CODY ENTERPRISE: ‘Kids in the Woods’ educates, inspires

[PHOTO] Samantha Mariscal (right) and Lesly Linares, interns for the LEAF program (Nature Conservancy) instruct Kellin Sabin of the Boys and Girls Club of Cody how to use bear spray on July 15 at the Boot ‘n Bottle Saddle Club.


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July 29, 2015
By Elisha Smith

Some children aren’t necessarily taught the ways of the land.
The “Kids in the Woods,” program decided to change that for the Boys and Girls Club of Cody and Powell and the Kids on the Move group.The children participated in activities that would allow them to understand the importance of the forest and nature and safety within it.

“[We] taught the kids about proper ethics and keeping the forest clean and safe for other users,” Forest Service Ranger Kristie Salzmann said.

Participants learned about tasks the forest service and other environmental groups take care of throughout the forest. Nearly 70 kids participated in this two-day event.

“They’re learning about bears. They’re learning about aquatic bugs and they’re learning about some of the things we do for catching fish,” Salzmann said.

The July 16-17 program “Kids in the Woods” was created to educate children about how to prevent any forest accidents and also how the land and animals are taken care of.

“We are teaching them how to be safe in the forest with bears but also how to treat the forest right so it’s there for generations to come,” Salzmann said. “These kids are the stewards of our national land.”

Not only do they learn about some of the jobs the Forest Service and other groups take care of, they take part in some of those activities.

“[I enjoy] seeing the excitement of the kids getting together and knowing that they’re going to learn something new and get to see some cool stuff,” Salzmann said.

One station emphasized how to use bear spray properly .

“It’s nice teaching them safety tips so they can know how to use the bear spray if a bear comes,” Samantha Mariscal, an intern for the LEAF program (Nature Conservancy) said.

Added Lesly Linares, another intern: “Having the bear spray will help them protect themselves.”

Salzmann said this program is a great opportunity for young people to get out into the forest.

“We will be out in the forest so not all of these kids that come to this get to spend much time in the forest for whatever reason,” Salzmann said. “I’m looking forward to introducing some of the kids to some of the things they have never done in the forest.”

The main purpose of the program is to educate the kids about the forest in hopes to prevent any major accidents.

“[My favorite] part was when we got to feel the claws and see how big they are,” fourth-grader and Boys and Girls club member Zyler Gillespie said. “It might be important to see if it’s a grizzly bears’ claws and know how big they are.”