YOW! (Youth on Water) Program
What is YOW!?
Youth on Water (YOW!) is the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition’s flagship program. More than just an outdoor recreation program YOW! is focused on empowering local youth through water level activities.
The responsibility of stewardship of one of the most extraordinary regions in North America will soon fall to the youth of our region. The YOW! program aims to raise youth and community awareness about the importance of our rivers, for recreation, culture and survival.
YOW! helps to educate young people, their families and communities on the current threats to the integrity of the Skeena Watershed and develops today’s youth into tomorrow’s conservation leaders. The future is YOW!
The HOW of YOW!
The Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition is dedicated to ensuring that the YOW! program remains FREE to participants. In 2013 this is made possible with the support of our partners: Tides Canada Initiatives and the Gitanmaax Band Council.
The success of the YOW! program is testament to the unwavering support of our community: First Nations partnerships, generous donations and sponsorship from SWCC members, the unwavering commitment of SWCC staff and volunteers, and of course, through the participation of our youth!
YOW! Program goals
1) To raise awareness amongst local youth about conservation issues in the Skeena.
2) To build self-esteem amongst the youth participants and empower them to become leaders in their communities.
3) To develop river and rafting job skills to equip local youth with tangible and transferable job skills that will assist them in their future vocations.
4) To provide meaningful, and healthy, recreation opportunities for local youth.
5) To provide youth with an opportunity to learn about traditional First Nations stewardship of the Sacred Headwaters and Skeena Watershed.
The YOW! program varies from year to year, but one thing always remains the same, YOW! gets youth out on the river, learning and having fun!
We are proud to announce that YOW! 2013 will be held in the following communities this summer!
The 2013 YOW! program structure
The 2013 program is designed to inspire youth about the outdoors, provide valuable raft and swift water skills and educate youth about local environmental issues.
While participants do not gain any formal certification at the completion of YOW! the program provides a great taster for youth interested in pursuing careers in the outdoors and conservation.
White water skills training – After an introduction to swift water rescue training, YOW! participants get to practice their new skills on every river trip. How to recognize danger, choosing the best line through a set of rapids and what to do if you fall out of the raft in the rapids! By the end of the program each student will come away with real whitewater skills to apply on any river in the world and stay safe.
Fish and Wildlife – With the help of local fish biologists YOW! participants gain a rare glimpse into the life cycle of Skeena salmon and trout. Youth learn how to identify and sample fish with experts to understand the role of salmon and other wildlife in the watershed.
First Nations Collaboration – The YOW! program is developed in partnership with local First Nations. Particpants will learn about the history and culture of this region, and how it is important to the overall understanding of how we are connected to the watershed, and to each other.
Raising awareness about developments in the Sacred Headwaters – The Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition works with youth to educate them about the developments in the Sacred Headwaters and their downstream impacts on the river and environment. At the end of this module, the youth will have an understanding of impacts of developments on their watershed, and will feel confident speaking on the topic in their communities.
Self esteem building, leadership, and skills training – SWCC works hard to ensure that the YOW Program is not only lots of fun, but also builds self-esteem and the capacity of our awesome youth. Our goal is that all our youth participants make new friends, connect with positive role models, learn new skills and knowledge and become empowered as leaders!
Find out more about YOW!
Contact Cynthia McCreery for more information:
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The Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition, Tides Canada Initiatives and the Gitanmaax Band Council are proud to bring you YOW! 2013