Students are hard at work preparing for the international debut of the fishing flasher project in January 2014.

Outdoor Education going international in 2014

Nakusp Secondary Outdoor Education students are representing Nakusp once again, and this time they’re being ambassadors to the entire world.

Nakusp Secondary Outdoor Education students are representing Nakusp once again, and this time they’re being ambassadors to the entire world.

A dozen students are heading down to the Big Smoke of Vancouver to take part in the International Boat Show Jan. 22-26. The excursion is a five-day extravaganza that sees around 35,000 people interested in boats and big fishing sail past the booths in BC Place Stadium.

Having learned some of the tricks of the trade show when Outdoor Ed. went to the BC Boat and Sportsmen Show in Abbotsford last spring, the kids are taking what was learned and ramping it up for an international crowd.

Right now, depending on when you’re reading the paper, students are hard at work making their signature fishing flashers to sell at the show. And they’ve gotten crafty about it, in more ways than one.

“My room looks like Santa’s workshop right now,” a child labour version, joked Boswell. The outdoor ed class has also recruited more kids to work on completing the flashers they’re taking down to the coast, and they’re pulling out all the stops to make sure they’re ready.

But there are real costs to making the trip with the junior entrepreneurs.

“I can’t believe how expensive it is,” remarked Outdoor Ed. teacher Dorian Boswell. This trip’s costs will be about $5-6,000, the lion’s share of which will be spent on hotel rooms for students and chaperones. Fortunately, show organizers gave the students a deep discount for their project, said the teacher, which has been a huge help.

People are eager to help the class out, when they hear what they’re doing. There is a lot of support for the kind of real-world, entrepreneurial educational experience that comes with running a booth at a trade show. Vendors and visitors were very impressed by the Outdoor Ed. students’ level of professionalism in the spring, and this trip is aiming to be another big hit. Monetary costs aside, the experience is invaluable said Boswell.

“It’s a fun thing to do. The kids are actually having fun making flashers,” Dorian told the Arrow Lakes News. Not only are the senior students learning about marketing, they are learning to train the next generation. The kids teach junior students how to make the flashers, and learn some conflict resolution skills at the same time, quipped Boswell. Next, elementary students will be learning archery from secondary school mentors. The value of outdoor education is clear to parents of some students (as you can read on p.4) and to Arrow Lakes Search and Rescue who help fund the program.

But it does take a village to raise a child, or in this case a group of students with a great opportunity. In order to offset costs, the outdoor ed diplomats will take promotional materials to the trade show, for a fee. Businesses or groups anywhere in the valley are welcome to bring brochures to the Nakusp Information Centre before Jan. 4. For 30 bucks (for chamber members) or $45, they’ll take them to the show, with half the proceeds going to the trip and the other half to the chamber to cover administrative costs. Videos and pictures can be given directly to Dorian Boswell.

This trip is just the beginning for the class and their fishing flashers, who have been asked to enter the Junior Dragon’s Den contest being held by Community Futures throughout the West Kootenay. Keep your eyes peeled: these kids are going places.

 

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