I had the opportunity to interview a couple of fascinating people last week, for the up-coming Sisters Oregon Guide. One of them was Kirk Metzger, a world-class kayaker who counts numerous solos of the Colorado River amongst his accomplishments, but who also spent 34 years working for the Forest Service in almost every conceivable capacity.
I met Kirk on the Corbett Ranch, in Camp Sherman, where he lives with his wife Glen, an artist and fire lookout–yes, the Alone On A Mountaintop variety–in one of the more beautiful mountain valleys I have seen in this lifetime.
Kirk’s list of accomplishments is long and impressive, including a combat tour in Vietnam, dozens of years as a wildland firefighter, and many years developing equitable land use programs in various forests and on a long list of rivers, but he was intensely proud of his work with Sisters High School’s IEE program, where he has volunteered for many years. I knew nothing about the IEE program, but immediately fell in love with the concept. IEE means Interdisciplinary Environmental Education, combining English, Science, and Outdoor Recreation classes.
A former student, Samuel Pyke has created a fine video explaining his experiences and highlighting some of the expeditions the kids partake in.
We can all get on board with something this educational, and because I know there are any number of parents among my readers, I wanted to push this out to you. It’s a truly terrific concept, and is truly working, and the astonishing number of program graduates who return each year to volunteer in its continuing success says more than I can. Check it out.