• Project raises funds so more young people can attend wilderness training
Homer’s HoWLers are howling more loudly than ever, summoning an “Evening of Adventure” that will take Homer on a virtual expedition into the wild.
Homer Wilderness Leaders, known as HoWL, just completed its third season of bringing kids into the mountains and woods of Alaska on two-to-seven-day expeditions including hiking, camping, backpacking, mountain biking, rafting, canoeing, rock climbing, surfing and mountaineering.
“An Evening of Adventure with HoWL” at 7 p.m. Saturday at Islands and Oceans Visitor Center is a chance to view original films of the Homer outdoor group and take part in an auction to purchase great deals on bear viewing trips, wholesale seafood, outdoor adventures on Kachemak Bay and 70 other items.
The point of the program goes beyond getting kids outside, said HoWL director and founder Libby Bushell.
“All HoWL courses focus on wilderness leadership, survival, and environmental stewardship. We inspire confidence and build character, as well as encourage creativity, zaniness, laughing and getting muddy.”
The HoWL craze is catching on. This summer, HoWL brought more than 120 kids on 14 wilderness expeditions, including a three-day climb and surf trip which combined rock climbing and stand-up paddle boarding with Surf Alaska; and a seven-day canoeing and backpacking trip to Skilak Lake in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.
In 2012, HowL also launched its DiRtBaG program (Discount Rates to Boys and Girls), wherein a dozen students picked up nearly 2,000 pounds of litter during Homer Clean-Up Week, and raised $2,000 for their own HoWL scholarships. HoWL also started the Day Trippers Program to incorporate easier, low-cost day trips into the summer program.
This summer, HoWL kids also learned about the art of film making, by creating two movies: one general film about HoWL and another teaching Leave No Trace principles.
The two films features Homer’s very own emerging movie stars in some funny, often zany, sometimes daring, always inspiring footage in the field.
HoWL will premier its two films as part of its “Evening of Adventure.”
HoWL will screen Sweetgrass Productions’ latest ski film: “Solitaire,” a backcountry ski and snowboard film that takes viewers deep into the remote high desert of South America, along the length of the continent from Peru’s Cordillera Blanca, to the spires of Argentina’s legendary Las Lens, to some of the most remote regions of Chilean Patagonia.
At its Saturday event, HoWL will be announcing its expedition schedule for summer 2012, and auctioning off several HoWL trips to get even more young people into the mountains and woods of Alaska.
“We thought this would be a great time for the kids to premiere their films and show off their amazing accomplishments from this summer,” said Bushell. “And the HoWL auction is a great way to get hot deals on holiday gifts that support HoWL.”
Cost $10 general admission, $8 for HoWLers, all proceeds benefiting HoWL. For more information, visit www.howlalaska.org.
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