This weekend we welcomed over 400 of our members to Yosemite Valley for our annual Spring Forum. This gathering provides Yosemite lovers with an opportunity to immerse themselves in all things Yosemite. Among the offerings: Superintendent Mike Tollefson updated members on park happenings, Ranger Erik Westerlund led a walk “The Natural History of Spring,” the NPS Mounted Patrol treated attendees to an equine visit, and climber Ron Kauk previewed his new documentary with Sterling Johnson, “Return to Balance: A Climber’s Journey.”
I was delighted to work with a group of children in the afternoon during my “Become a Junior Ranger” program. The kids picked up a bag of trash, drew a bear awareness poster, learned about animal habitats, and built (on paper) a Miwok acorn storage container or chuk-ka. When they had completed their activities, park ranger Mary Kline had them recite the Junior Ranger Oath and presented them with their Junior Ranger patches, which they wore proudly. When I was a child, my parents took us to various National Parks and I remember friendly rangers helping me become a Junior Ranger; I’m happy to be able to contribute to such an important program.
If you haven’t attended this splendid event, mark your calendars for next year’s forum on March 19, 2005. We hope to see you there!