many other staff joined the tour and answered questions from the students.

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Zach Daigle explains how plant deliveries are organized.

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Blake Bennett talks about why sorting our landscape and construction waste is important.

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Blake shows the students our on-site fueling area.

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Herbie Champion talks about our different types of trucks and how we customize them.

After the tour, we had some activities with a competitive edge planned–a plant ID quiz and a paver challenge where student teams had to fill a grid with a certain pattern correctly, the fastest team earning t-shirts with our logo. The students also designed their own planters with fall flowers to take home.

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The students participated in a plant ID quiz (with no multiple choice!).

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After the quiz, Caitlin Clineff shared some ID tips and tricks for each plant.

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Each student designed their own planter to take home, with guidance from Myatt Staff.

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We love sparking creativity with hands-on learning.

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Everyone enjoyed getting their hands dirty!

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Herbie demonstrates the use of a laser level prior to starting the paver challenge.

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The two teams set up for the paver challenge.

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Every person engaged in teamwork and problem-solving.

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Matching the pattern was harder than it looked!

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Just a few errors to correct… 😉

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Pausing for a team discussion.

Both teams did a great job, and exercised their teamwork, problem-solving, decision-making, and spacial reasoning skills.

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The students were treated to gigantic sandwiches and salads from Bagels Plus, the local deli.

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Winners of the plant ID and paver challenges were given their choice of Myatt t-shirt, and everyone received a Myatt Landscaping frisbee!

We had such a great time interacting with this fantastic group of young people, and we hope that they were inspired to learn more about the myriad of unique opportunities the landscape and horticulture industries have to offer. This class was a real pleasure to host–they asked great questions and engaged fully in all of the activities. We look forward to hosting students from West Johnson and other schools in the future!

If you would like to arrange a tour of Myatt Landscaping Concepts for your class, 4-H club, FFA chapter, Boy/Girl Scout troop, etc., please contact Caitlin@myattlandscaping.com.