We are excited to share that YCG director and founder Michael Leach was the opening keynote speaker at the Montana ReAct Teen Summit in Helena, Montana, this past week. It was the first day of summer, June 21st, and we finally received a day full of sunshine and warm temperatures. High school students from around the state poured into a room at Carroll College to hear Michael’s motivational presentation that was all about leaving a legacy and living a life that matters. After speaking at the statewide Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Conference in 2010, about how to inspire youth to action, Michael was jacked up about sharing this special evening with what we believe represents the greatest asset found throughout the treasure state, and certainly the future and current guardians of Yellowstone, our local youth.
We also just kicked off our 2011 summer collaboration with our friends from C5 Youth Foundations. C5 is a national organization based out of Atlanta, Georgia, with sites in Boston, Dallas, and Los Angeles. Their four year program is a model that we have always admired and we continue to learn from their success. Michael Leach has had the opportunity to work with the students from C5 who journey to Wyoming for two weeks during the second year of their C5 programming since his days working as a ranger in Yellowstone National Park. After a successful collaboration which included motivational legacy presentations by Michael to C5 participants in 2010, this year we have taken our efforts with C5 and their amazing students and staff to another level.
We just finished up our first two of six program days with students from Atlanta and Dallas. After flying in from Salt Lake City, and spending a day touring Utah State University, Michael meets the C5 crew and staff at Madison Junction for an inspiring presentation about the legacy of grizzly bears, Yellowstone, and the ability of each participant to lead and leave their own legacy and create change in their communities. This is followed up by a full day tour of Yellowstone which includes a heavy dose of bear education, a stop on Dunraven Pass for a discussion of grizzlies, whitebark pine and climate change, before descending to the canyon to view the sights that legendary watercolorist Thomas Moran so beautifully documented on his 1871 journey with the Hayden Expedition that helped inspire the establishment of Yellowstone National Park. We end the day with a high energy discussion in the Hayden Valley about bison management and the importance of advocating for something in their lives. Needless to say, it is an inspiring day for all involved, and an opportunity Michael relishes.
We were also excited to participate again this year in the Mountain Sky Guest Ranche's Visions of Yellowstone Program which took place the first week of June. Michael joined up with legendary Yellowstone photographer and YCG contributor Tom Murphy to lead participants on a wildlife safari through Yellowstone’s Northern Range. The program which has been a big success these last two June’s will run this October as well and we are excited that Michael will be there to represent YCG. We certainly don't know how we could possibly top the day of wildlife watching which included newborn bison calves, grizzly bears, cubs, hunting bears and an intense wolf/coyote interaction.
With two more C5 days coming up, our big annual fundraiser on July 29th (a concert that you will not want to miss, right here at Arch Park in Gardiner) and our fast approaching second annual River Guardian Fly Fishing School, we are jamming and working hard to grow the YCG family.
We want to thank all of you who have recently contributed in response to our spring appeal. The 2011 River Guardian Fly Fishing School is looking like it is going to be another top notch program and we encourage you all to come out and see what it is all about…