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KOYUKUK/NOWITNA: Be Prepared: Galena Students Learn about Winter Outdoor Skills
Alaska Region, April 14, 2010
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Galena students learn about fire building from Koyukuk/Nowitna staff memberes Sid Hall (FMO) and Kenton Moos (RM).
Galena students learn about fire building from Koyukuk/Nowitna staff memberes Sid Hall (FMO) and Kenton Moos (RM). - Photo Credit: n/a

What are the three basic rules of firearm safety?  What are some advantages of using dogs for winter travel?  If you cut yourself with a knife, what should you do?  What are two types of traps and the animals they are likely to catch?

 

These are just a few of the questions nearly 40 of Galena’s elementary and middle school students (3rd-8th graders) were able to answer at the final session of a ten week after-school outdoor education program.  Called the “Galena Explorer’s Club,” the program was designed to get kids outside, and to inspire and equip them with knowledge and skills to safely enjoy winter activities in Interior Alaska’s harsh climate.  Although spearheaded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Galena, the club’s success relied heavily on the participation and support of Galena City Schools, Louden Tribal Council, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and dedicated parents and community members.

 

Each of the hour-long weekly sessions focused on a specific aspect of outdoor activities we enjoy during the long Alaska winter.  Topics included trip planning, orienteering and compass use, tracking, dog-mushing, trapping, first aid, emergency shelter building, fire starting, and proper use of knives, axes and firearms.  Gatherings were led by staff from the Koyukuk/Nowitna NWR, teachers, a State Trooper, a local health professional, parents, and other interested community members.

 

Thanks to funding from the Connecting People with Nature project, and Louden Tribal Council, we were able to award students who attended at least 8 of the 10 sessions a well stocked survival pack.  It was great to get quality survival equipment into the hands of these 34 students, knowing that they have learned how to properly use it.  These tools, and their new skills, will provide comfort and enjoyment for these kids as they explore the amazing wild lands that surround their rural Alaska home.

 


Contact Info: Karin Bodony Karin Bodony, (907) 656-1231, karin_bodony@fws.gov



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