Thursday, March 1, 2007

Big Brothers / Big Sisters

ESCANABA — Big Brothers / Big Sisters -
Big Brothers / Big Sisiters(BBBS) of the Bay Area covers Delta, Dickinson, Menominee and Schoolcraft counties in the U.P., as well as Florence and Marinette counties just inside Wisconsin. Board Member Tanya Schuster of Escanaba, who has been involved with the organization for five years, relates that "even though most of what we do is handled through volunteer labor, we still need money to maintain the business and make the service available to our youth and the mentors who want to join them." Michigan began a Families Afield/Youth Mentoring Program several years ago. BBBS of the Bay Area has picked up on those programs with their version that incorporates them with their Outdoor Mentoring Program. To do so, they match caring adults with a passion for the outdoors with "Littles" that want to learn more about the outdoors, whether it is hunting, fishing, archery, hiking or just about any other traditional activities. BBBS recently found another way of merging minds of the young and old by incorporating a unique new game to the fold and using it as a fund raiser project. Tim Paczesny from Eastport, Mich. has developed a game and is distributing it through his company, Education Outdoors, Inc. The name of the game is "Camp" and is designed so both children and adults can play and learn fun facts about the great outdoors. The new board game Camp is designed so both children and adults can play and learn fun facts about the great outdoors. Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Bay Area is using the game to help teach "Littles" about the outdoors. The game is designed to grow with the player, starting at level one questions which are primarily identification of animals. As the players increase their knowledge about the outdoors, they grow into the higher level questions. It is a fun and educational game where parents and children can play against each other to get to Camp first. BBBS of the Bay Area also feel it will help accomplish, in part, what they have set in the Outdoor Mentoring Program principles: Respect for our natural resources and the heritage that has been built in conservation since the days of Theodore Roosevelt and Aldo Leopold. The format is modeled somewhat like Trivial Pursuit. The object of Camp is to be the first person to start a game piece at the campfire and move it around the board, following the footprints and finishing back at the campfire. All players choose a game piece and place it on a seat by the campfire. Each player must choose a level they would like to play. Level one is the easiest (suggested for beginners) and level four the hardest. The youngest player is first to roll the die and players takes turns in a clockwise order. Mentoring comes into play when the young participants learn from the experienced players. Their minds are also taxed to imagine circumstances and situations from the outdoors experience. It has a lot more creativity and challenge than many computer games and allows multiple participants which can also help you reconnect with your family while learning about the outdoors. The game is endorsed and was sponsored by U.P. Whitetails Association, Inc., and is available locally through the Northern Lodge Down Company, 7292 US Highways 2, 41 and M35 between Escanaba and Gladstone. A portion of every sale is given to Big Brothers / Big Sisters of the Bay Area. You can also contact the organization for more information at (906) 789- 0060 or via the web: This is an ideal gift for Christmas, especially for those U.P. Alumni who live away. The suggested retail price is $24.95 and can be shipped direct for a small shipping and handling charge. For those who have considered becoming a mentor, this just may be the tool to help get acquainted with a youngster who needs someone like you in their life. article by, Tim Kobasic Tim Kobasic is the Outdoors Editor for KMB Broadcasting and host/producer.