For years Wildlife Expeditions has been removed (location) from much of the TSS community. That fact remains today. This summer Wildlife Expeditions will be in it sixth summer at the 615 Elk Avenue location. However, we have made great strides to partner with other program areas of TSS over the last several months.
Back in early May Wildlife Expeditions partnered with both Jackson Campus and Kelly Campus educational programs for a bit of cross training exercises. The Wildlife Expeditions crew spent a great evening at the Kelly Campus enjoying the home cooked flavors of Chef Remey. Following dinner Kevin Taylor led our new and returning staff on a great evening stroll up to Coyote Rock. This is really breaking out of the mold of our safari-style vehicles. Jarrod Waite provided our staff with an incredibly informative tour of the Kelly Campus and KC programming. So far this summer our staff has incorporated the Kelly Campus and its resources into their programs for experiences other than just a restroom break.
The Wildlife Expeditions staff also teamed up with the Jackson Campus faculty and Americorps for training on working with families and young participants. The WE crew was able to learn about the Jackson Campus summer programs but most importantly we had the opportunity to see Jackson Campus Programs in action. After all we are a school and engaging children whether for 4 hours or a week long program is the core of our mission.
These are just the first steps to learning about, understanding and supporting our partners and friends in the world of field education. I hope and anticipate that Wildlife Expeditions will be able to return the favor and invite other TSS staff to come and learn from us as well.
In sum, Erik Nelson, Wildlife Expeditions Biologist returned from a Sunset Expedition this week with the quote of 2012. Spoken by a 6 year old participant: “Dad, you don’t have to take a picture with your camera, you can take a picture with your mind and keep it in your heart.” If that doesn’t make you realize that we are fortunate about our place nothing will.