I am so close to graduating from the University of Utah. I just need to complete an internship and then I am done! So, I chose to, once again, intern with Tread Lightly!. This summer, I will be focusing on working with the Stewardship and Education Department. One of my goals this summer is to work with Tread Lightly! at their outreach events. From the first event, I can tell that I am in for an adventure this summer.
Tread Lightly! reaches out to organizations who are putting on events that involve the outdoors and the outdoor community. Some of the events that Tread Lightly! has attended are Rally on the Rocks, the Easter Jeep Safari and Boy Scout Jamborees. The hope is that we can spread the message of responsible recreation and how it is important to take care of our favorite recreational areas. This weekend, Tread Lightly! had the opportunity to have a booth at The Outdoor Adventure Days at the Lee Kay Public Shooting Center in Magna, Utah. As an intern, I was invited to see the behind the scenes work of putting a booth together.
Outdoor Adventure Days is a free event that the Utah Division of Natural Resources plans to host annually. This year, it was held June 13th to June 14th for the first time. This event included many activities such as archery, target shooting, fishing, ATV riding, bird shows and more. I was excited to be part of it.
I was thrilled to work beside Evan, the Programs Manager at Tread Lightly!. As anyone who has met him knows, he has a positive attitude that encourages anyone to have a good time. Our plan was to set up on Thursday so that we could be ready for the event on Friday morning. We drove out there and set up our sunshade. Luckily, we did not set out any of the brochures or posters or banners. During the night, the wind had picked up and blew our sunshade several yards. As the eager intern, I arrived to the Lee Kay Shooting Center earlier than Evan, who had warned me that our shade might need a little work. I drove up to where we had left our sunshade to find an empty patch of ground. After asking several people if they knew where it had gone, I was pointed towards an open field. There, I could see the sunshade and its frame leaning against a wire fence. “A little work” was an understatement. The frame was so bent that it would not extend to its full height and the shade leaned to one side. I decided that we should probably retire it. Luckily, the DNR had brought extra sunshades and they were able to lend us one and save the day. So once Evan arrived and the booth was set up, we were ready to start the day.
We had several visitors who were interested in our message and mission. It was a great experience to practice talking to people. Most were hunters and some were fishers and some were kids that were dragged to the fair by their parents. But all were outdoor enthusiast who shared an interest in responsible recreation. I was able to walk around the fair and meet the other vendors. I talked to several, including The Mule Deer Foundation who was the title sponsor for the event. I also spoke to Safari Club international, Hoyt Archery, Earth Wings, and Delta Water Wings. These are all organizations that were out there to spread the message of recreating in the outdoors. Tread Lightly! also gave away an Adjust-A-Grill to one of our visitors who signed up as a friend of Tread Lightly!
Despite the wind, I really enjoyed my first recreational outreach event. I could see the success of Outdoor Adventure Days and I really hope that it will be there next year so that I can attend with my friends and family.