The ABCs of AWLS

Exploring AWLS One Letter at a Time

American Wilderness Leadership School 2019

“ Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” -Albert Einstein.

On July 5, 2019, thirty-six educators from all across the nation converged upon the Granite Creek area of Wyoming at Safari Club International Foundation's American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS), and I, Tammy Drudy, am privileged to have been one of them. For eight lightning-paced days we soaked in the expertise of Safari Club International members about the science of conservation and the positive role that hunters and anglers play in it. We shot firearms of all sorts, studied many aspects of stream ecology, constructed our own fishing flies, and practiced fly fishing techniques. Additionally, we participated in thought-provoking--albeit sometimes heated--class discussions. We went on ecology hikes, and learned essential outdoor and survival skills. Throughout this time of fellowship, we networked with our fellow educators--and fast friends--to learn how to use the outdoors as a classroom.

To even attempt to convey what this experience has done for my heart and soul is next to impossible, but I'll try. As a primary teacher, it makes perfect sense for me to do so by incorporating the alphabet to summarize this life changing letter at a time.

A is for American Wilderness Leadership School

B is for Breathtaking Scenery

C is for Competitions

D is for Dudes

E is for Ecology

F is for Fly Fishing

G is for Grand Teton National Park

H is for Habitats

I is for Informational Field Trips

J is for Jackson Hole

K is for Kitchen

L is for Lodging

M is for Magical

N is for National Archery School Program

O is for Opportunity Through Philanthropy

P is for Project Wild

Q is for Questions

R is for Rafting

S is for SCI Foundation Staff

Todd & Co.

Unique Accolades

V is for Veterans' Park

W is for Wildlife

X is for Experts

Y is for Yellowstone

Z is for Zzzzzzzs

Closing Thoughts

As I've said, I don't believe it's possible to accurately convey what this experience has done for me as an educator, but especially as a human being. The time I spent immersed in nature is treasured, and has been a time of personal reflection. Having been a person with a strange fear--if not aversion--of firearms and hunting, I now have a great appreciation for them. Inevitably, there will be those who challenge me on this newfound stance, but I will pass along the following quote by Dr. Steven Covey that has resonated with me throughout this life-changing experience:

"Seek first to understand; then to be understood."

Thank you Safari Club International Foundation, Sables, and American Wilderness Leadership School for enriching my life in ways you'll never fully know.

-Mrs. Tamara A. Drudy

*Photo Gary Brennan, DeAnn Roggenkamp, and Vicki Husar