Wenatchee High School is soon to offer an Outdoor Recreation Fitness course which will be the first of its kind.

As many of you know, our Valley is so fortunate to have a vast array of outdoor activities we can enjoy right out the back door.

Backpacking, skiing, snowshoeing, biking, rock climbing, hiking and the list goes on. Many of the students at Wenatchee High School have not been exposed to or become familiar with many outdoor adventure activities.

This fitness course will be the gateway for many of the students at Wenatchee High School to experience physical fitness in a new way, out in nature.

To make these activities possible for this class, the school is looking for gear donations. Camping gear is a high priority on the school’s list for donations. Cooking gear, purifiers, tents, sleeping bags, backpacking packs and sleeping pads are all needed. Rock climbing gear like harnesses, ropes, carabiners or any winter equipment including skies, ski poles, snowboards, snowshoes and helmets would also be greatly appreciated.

Along with gear, the school is also in need of volunteers for lessons (for example, if you want to teach kids about avalanche preparedness) or supervisors for field trips.

The Outdoor Recreation Fitness class is starting small for the 2018-2019 school year but they are still looking for six volunteers for four days to supervise the rock climbing part of the class.

They will also need another six volunteers for four days to supervise the snowshoeing (possibly skiing) aspect of the course. Lastly, they will need six volunteers for four days for a backpacking trip if enough supplies are donated.

Prior knowledge of these activities is not necessary for supervisors, but strongly preferred. The goal is to keep the students safe and teach them how to responsibly participate in these outdoor activities. Instructions will be given prior to each outing to insure each trip goes as smoothly as possible.

To help make this class a success they are in need of support from our amazing community and the Wenatchee High School is very excited to start offering this course. If you have gear to donate, would like to volunteer or teach a lesson, or have further questions please contact Nikki Buzzell at buzzell.nikki@wenatcheeschools.org (425) 417-6420.

WenatcheeOutdoor’s first guidebook sponsor

Drum roll please, here is our first ever guidebook sponsor.

John Winnie is a man with many talents who loves the outdoors.

Winnie is an ecologist, photographer and writer, and these three facets of his career inform and influence each other. His academic and field research are centered on understanding ecosystem dynamics across multiple levels — including humans as parts of ecosystems — to inform conservation and management strategies that help natural systems to persist and function indefinitely.

He has done conservation research in Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor, studying Marco Polo Argali with the Wildlife Conservation Society and US AID, which led to the creation of Wakhan National Park, the nation’s second. He is now working with WCS on an ongoing snow leopard research project in that same region, establishing baseline distribution and population estimates. He is also an associate teaching professor at Montana State University in Bozeman, where his research is centered on wolf-elk interactions and the implications these have for overall ecosystem function.

When John is not on campus or working on research, he prefers to be out and about with his wife Janet and his cameras, preferably in high, wild places (he and Janet’s current favorite local place is the Beartooth Plateau straddling the Montana-Wyoming border).

You can see more of John’s beautiful nature photography or read about his upcoming photography tours at john-winnie-jr.photoshelter.com.

Do you have a special outdoor place you would like to share with others — a place that ignited a family member’s passion for the outdoors; a place that’s given you peace or perspective; or a place where you fell in love with nature, an adventure sport, or an adventurous person? If so, help keep the WenatcheeOutdoors website healthy, growing, and free to everyone by becoming a guidebook sponsor ($50 cost).

As a sponsor, we’ll contact you for a picture we can post at the end of the entry along with a few sentences describing why this place is special to you.


WenatcheeOutdoors and The World collaborate on this column to help the entire community enjoy and benefit from nature. See more stories like this one at www. WenatcheeOutdoors.org .