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In isolation, each approach has seen measured success. However, the isolation of these programs serves to limit overall effectiveness. Realistically put, how can a single initiative have a sustained impact on youth (i.e., an impact that is measured in years), when its interaction with the youth occurs over a period measured in days, weeks, or months?

In reality, the only way to sustain impact upon youth, is to have near continuous contact with the youth, and to offer outlets for their interest. Too often, these conditions are beyond the capacity, mandate or the lifespan of the initiative in question.

A Possible Solution:

One possible solution to this challenge would be to combine, in sequence, the various approaches that have been used in the past to create a seamless stream or continuum for capacity development (see attached Figure).

How the Concept Could Work:

  • Youth participate in an initiative that targets early teens (i.e., science camps, junior wardens,


  • From this group, motivated youth, or youth that show promise, are encouraged to graduate to

the next phase of continuum (i.e., an initiative that targets older youth).

  • Mentoring, and career counselling are provided on an ongoing basis, with opportunities for

upgrading provided as needed.

  • With each subsequent phase of the continuum, youth are offered, through various combined

initiatives (career path options).

  • It is not necessary for youth to participate in every phase of the continuum. Youth can enter at

any point along the development path.

  • Youth entering at any point in the continuum would be tracked until an outcome was achieved.

Outcomes include exiting from the overall initiative, and entry into the workforce.

  • Tracking could include a number of factors, from academic performance and perceptions of the

youth to a career in natural resources.

Proceedings from ForestEDWest II – Banff, Alberta – January 2006

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