I want to convey my sincere appreciation to all of those in the community who have been involved with the launch of the Glacier Adventure Stewardship Program (GASP). This new program was built on a partnership among youth, Revelstoke Secondary School, Friends of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier, Community Connections and Parks Canada. GASP provides learning activities to youth, based on their interests. In return, participants commit to a stewardship activity in our National Parks or community. A GASP Endowment Fund has been created with the Revelstoke Community Foundation with a generous donation from Canadian Pacific.
From all of those involved, the GASP launch was a resounding success – thanks to the enthusiasm of 16 high school students, five facilitators, and four experts that shared time together at Wheeler Hut in Rogers Pass for three days in September. The weekend was a combination of hiking, photography, music and backcountry skills and lots of fun team building games. Special thanks to volunteers who shared their expertise: photographers Bruno Long and John Morrison, musician Matt Potter and guide Dave Scott. GASP participants jumped into all activities with lots of energy – and Ewan Urquart, who doing his RSS Work Experience on Videography, captured it all on video.
In the past month, GASP participants have donated 120 hours back to events and projects in the community and the National Parks. This would not have been possible without the help of leaders that facilitated the youth in stewardship activities. Thanks to Tara Johnson at the Kokanee Fish Festival, Hailey Ross at HarvestPalooza, Lisa Larson with Amphibian and Salamander Research,and Natalie Stafl with Pika Research.
The GASP participants have several ideas for future learning and stewardship activities, including the development of a logo, an exhibition of their photography, a winter skills day and a rain date for rock climbing. In return, they would like to help with the CP Holiday Train, the Mountain Roots Film Festival and the Moonlight Ski, among others. The community is invited to continue to contribute stewardship opportunities and expertise to GASP.
Outreach Education Officer, Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Park