by Deannie Dunbar '13
The Camano and Whidbey SWS Training class of 2017 is best described as energetic, enthusiastic and committed to learning about Camano and Whidbey Islands and the Salish Sea. Many new members bring significant background knowledge to share in class discussions while others are learning key concepts for the first time. Regardless of individual backgrounds, the class as a whole demonstrates a positive commitment to the core principles of the SWS Education and Training program. In addition to actively engaging in the classes and field trips, individual trainees are extending their learning by participating in other SWS activities, including SWS monthly meetings, Nature Discovery Days, 4th Wednesday Community Education nights, and joining many volunteer committees. Bio-monitoring on Island County beaches begins this month and most class members have signed up to attend one or more of the monitoring activities.
Over 80% of the 2017 class members were recruited and sponsored by current SWS members. This year, many of our experienced SWS members attend the 2017 lectures to enhance their own personal growth and to demonstrate support for new members. While the learning is the focus for everyone, the interaction of the long-time members with the new ones helps to build a sense of pride and commitment for the organization.