YODA first: As many of you may know, Summit’s Missoula youth advisory group, Youth Opening Doors through Advocacy (YODA), has identified more social activities and access to recreation as one of their goals as a group. So, we took their advice and went bowling and fishing this summer!!
For the YODA meeting in July, a group of around 15 went bowling at Westside Lanes in Missoula and at least one of us was dumb enough to bet on one of these games. No money was wagered but to make a long story short, Mike Beers lost and had to sport a Pho-hawk hair-do for a day and, thanks to Mary and Jude in the Missoula office in helping to apply massive amounts of hair gel and their styling expertise, the new hair-do was a big success and a great conversation piece.
For our August meeting, we teamed up with Montech to go fishing. Montech was able to bring some of their adaptive outdoor recreation equipment they have from their Montana Access To Outdoor Recreation (MATOR) program http://recreation.ruralinstitute.umt.edu.
Thanks to Cara, one of the YODA members, and her grandparents, we were able to spend the day checking out the adaptive recreation equipment while eating burgers and potato salad at their private pond. Between everyone in the group, we must have pulled 15 little Pike out of that pond.
The catch of the day though, definitely went to Mary Olson who, after spending most of the day baiting hooks and untangling other peoples lines, stepped up to the pond and like Babe Ruth, called her shot! Mary pointed to the middle of the pond and said “I’m catching a big one right there.” It wasn’t two minutes later that she reeled a six-pound trout up onto the shore!!
Building Advocacy and Learning Leadership Skills (BALLS) is in full swing! The school year is only a month old and by October 6th we will have started and finished 6 BALLS classes in Missoula 5 at Big Sky (Thanks Mrs. Bryant) and 1 at Sentinel (Thank Mrs. Coulter). Classes will continue on throughout the school year at various high schools and this spring we will be teaching our inaugural class at Frenchtown High School.