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Thompson Forest Education Highlights
Susan Bondar (Forest Educator)

It’s a pleasure to look out on the winter world with the trees all cloaked in snow and reflect on the past few months of forest education in the Thompson Region.

The 2nd annual Forestry and Environmental Studies Camp at McQueen Lake Environmental Education Centre was a huge success again this year.  Instructors from Thompson Rivers University (TRU), Kamloops and Selkirk College, Castlegar assisted with the lessons for the twenty three high school students that attended the 3 day McQueen Lake Camp.

The Fire Management lesson was a big hit.  Three Initial Attack Crews came from the Kamloops Fire Centre to teach the lesson.  As you can see in the photo, the students learned how to roll up hose.  I think they may need another lesson! 

Another favourite lesson for the students was the night Search and Rescue.  Students learned skills in compassing, pacing and working together as a team.  They were successful at finding the ‘lost’ campers without any serious incidents.

The students also enjoyed lessons in ecology, fish, wildlife, air photos and mapping, tree planting and a visit to an active logging site.  We look forward to hosting the 3rd annual camp in October 2008.

Thompson Region School kidsElementary students in the Thompson Region were able to tour the Interior Logging Association (ILA) Forest Education Van again this past September.  The van continues to be a favourite for students and teachers.  Forestry personnel assisted with the lessons.  Personnel from the BC Timber Sales Program and an employee of Bondar Forest Planning conducted the lessons this year.  The students are so much more aware of the forests and the natural environment because of the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic.  They are asking informed questions and desiring more information than in the past.

The spring of 2008 will continue to be a busy time with forest education in the Thompson Region.  Last year, 3,800 students and teachers benefited during Forestry Week from the lesson ‘A Tree's Story’ from 53 forestry personnel.  Once again elementary students and teachers will gain from having lessons brought into their classrooms and the topic this year will be ‘Fire’. 

High school students will have the opportunity to attend the Career Fair at the 50th Annual ILA Convention which will be held at the TRU campus.  Students will tour the trade show plus the post secondary booths to ask questions of the experts regarding career and educational opportunities for their future.

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