Okay, let’s be honest with ourselves. How many times did you tell yourselves in 2016 that you really need to look into that First Green program and plan a field trip? Well, let’s make 2017 the year that you make it happen! Undoubtedly, if you have heard of the First Green Foundation, then you have heard great things about it and that is why hosting a middle school field trip seems sounds so interesting.
The First Green Foundation, led by Executive Director Karen Armstead, will be celebrating their twenty-year anniversary in 2017 and are encouraged by the increased level of interest in the program. Since partnering with GCSAA almost five years ago, the program expanded across the country with successful field trips in New Jersey, Maryland, California, Idaho and Oregon. There is currently interest in Illinois, Iowa, Montana, Pennsylvania, Georgia, the Carolina's, Colorado and Texas. Internationally, Canada is even holding First Green field trips and now Europe has taken a keen interest in the program.
GCSAA is happy to be partnering with The First Green Foundation. My fellow field staff and I are available to help you connect with the resources that you will need to get you started. If you are headed to Orlando next month, this year marks our third year that we will be offering a First Green seminar which will include a field trip to a local golf course. You will be taught by Steve Kealy, CGCS, and Jeff Gullikson, CGCS, on how to arrange and hold a successful field trip. Between the two of them, they have probably hosted over 10,000 kids at their courses over the last 20 years. You will even be able to see firsthand how a field trip works by traveling to a local golf course and actually assisting with a real field trip.
Last year in San Diego, the field trip was covered by a local news station and GCSAA.tv which brought a lot of great publicity to the event. The USGA has also been great about promoting the program. You probably even saw the segments during the 2015 U.S. Open. They have also been instrumental in the support of the program as well. Their financial commitment has been integral in the continuing success of the program.
|Jeff Gullikson, CGCS, offers hands-on education at GIS in 2016|
When we speak of advocacy to the game of golf, we not only speak of our presence on Capitol Hill, we have to take into consideration of our impact on the local community. The First Green provides direct hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education to middle school children who get an opportunity to experience a golf course in a real positive light. You never know, one of those kids that you meet may even be your future assistant superintendent. This is one way to help the younger generation become aware of what we do and stimulate interest in our profession and the game.
I urge you to take the challenge and commit yourself to hosting a field trip this year. Please follow @TheFirstGreen on Twitter so when you host your first field trip you can let the world know about it. The First Green Foundation is your one source for STEM learning at your golf course.
Find more information on "Launching a First Green Field Trip Program at Your Own Golf Course"