|Idaho Fish and Game Conservation Officer Tom Whalen talks trout.|
|U of I Extension Water Educator Jim Ekins|
|I always love seeing former students in action as teachers. Molly McCahon, Lake *A*Syst coordinator for Bonner County Soil and Water Conservation, led a group discussion AFTER a distracting spider was removed from her outdoor classroom.|
|Because I was just passing through, I never caught the gist of this, but that license plate covered with all those shells kept students like Caleb (my next-door neighbor) in rapt attention as Megan Lawrence explained the situation.|
|A rather nice setting and a beautiful day to learn about water at Laclede's Riley Creek Campground.|
|This scene replicated the challenges for fish as they try to get upstream to spawn. Occasionally, there's a predator or two in the way.|
|Well-known Sandpoint nature lover Gail Lyster led a popular session about animal tracks.|
|Former Panida Theater manager Karen Bowers came along to help Gail.|
|After listening to some highlights about different classes of animal tracks, students went to work, adorning their personal bandanas with a wide variety of tracks.|
|My friend Ruby, a senior at Sandpoint High School, volunteered to help out with Waterfest.|
|With bandanas complete, students chose various ways to wear their finished product.|
|Students heard tidbits about mapmaker/explorer David Thompson and fur traders as they roamed the woods, directed by compasses.|
|And, a few fur traders showed up to tell about their experiences in the wild.|
|Beautiful Riley Creek Campground, perennial setting for the annual Waterfest, exhibited some added beauty yesterday as the bridal wreath is already in full bloom.|
I spent most of yesterday on the run and on the road. My sister Laurie invited me to the annual Waterfest at Riley Creek Campground in Laclede.
Yesterday was my first experience at the 20-year-old event which has numerous stations around the campground for elementary students to learn about water, its quality and its importance in our environment.
Last week I was impressed with the high quality of education that is imparted to students at the Idaho State Forestry Contest. Same is true with Waterfest. It's beyond impressive.
In both cases, many students have been prepped in their regular classrooms for several months leading up to the day of outdoor education. Instructors provide hands-on approaches to concepts learned, and from what I saw yesterday, the event provides a great day of fun for the students and their instructors AND for a visiting photographer.
I had to leave Waterfest early for an appointment with Ken, my new investment counselor.
I learned a little more about investments and that he and another longtime staff member from Edward Jones on Pine Street will soon be moving to the new office complex in Ponderay across from Sand Creek Conoco at the Schweitzer stoplight.
With a Starbucks also moving into that complex, that's gonna be pretty handy for me.
After that meeting, I headed home to do some quick projects and change clothes for the PAFE reception where recipients in the local teaching profession and POAC received 52 grants for educational enrichment projects next year.
My sister Barbara and Willie received a grant for the journalism convention trip next year, Debbie accepted two grants for POAC, including the Kaleidoscope program and my sister Laurie accepted a grant, which she coordinated with Debbie, Barbara and my niece Laura.
Later, special awards were given, and that caught Laurie offguard because their grant to bring in a Native American cultural speaker and dancers for a special day next school term won a beautiful plaque honoring the memory of Betty Ann Diehl, who was a great proponent of and contributor to the arts in Sandpoint.
Pretty neat program, to say the least, and I know family members are pretty proud and happy about these grants.
So, we went to dinner to celebrate. That involved another trip home and another change of clothes. The day finally ended around 9 p.m. but with a feeling of satisfaction about the day and about the tremendous educational opportunities here in our area. The future looks great.