In Their Own Words: Alumni Updates — Brooke Edwards
Feel inspired by our engaged alumni and learn how significant bus Resource Experiences still impact them years after the fact!
Brooke Edwards – Where real change lives
I’m currently living in the oldest log cabin in Girdwood, Alaska linking together a seasonal life guiding in the remote wilds of Alaska doing backpacking, rafting and sea-kayaking trips during the summer; spending the winter working as a ski instructor, an avalanche educator, a coach and volunteering for She Jumps, a national non-profit organization promoting more women and girls in the outdoors. I live with my 12 year old Husky mutt, Nunatak who has climbed and skied more peaks in Alaska than most can dream of and is now retired happily and cozily.
I still have the lariat hanging on my wall that Wise Use Movement original organizer, Jim Tenney, gave me after I roped his bull at his ranch in the SW. We were the first bus to visit Jim and he was so excited to challenge us to speak intelligently about the arguments we felt so passionately about with regards to conservation in the West. He was amazing at breaking down our arguments and provided his own very well researched strong engaged passionate points supporting his opinions and views. He then took us outside on his ranch to a corral with a roping practice bull. He joked that there’s no way a hippie could do this but if we could, he’d gladly gift his lariat. I boldly stepped forward with my cowgirl roots, took the lariat from him, gave him a wink and lasso’ed that bull. He roared with laughter, nearly crushing me with his own bull like hug as he handed me his lariat, congratulating me for challenging his own stereotypes of “tree-hugging’ hippies!”
That was just one example in many where the bus allowed us to transgress social and media borders for these wonderful moments with humans who may have otherwise been deemed our enviro-enemies! It showed me that the way forward in solving our environmental crises in the world is to find that magical gray zone that the media never wants us to find; that area where hearts can find joy, laughter and love in similarities instead of animosity in differences. That’s where real change lives.
Brooke was a graduate student on the bus from 1996-1998 and a faculty member from 1999-2003.