By Franklin Tate
Sometimes it is downright difficult to put something into words. Try as you might, you can’t take a personal experience and capture it in sentences or paragraphs. Language up and fails you, neglecting to convey, translate or relate.
Such was my challenge as director of TU’s Headwaters Youth Program. Summer after summer, I’ve attended TU’s summer fly fishing camps and fished with a host of the most dedicated and interesting young anglers. I have visited Trout in the Classroom programs and witnessed TU’s mission come to life for an entire classroom of fifth graders. During Teen Summits, the next generation of TU leaders never fails to impress with their passion for the sport and their informed viewpoints on why we need to protect streams and rivers. On fishing trips with Appalachian State and James Madison universities, I was energized to see students pick up rods for the first time and wade shoulder to shoulder into the waters of the Holston.
But when people ask me the $100 question, "What do you do?" I have a tough time relating all that I have seen. I can’t condense all the young and inspiring voices inside my head into a cohesive description that tells what it is to direct TU’s youth program. We needed footage; we needed those voices on tape.
So it was that the Headwaters video project got started. Two-Fisted Heart Productions traveled to five different locales around the country, capturing and recording, getting down into one solid video the young energy that is being infused into TU via its Headwaters program.