We demonstrated LNT (Leave No Trace) camping, basic packing techniques
and dutch oven cooking to an appreciative audience of high school students
at Turlock High on May 21, 2010.
All photos courtesy of Michael King.
You may jump to the newsletter article below the pictures.
Supervising the lunch chef
Mule being affectionate with high school ag teacher
This is the only page of pictures. The newsletter article is below.
2010 • Activities • Home
Bright and early on the morning of May 21st Dennis Serpa and Dave Moser loaded up three pack animals and set out from the Moser residence with the goal of reaching Turlock High School for a day-long presentation to the high school students on wilderness ethics, LNT and livestock packing in general. Beyond the fun of riding the horses in to the school, the trip gives the stock some exercise, which helps them to stand more quietly during the day on the highline.
Riding along the shoulders of roads and canal banks so as to avoid traffic, Dave and Dennis arrived at the high school just after 7:00 AM where I met up with them. Upon arriving, the pack animals were quickly unloaded, a highline was established and the pack animals and riding stock were tied up. Next the equipment that was to be used in the demonstration was laid out on the manties and the seating was set up, and with barely a moment to spare. Soon the first of seven classes arrived to participate in the 50 minute long presentation. The classes then rotated through like clockwork after that, some larger, some smaller. All in all, we had in excess of 200 young people in the audience that day.
Dave, Dennis and me, aided by Turlock High School science teacher Ryan Hollister took turns rotating through the 7 LNT principles and describing some of the tools and packing equipment to the students. The young people represented a broad spectrum of kids who watched with interest and enthusiastically answered questions that were posed to them.
Come lunchtime, Dave prepared a Dutch oven roast for us to dine on complete with salad and Dutch oven biscuits. Besides providing us with lunch, Dave used the opportunity to introduce the students to the art of Dutch oven cooking. The students were impressed that one could cook a meal without a proper "stove" to work with! I must admit that the sometimes stoic faces of the high schoolers are hard to read, but Mr. Hollister assured me that the message was getting through, and the kids would be talking about this for weeks to come.
Finally the end of the school day came and the show came to an end. We packed up the equipment into Dave's truck that was parked there very early in the morning before the ride, loaded the stock into the trailer and everyone headed home.
This was my first time participating in such an event, and it was extremely rewarding. Whether or not these young people ever participate in packing activities as we know them, they have been exposed to Backcountry Horsemen and what we do. They will long remember the effort that we expend to minimize the impact of our activities on the land, and could become a big asset later, as they become voters and are asked to vote on proposed laws that impact our activities. The building of bridges of understanding is never a waste of time.
This is the only page of pictures.
2010 • Activities • Home