The Stettler Swift Fox Junior Forest Wardens’ Club will be hosting an information and registration night on Sept. 15-16 at the Stettler United Church at 6.30 p.m.
Speaking about the club activites, Pat Wood, board member of Alberta Junior Forest Warden Association (AJFWA) and leader at the Stettler Swift Fox said, “We have four different pillars we teach throughout the three years (of the program).”
“This year we are doing ‘Woods Travel’ or ‘Outdoor Education’, so we will be learning fire making, shelter building, First Aid, hiking with daypacks, mapping, compassing and other exciting outdoor activities,” added Wood.
The AJFWA was started as early as 1931, while the Stettler Swift Fox was formed in 1985.
Founded by Dugall and Joy Wood, Phil and Linda Holton and Garry Nelson, the club was started to teach children about nature.
“The objective of the club is to show and help children and youth how to enjoy nature, how to preserve it, and learn survival skills,” said Wood. “The club encourages young children of ages six and above up to 18 years of age and their parents or guardians to sign up and become members, with the adults of course just helping out.”
Wood said that once when she took out a group for a nature walk and showed the children which tree could give them sun screen, they were all rubbing it on their faces. “Once I gave them a silver wolf berry to suck on so they don’t get thirsty, and when we returned to the camp we made awesome bracelets from the beads,” said Wood. “Nature is fascinating and amazing at the same time.”
The Stettler Swift Fox is family oriented.
“We do not take the children to camps without a parent or guardian,” said Wood. “But all members of the family can attend camp.”
According to Wood, more than ever there is a need for Junior Forest Wardens. “People need to unplug and learn to take time to enjoy their surroundings,” added Wood. “And what better way to connect with your children than to be out in nature learning new skills with them.”
Wood said that she has a motto that is of utmost importance to her.
“I may be getting old but I’m not growing up and I’m not lost, I just have to figure out where I am,” said Wood.