The goal of TU's Headwaters Youth Education Initiative is to create a "stream of engagement" for youth, starting around age eight and extending into their college years. Kids can join at any time and will be provided a seamless set of activities and experiences to keep them not only actively engaged in nature and conservation, but also in touch with other young people who share their interests.
Headwaters will develop, integrate, and expand existing TU youth programs such as Trout in the Classroom, First Cast, and youth camps while also developing new partnerships and programs that will involve young people in our mission to protect and restore the nation's coldwater resources.
To read about specific examples of youth education work that TU does, view this report.
One-TU Youth Education Report
Trout Unlimited's Stream Explorer membership offers kids a chance to learn about wild fish and the natural world. Now more than ever, kids need to be inspired to get outside and discover the fascinating life of trout and salmon and the rivers that sustain them. A Stream Explorers membership is a positive step toward creating the next generation of environmental stewards.
Benefits include issues of Stream Explorers or Trout magazine, stickers, a Trout Unlimited wall calendar, and a Trout Unlimited membership card. Take a look at our Stream Explorers membership brochure or join today at our Stream Explorers website.
A flagship program of Trout Unlimited's Youth Education efforts, Trout in the Classroom offers students of all ages a chance to raise trout in a classroom setting and then release them into a nearby stream or river. During the eight months that classes spend raising trout, they closely monitor water temperature, water clarity, dissolved oxygen, ammonia levels, and pH. Because trout are extremely sensitive to changes in their environment, students learn the importance of clean water and environmental protection.
Trout in the Classroom brings nature into the classroom and allows students to develop a personal bond and sense of the conservation ethics that are at the core of Trout Unlimited's mission.
Trout Unlimited's Youth Conservation Camps and Academies came about when the late Dr. John "Jack" Beck and the late Enoch "Inky" Moore started the first camp with volunteers from Pennsylvania's Cumberland Valley chapter in 1995. Today, there are 17 of these summer camps and academies in operation across the country, all of which are organized and staffed by a network of committed Trout Unlimited volunteers.
These streamside, hands-on experiences provide more than just casting and fishing lessons, they strive to fully educate youth about the complex issues behind the restoration and protection of our streams and rivers.
Perhaps the Georgia Council of Trout Unlimited put it best: Yesterday's Georgia Trout Camper = The Next Generation of Conservation Leaders.
Part of Trout Unlimited's expanding Youth Education efforts, 5 Rivers promotes TU's mission on college and university campuses around the country. Tomorrow's conservation leaders are currently enrolled and on their way to becoming the scientists, policy makers, volunteers and anglers who will become the Trout Unlimited of the future. In order to sustain the success of its current protection and restoration of the country's coldwater resources, TU must not only share this work with college students but give them the tools and encouragement necessary to create a new generation of conservationists.
This far-reaching TU educational program is built around a curriculum that the late Phil Genova developed in order to teach kids how to fly fish, and many chapters and councils have turned to this informative resource to organize casting clinics and fishing lessons. First Cast materials also cover such topics as fundraising, safety, liability, and publicity so that any dedicated group of volunteers can utilize the program as an inclusive blueprint for their youth education event.
All First Cast materials are available in PDF formats.
The New York City and Watershed TIC program provides hands-on environmental science and conservation based education for students. TIC brings nature into the classroom, then takes students to see and experience natural trout habitats in New York Cities watersheds.
In New York City, TIC connects students to their water supply systems. In 2011, approximately six thousand NYC and NYC watershed students participated in TIC. During the 2011 Trout Release Field Days, over 1,500 NYC students visited the watershed to release their trout. For many this was their first time traveling out of NYC. It is our hope that these experiences will inspires students to become lifelong environmental stewards.