Conservation Means Something

This week’s blog was written by Sam P., an Ursids alumni. Sam attended the Wildlife Leadership Academy because he dreams of becoming a game warden. Sam loves to be outdoors and love all things in it. He is an Eagle Scout as well, with which he really enjoys camping, biking, hiking, and absolutely loves kayaking. In school Sam is active in Envirothon, the golf team, rifle team, and tennis team. He is also involved in marching band and Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Through WLA, Sam has learned countless new leadership skills to get the public interested in the outdoors and he looks forward to doing so as long as he is able.

What is conservation? The dictionary defines it as, “prevention of wasteful use of a resource.” The true meaning is what is in you and me. How do we make an impact to protect our resources? The Wildlife Leadership Academy is just the place to learn this. The Academy sets out to make its participants Conservation Ambassadors. With this role comes large responsibilities, but most importantly, a lifetime of opportunity. I have learned key methods on how to lead others to live a good, earth-loving life.

With the leadership skills and values I have learned, I help promote others to get involved. Within the past year I have had amazing opportunities to go and talk to third and fourth graders at my local elementary school about what it takes to be conservation minded. The pure joy of seeing kids wanting to be active in the outdoors makes me excited about my future. By teaching kids and younger audiences, I have been able to promote the Academy, my school’s Envirothon team, hunting and fishing values, and above all – getting them interested in the outdoors.

Day teaching elementary schoolers about wildlife habitat.

The Academy has taught me so many other things besides leadership skills. I have always been interested in becoming a game warden, and the Academy has laid a foundation for me. I have learned interesting things which I never could see myself doing before. Nature photography is one of my favorite things to do now because of this experience. Since then I have made up my own portfolios full of pictures.

Because of WLA one of my favorite hobbies is not nature/wildlife photography. This is one of my favorite photos that I have taken. Named “Window into the Wild.”

As a Boy Scout, as well, I have applied what I learned in the Academy to lead others in my troop. My Eagle Project helped out the Game Commission with local game lands. I know for certain that I will always cherish and treasure these skills I have obtained. What really matters is how to use them in order to serve and help others.

In Scouts I am a Outdoor Ethics Guide. The skills I have learned from WLA really improved my knowledge. Here I am teaching Leave No Trace to a new troop in my area.

The future of conservation starts with all of us. We need to do our part to help this planet. So get involved with local issues. Help out with Envirothon. Volunteer at your local conservation district. Lead others in the fight to conserve our natural resources. I can only do as much as I possibly can to help spread these ideas. For the future of conservation starts with all of us.

The photos used in this blog belong to the author.