If you can’t go outside (more or less), then what’s the next-best thing?
Bringing the outdoors indoors.
At least that’s the idea behind the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness newest endeavor: a podcast.
“It was an idea that had been percolating in my head for a long time,” said Phil Hough, executive director of the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. “But honestly, one of those back-burner things.”
The COVID-19 pandemic put it on the front burner. As FSPW canceled a series of events – its organizational lifeblood – Hough and others were left wondering: What do we do now?
Why not jump-start that podcast idea? Last week, they released the first episode of “Your Wild Place.” The vision, Hough said, is to share personal stories about wilderness. Last week’s episode featured longtime FSPW staffer Sandy Compton reading an essay he wrote reflecting on his childhood growing and learning in wilderness. As of Wednesday, the 7-minute podcast released Friday has 122 listens, Hough said.
The podcasts are scheduled to drop every Thursday, although Hough said that may not happen at first as they work out production kinks.
In addition to giving the six staff who work at FSPW something to work on, Hough said it also furthers the organization’s goals of “communicating the value of wilderness to the public.”
Plus, for home-bound outdoor enthusiasts, it offers a brief reprieve.
“Give folks who are home … something to turn to and at least give them a break,” he said. “It will help us expand our community. It will help us give our supporters something to do that’s fun. And it will help give our staff something to do.”
FSWP, like most businesses, is negatively impacted by the global pandemic, resulting shutdowns and stay-home orders. Fundraising events and educational programs have been canceled.
Luckily, Hough said, FSWP is eligible for eight weeks of payroll relief money from the federal government. That, he said, will allow FSWP to keep its staff working normal hours.
In the meantime, he said the podcast gives everyone a much-needed break.
“From wild lands to wildlife,” he said. “It really focuses in on the positive stories and the information that is inspiring. And it gave our staff something to put attention into rather than continuing to cancel events and get dour.”
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