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THE SKIER SCRIBBLER

The student news site of Aspen High School

THE SKIER SCRIBBLER

The student news site of Aspen High School

THE SKIER SCRIBBLER

Youth In Nature Sparks Interest Outdoor Stewardship

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Ben Sherman
The 2023-2024 YIN class at Margy’s Hut on June 13th, 2023.

Youth In Nature (YIN) is a year-long paid internship program powered by Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers (RFOV) open to 10th, 11th, and 12th-grade students from Aspen to Parachute. YIN aims to connect students across the Western region with new people, places, and outdoor professionals to foster engagement in the outdoors. Throughout the year, students will focus mainly on outdoor stewardship through collaboration with various local non-profit organizations while simultaneously learning new skills such as wilderness first aid and snow science.

After going through the application process, about 10 students are selected to participate in YIN for the coming year. The journey starts off with a July hut trip up to Margy’s Hut, located in Lenado, CO. This first excursion serves as an initial icebreaker and allows the group to establish connections with one another. This is essential as the coming year is spent with these same students and leaders. From there, YIN meets one Saturday every month to explore different regions of Colorado and build a skill set specifically geared toward the outdoors.

Anasophia Brown is a current YIN student and a sophomore at Roaring Fork High School. She expresses how this program has been a great outlet, allowing her to follow her passions and connect with new people of similar ages around Colorado.

“Youth in Nature has genuinely been one of the most fulfilling, fun, and rewarding experiences of my life. I’ve made so many new friends and with them memories I want to hold on to forever. Not only have I learned so much, but I have connected with myself, my peers, and the surrounding environment,” Brown said.

Currently, the 2023-2024 YIN group is about halfway through the year and so far has embarked on the trip to Margy’s Hut, visited The Farm Collaborative to learn about sustainable farming techniques, hiked to the Maroon Bells to learn about geology with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) and built a rock staircase while canyoneering in the Colorado National Monument. In December, every YIN student also got certified in Wilderness First Aid, and then in January, they adventured up Aspen Mountain to participate in a day-long avalanche safety course with the Buddy Program.

Two Aspen High School seniors, Caleb Seward and Aidan Tracey, participated in the YIN program last year. Despite 2023 being the first year of the program, it was extremely successful and rewarding to the participants. Both Seward and Tracey enjoyed their year with YIN as it pushed them outside their comfort zone and to participate in activities that otherwise would not have been considered. As YIN progresses into its second year, students have been providing feedback to the leaders after every session to try to improve the program as it is still in its early stages of development.

The Roaring Fork Valley is a small place to begin with, however creating smaller communities that can serve as a reliable network of people and give back to the environment that has fostered so much growth is imperative, especially for high schoolers. Applications for the 2024-2025 YIN year opened on January 15th and will extend until April 15th. If you are interested start your application now because early submissions are greatly encouraged. Good luck, the mountains are calling, so go!

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About the Contributor
Elsa Tullar, Editor-in-Chief
Elsa is a senior at AHS and is one of the Editor-in-chiefs for the Skier Scribbler.  This is her third year participating in the journalism program and has enjoyed exploring different leadership positions and styles of writing.  Elsa is an avid skier and pickleball player and will do anything to get a plate of tacos.  Additionally, Elsa enjoys spending her time being active outside and educating young students about journalism and the environment.

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