Earlier this week, more than 150 sixth grade students from Floyd Dryden Middle School ventured onto the firing range and woods off Montana Creek Road to test their outdoor skills.
The Outdoor Skills and Safety Program is available to all 6th grade students in Juneau.
The program is more than just firearm safety and hunter educations, says volunteer coordinator Jesse Kiehl, who has been involved with the program for 6 years.
“The benefits of this program go way way beyond firearm safety and a Hunter Ed card, so we try to get as many kids involved as possible.”
Kiehl says schools encourage participation in the program because many of the segments apply to all of life in Alaska.
Trip planning, cold water safety and survival, wildlife management, the science that’s involved in meat care, and the mathematics of land navigation are all parts of the curriculum.
“We focus at all times on firearm safety, on safety in the woods, in the field. If the kids take nothing else away from this, every one of them gets a grasp on the basic rules of firearm safety and how to be safe around a firearm. This is Alaska. The vast majority of these kids have a firearm in the home and if they don’t, there’s one in their friend’s house, or more than one. So knowing how to be safe around them is an essential skill for every Alaska kid.”
The program is volunteer driven with people from various groups involved. It is supported by the ADF&G Hunter Education Program, the U.S. Forest Service, Alaska State Troopers and the Taku River Sportsman’s Association.
- Alaska Airlines pilots have reached a breaking point in negotiations with the company, and now have plans to picket outside Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. The pilots plan to picket starting at 1 p.m. Monday outside the airport in Anchorage.
- Jenkins was taking a practice run through the class four rapids when a bystander filming the event, noticed another participant, Daniel Hartung, 64, of Indian Valley, flipped out of his kayak and became pinned under a log.
- The Tazlina is the first of two new Alaska Class ferries that the Ketchikan Vigor Alaska shipyard is building for the state. Its two halves are complete and welded together, and shipyard workers are busy getting interior spaces done.
- The Alaska Marine Highway is taking reservations for October through April sailings. The schedule changed so the Matanuska can get new engines.