CHAPTER SIX- Grassroots Community Involvement

Grassroots Community Involvement

  1. Ideas on How to Start and Run a Junior Dog Mushing Club.

Establishing a Junior Dog Mushing Club gives youth a great way to learn about working together outside the structure of school. Additionally, it gives youth the opportunity to learn about turning ideas into reality with the casual support of adults. One of the important considerations is a meeting place. Ideally, a youth center can offer a neutral space with a sense of responsibility; the club “belongs” to the youth and they make the decisions. It is best that one adult volunteer commits to attending all club meetings so youth can feel the security of an adult advocate. The meetings are open to any age but make sure parents know they must accompany toddlers. Adult volunteers, including dog mushers, are encouraged to attend. At a minimum, youth should vote on a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. Try to meet at least once a week around mid-week especially for planning weekend gatherings as it allows addition time to call another meeting to further organize for the event if needed. Create a poster to announce club meetings every Monday and obtain permission to post it in a consistent place at school and in high traffic places like the post office and store.

             ~Example of Huslia Junior Dog Mushing Club Posters

             ~Examples of Activity Ideas for a Junior Dog Mushing Club


  1. Ideas on How to Help Youth Plan Meetings and Sled Dog Activities at the Kennels

Work with the club secretary to keep a meeting attendance list and notes for each meeting. Encourage youth to invite Elders to help them discuss good meeting topics and a club logo. Help youth make lists of weekly and monthly goals. Encourage youth to contact community leaders for help on identifying potential advisors to present at club meeting(s). Have youth decide who and when calls will be made to community members. Make a calendar so there is information to add to a poster every week. Invite kennel owners/dog mushers to meeting to discuss weekend events at their kennels. Have youth decide the pairing of middle and high school age-youth with elementary age-youth for weekend visits to the kennels. Invite kennel owners, adult dog race organizers, timers, and trail support to help youth plan a youth race. Encourage youth to request adult mentors in areas of interest.

             ~Examples of Other Junior Mushing Clubs, Camps and Alaska 4-H

             ~Examples of Weekend Activities at Kennels (To Be Added)

             ~Examples of Weekend Youth Day Races and Community Sled Dog Racing Events(To Be Added)

  1.  Ideas on How to Involve Youth in Fund Raising for Racing Trips with Dog Teams

Empower youth to take charge on reaching goals they set including traveling with dog teams to race in other villages or the city. Discuss all costs involved and hold brainstorming meetings about ways to support such trips. Have youth select a fund raising committee and lead person to communicate with community about their goals. Encourage youth to keep asking advice from Elders and community members on how to have bake sales, raffles, and work parties to raise funds. Encourage youth to stay involved in all decision-making.

  1. References for Communities

~About Cultural Teaching
      ~Culturally Responsive Instruction
      ~“Self Determination through Self-education”

      ~Culturally Responsive Teaching Methods
      ~Alaska Standards for Culturally Responsive Schools
      ~Creating Culturally Responsive Schools

~Ideas for Youth & Sled Dog logos, banners, drawings, and calendars

~Awards sources