Nathan Larsen

Nathan Larsen with the poster displaying the names of vendors, businesses, and sponsors who contributed to his senior project.

Support Local Journalism

What would you do if. . .

· There is an extended power outage?

· The Bear Lake area experiences a major earthquake?

· Your snowmobile becomes stuck, the sun is setting, and you’re alone?

· A breakdown in shipping causes food shortages?

The answers to these questions and many more were provided by local vendors and businesses at the Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Event organized by Nathan Larsen for his Bear Lake High School senior project held at Bear Lake Middle School on Friday, November 5th.

A project consisting of at least thirty hours of community service is a graduation requirement for all seniors at the high school. Nathan said his brother, Ryan Larsen, who is a Bear Lake County Deputy Sheriff, suggested the idea for his project. Nathan recognized potential in the idea and solicited the help of emergency response entities and other businesses in the valley to participate in educating the public.

“Education is extremely important in preventing an emergency,” Ryan explained at his back country and marine patrol display. The Bear Lake County Sheriff’s Office offers free classes in off-highway vehicle operation, boat safety, and snowmobile-based avalanche awareness. Call 208-945-2111 Ext. 1 for more information on these and other classes.

At the University of Idaho Bear Lake Extension Office table, visitors could get information on short-season, high-altitude gardening and food preservation and safety, including proper use and care of a pressure canner.

Rainy Day Foods had samples of many of the dehydrated, long-term storage products the company has for sale. Their display also offered printed handouts about different varieties of wheat, honey, and amaranth.

Other participants included the National Weather Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bear Lake County Ambulance, Bear Lake County Fire, B.E.A.R.S Radio Club, Idaho Transportation Department, Montpelier Police Department, and Bear Lake Memorial Hospital.

Visitors at the event could purchase raffle tickets. All proceeds from the raffle were donated to Bear Lake County Emergency Services.

Businesses and vendors who contributed items for the raffle were Broulim’s, Arctic Circle, Bear Necessities, Jolara Lanes, Bear Lake County Library, Dan’s Drive-In, Gundersen’s Ace Hardware, Christensen Custom Cuts, NAPA Auto Parts, Subway, Ohana’s, Ez-2-Plez Floors, Jensen’s Market, El Jaliciense Restaurant, C. J. Black, and Gary Scott.

Nathan’s mother, Janet, supervised the raffle drawing and commented that his project was a lot of work, “But it teaches the young people leadership and organizational skills, and we are so grateful for the help of everyone who set up booths and contributed items for the raffle.”

High School Principal Luke Kelsey said, “The Idaho State Board of Education mandates the senior project as a high school graduation requirement. However, local school districts may choose how to comply with the mandate. Although some districts combine a service component with job shadowing or career path presentations, the Bear Lake School District feels that service alone provides the greatest benefit to both the students and the community.”

“The state waived the requirement the past couple of years because of COVID-19,” Mr. Kelsey continued. “But our students enthusiastically chose to keep it.”

According to state regulations, students are not allowed to work on their project during school hours, but they may begin in January of their Junior year to take advantage of the summertime.

Some of the projects other students have done, Mr. Kelsey said, include volunteering at the animal shelter, cemetery upkeep and indexing of graves, coaching little league teams in conjunction with the recreation department, sprucing up the fairgrounds, and even beautifying school classrooms by creatively painting walls.

Students with disabilities may require special accommodations for their projects. Each student must work individually. The culmination of their work is displayed in May when the students host an open house at the school for the community. They set up booths and are available to answer questions about their projects.

Please be aware that Cache Valley Publishing does not endorse, and is not responsible for alleged employment offers in the comments.

Recommended for you