With generous help from the IOGA, 2012 was the first year for Wild Science Explorers’ Guide-In-Training (GIT) program. The idea behind this program was to offer young people interested in the guiding industry an opportunity to practice the skills required for guiding multi-day trips on Idaho rivers. As part of the learning process, trainees participate in planning and executing river trips. Three participants were involved this year, two from McCall, ID, and one from Cottonwood, ID. One of the goals of the program is to expose participants to the guiding industry, thus maintaining the crucial link between outfitters and new, qualified trainees.
Wild Science Explorers is an organization offering educational raft trips to at-risk students. For selected participants, the GIT program offers a focused learning experience while on and off the river. Guides in training practice both hard technical skills and soft personal skills that are crucial for guides in the field.
These skills include:
Learn river safety and rules. Assist in “safety talk” before and during trip.
Spend time on both paddle and oar boats.
Assist guides, staff, and students where appropriate.
Teach Leave-No-Trace principles and practices.
Other Skills Include:
Load and unload trailer and equipment.
Inflate and rig paddle and oar boats.
Set up and take down kitchen and camp.
Cook and clean.
Teach “groover” etiquette and set up/take down “groover”.
Clean and put away equipment after trip.
The first year for the GIT program was a huge success. The program is expanding to emphasize skills needed for a career in the guiding industry. With small changes to the program and returning GITs mentoring new participants, the GIT program has the potential to produce proficient and confident river guides.
Each year the Idaho NRF, in cooperation with the Flying B Ranch and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, sponsor recent hunter education gradates to an introduction to wingshooting. These young, local kids have the opportunity to solidify the safety and conservation skills and knowledge received in the classroom and in the field. The kids get a basic explanation to dog handling, basic fundamentals of shooting sporting clays and a chance to take their first game- the wily ring neck pheasant! After a new hunter gets to experience the thrill of the dog point, the rush of the sound of a bird flushing and the accomplishment of making a good clean, safe shot- nothing is more rewarding than the proud smile on the child’s face! Please help us as we work to develop a respect and passion for the outdoors to the next generation!
INRF has begun the process to create a comprehensive Natural Resource Guide Training program for Idaho’s youth. Currently, there is no formal school or easy access for the next generation to become outdoor guides and get formally licensed. This issue, quite often creates a gap in the outfitting and guiding business and increasingly the guides come from out of state. The potential outcomes would be creating jobs in Idaho for residents, educating and training local youth on conservation issues, and instilling pride and stewardship of Idaho’s natural resources.