For two decades, Boomerang Club’s mission has been to teach human respect for nature. Since 2001, Boomerang chair Valentina Mezentseva and her colleagues have stepped up to fill knowledge gaps regarding ecology and pollution of the Earth. They’ve worked with schoolchildren ages 8 to 16 across Sakhalin Oblast (provincial region) by building local ecology into lesson plans and field trips that reach nearly every child on Sakhalin Island. Now Boomerang’s unique conservation curricula is expanding across the Russian Far East, as school systems in regions from Khabarovsk to Kamchatka, Primorye, Buryatia, and beyond are embracing Boomerang’s field-tested results.
Students participating in Boomerang’s camps and classes learn about wilderness safety, stage dramatic plays, and engage with bright, colorful coursework on salmon species. Contests, adventure excursions, board games—in Boomerang’s hands, these activities are all tools for kickstarting a lifelong love of nature. In summer 2019, for example, Boomerang partnered with Kamchatka’s Kronotsky Zapovednik nature reserve on a first-of-kind competition for conservation-focused lesson plans. (The winning curricula are now freely available via Boomerang’s website.) And Mezentseva is particularly excited about a new, WSC-supported educational initiative called “Young Friends of the Ocean,” which packages all of Boomerang’s priority themes—from salmon conservation to marine habitats—into one formal program. It’s the kind of highly interactive learning that Wild Salmon Center, a Boomerang partner since 2009, is proud to support.