During this time of year, Sables and the Education staff would typically be gearing up for Work Week and the AWLS Summer Sessions at Granite Ranch in Wyoming. Sables would be recruiting volunteers to help spruce up the grounds at Granite Ranch to get it ready for the 6-7 AWLS teacher sessions that normally run throughout the summer. This year, however, things look a little different. Due to the Jackson Hole Airport being closed during the summer for renovations, AWLS teacher sessions at Granite Ranch will not be running in 2022. That, however, is not stopping Sables or SCIF from developing new education programs this year!
This year SCIF education programs are being developed to increase the impact of conservation education by expanding to larger audiences. The programs will target specific audiences (e.g., Millennials and Generation Z) and each session will have customized programming depending on the audience. Spreading our conservation and hunting messages through social media will be a main focus, as current research shows this is the primary way these generations receive their information.
The programs will focus on increasing our audience reach while providing a customized learning opportunity for each different group. Some of the audiences we are interested in reaching are social media influencers, state agency personnel, legislative employees and businesses that are fundamental to conservation.
As these programs are developed and implemented, we will be monitoring their impact and costs. This gives us a chance to assess interest in this new approach, evaluate our curricula’s impact and reach, and determine the real cost. As with any program, we will be monitoring the results and adjusting, if needed, to reach the younger generations and pass on the importance of conservation and how hunting benefits land and wildlife conservation.
Sables, in conjunction with the Education Department, are taking full advantage of the Jackson airport closing to redesign our education programming for new audiences with new methods. While this year is going to look a little different, the mission is and will still remain the same – to further the understanding of our outdoor heritage, including the positive role of hunting, through the creation and support of wildlife conservation education programs that are consistent with the educational mission and purposes of SCI and SCIF.