Today we had our 1st meeting, though with my continued west coast cold (there must be germs I’m not immune to out there) I just “typed in” while listening/watching all my other fellow committee members share thoughts, etc.! There were some pretty exciting things in the works, and diversity is a topic of great importance for all involved. We’re going to be jointly addressing the needs of the young (20-40) and youth (13-17) birders in the state. Our age group is a growing demographic in birding, and will eventually be torch-bearers for leadership (not to mention, plenty are already) within the birding community. I think there’s a lot of potential to reach out to young adults, and it starts with education, resource availability and “spark experiences” to get people curious. Also, engaging young adults in the type of events they’re already interested in (e.g. social gatherings, perhaps in conjunction with other compatible interests) seems to be working as a way to get people in the door.
I’m also excited to be a liaison and mentor for youth birders to engage with the wider birding community of MN. It will be great to think about challenges, barriers to inclusion, and this how we can help this age group get connected and supported. Hopefully too, they’ll want to engage with young adults in the “next age bracket up” to do some fun birding activities. I hope too they’ll help fill me in on the latest cool stuff going on with the kids these days, because at the ripe old age of 30 I already feel pretty out of the loop on the hip new things. 🙂