HoWL suspends 2017 programs, but looks forward to future

  • Thursday, February 9, 2017 1:16pm
  • News

Dear Homer Community and HoWL supporters,

HoWL (Homer Wilderness Leaders) has been empowering young leaders through outdoor education since 2009. By leading hundreds of kids on wilderness expeditions to learn leadership, stewardship and survival skills, HoWL has challenged our youth to engage with the environment, build a healthy peer community and explore this amazing place we call home, Kachemak Bay.

In addition, mountains of trash have been cleaned up, fences repaired, trails cleared and numerous other community service projects completed through the DiRtBaG (Discount Rates to Boys and Girls) scholarship program. Youth who participate in this program earn credit for summer trips while working toward a common community service goal. HoWL reflects what many of us love most about living in Homer and why we choose to raise our families here.

Like many nonprofits in town, HoWL has faced its share of challenges. In 2015 HoWL’s founder, Libby Bushell, transitioned out of the organization, and a group of dedicated volunteers stepped in to carry on her bright vision for what Homer-centered wilderness leadership could be. Then last spring, the sudden passing of HoWL’s executive director, Rick MacBean, left the HoWL community in a state of shock and grief. The HoWL board, staff and community rallied to continue programming through the summer, but this enormous effort left HoWL depleted and near collapse.

A strengthened volunteer board of directors is now determined to carry HoWL’s vision forward. The difficult decision has been made to suspend regular programming for the 2017 season and focus our energy on rebuilding the organization. We have already begun planning for a dynamic 2018 season. The dream of experiential outdoor education is alive in our vision for the future, and we invite you to join us.

It has always been the enthusiasm and support of not only the parents and kids, but our entire community, along with business leaders, that has made HoWL a vibrant force through the years. We welcome your continued support as we take up this challenge.

A heartfelt Hooooooooowwwwwwwwl to the work ahead!

The HoWL Board of Directors

Joel Cooper, president; Susannah Webster, vice president; Kate Thompson, secretary; Erik Niebuhr, treasurer; Levi Kilcher; Kate Crowley; Olga von Ziegesar and Loreta Miller

More in News

Christie Hill prepares to play “Taps” during the 9/11 memorial service on Saturday. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Homer honors lives lost during 9/11

The Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary held a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony at the… Continue reading

Judith Eckert
COVID-19 patient says monoclonal antibody infusion saved her life

Antibody infusions highly effective in reducing risk of hospitalization, according to FDA trial ..

A sign flashing “Keep COVID down” also offers information on where to get testing and vaccines on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
SPH holding steady in COVID-19 surge

Despite hospital crisis in Anchorage, Homer’s hospital not impacted, spokesperson tells Homer City Council.

Brie Drummond speaks in support of mask mandates on Monday, Sept. 13, for the Kenai Peninsula School Board meeting at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. During a work session before the meeting, the district presented revisions to its COVID-19 mitigation protocols. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
School district revises COVID-19 mitigation plans

The revisions come as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Alaska and on the Kenai Peninsula.

A protester stands outside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin building in Soldotna on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Parents square off over masks at school board meeting

Some parents said they will keep their kids home if masks are required, while others say they’ll keep their kids home if masks aren’t required.

Borough School Board election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Homer City Council election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Janie Leask, a Homer resident, spoke in support of the new multi-use community center during Monday night’s city council meeting, stating the need for community recreation is vital.
Council moves forward with HERC plans

After years of discussions and planning, the Homer City Council is quickly… Continue reading

Most Read