SSC Humanitarian Award winner and member Robert Deitz had a chance to speak with 50 high school students on conservation last month. He conducted his lecture in SSC member’s Phil Hartvig’s class (who will be going to the AWLS program this Summer).
Robert discussed humanitarian programs, social media hysteria, actual numbers for wildlife and how hunters have after those.
Robert Deitz's son just entered High School, so he asked the principle if he could give a presentation on conservation and wildlife and what hunters do for that. The principle sent his email out to several teachers and one of the Biology teachers, Phil Hartvig, reached out.
After speaking with Phil Robert also let him know about the club’s sponsorship for the Outdoor Wilderness Leadership School - which Phil then applied for and was accepted to. It took a while to get enough time to have at least 60 minutes, but an opportunity came up when the school was having a speaker on social media (they had a student kill a family member last year). After that full school meeting the students had a short day and were assigned a room for two hours with an open schedule - which Mr. Hartvig called Robert on to fill.
Since Robert had given the same basic presentation to Robbie's Kindergarten, 2nd grade class, 6th grade class, and the Rifa Camp families in Zimbabwe he was ready to go! The timing was very good as the students had just had a presentation of the dangers and false information spread on social media. Cecil the Lion was brought up, and all the false information spread about that incident. Robert also had a recent incident where he posted on his Facebook account his attendance at the Safari Club convention and became a target of social media "Trollers" who then posted false reports to his Facebook page.
The presentation became more interactive as it went, with Mr. Hartvig bringing up web sites as Robert spoke - PETA, HSUS, Cecil the Lion etc. This was something High School kids understand, and it reinforced the presentation the whole school had just attended. So many of the kids responded to actually looking at the source of the information, or actually digging in such as the Report card on donation use posted for HSUS - which is not good.
The presentation ended with students coming up to Robert after the session and thanking him, with every one saying they had learned something they did not know. And that included the teacher, who previously worked for the Forest Service!
Robert has offered to come back - hopefully the students talk to others and another teacher will want to learn more!
Thank you Robert for your involvement and dedication to teaching the next generation!