How I Got to Know ELK

Liberty Shellman
NEW ELK Staff Member
Resource Development Assistant

A big part of  working at ELK (no matter what your ‘day’ position entails)  is getting outdoors with the kids.  It’s who we are, and why we do what we do.  Even when our day job is answering e-mails, writing letters and making phone calls, we do it because we love ELK and we love being with the kids.

So no surprise, when I first started here I was given an ‘interactive’ component to my orientation.

I had three months to get to know ELK by going on ELK programs, hanging out with the kids and doing little get-to-know-you sessions with key ELK stakeholders. What a great job, right?

…the interviews…

The process is pretty smart really.  In order for me to figure out who I should be talking to I had to do a little investigative reporting around the office.  By talking to other ELK staff, I was able to puzzle out who our key ‘stakeholders’ were and why they were so important.  This practice ensured that I knew a LOT more about ELK before I even started getting to know ELK

So off I went to learn about ELK and my first three months have been a blur.

I’ve been out fishing, snow shoeing, digging trees, learning about bugs, shooting bow and arrows, wildlife watching, holding snakes and learning all about science and science related careers – whew!!

I sat with, lunched with, walked with, taught, talked, and listened to a whole bunch of amazing people – maybe even YOU – and I learned a TON!

Here are just a few of the really interesting things that I found out…

  • People LOVE ELK.  Seriously, they LOVE it. Everyone – students, parents, teachers, alum, staff, everybody loves ELK. The saying is now, to know ELK is to love ELK.
  • All the kids and parents talked about noticing a change after they became involved in ELK.  Mostly an increased interested in things like the outdoors and (gasp!) going to college!
  • Everyone is motivated by the kids, even the kids are motivated by the kids!Like my favorite interviewee, Nya Wallace put it

you have to help yourself before you help others

Nya plans to go to college and use education and the tools that ELK taught her to impact the world.  Now that’s cool!