Engaging Youth

3 imaging portraying different youth training experiences

As those with skill and experience working with traditional tools, particularly pack stock, begin to retire and society’s reliance on technology increases, we risk losing this unique skillset and the great capability pack stock offer for wilderness management. The Pack Stock Center of Excellence seeks to address this challenge in two ways:

  1. Each year the Center recruits and trains four apprentices (two in the North and two in the South part of the Region). Interns are provided with the opportunity to work with and learn from seasoned packers.
  2. Region 5 Forests that do not have their own pack stock resources may request support from the Center. Center pack stock resources can be mobilized, providing forests with the capacity to support and resupply youth crews working on projects in remote wilderness locations.

The Center strives to develop a next generation of packers, ensure the long legacy of pack stock use on public lands and expose youth to wilderness and primitive tools. These early experiences have the power to instill a lifelong land ethic and connection with public lands as places for recreating, earning and volunteering that may last a lifetime.