For our final events in the West, we felt very honored and excited to travel to the exquisite North Fork Valley and Paonia, CO to visit and work with Chaco, one of our primary Traveling Trainer sponsors and an amazing footwear company with a large social conscience.
Paonia serves as Chaco's home ground and one immediately becomes aware of the seamless and endearing relationship that the company has with its place. They care about the valley, its people, and the greater natural world at large. It's reassuring to see a corporation with this much heart making such great products AND walking their talk by assisting us in providing free education and programming to thousands of individuals each year!
For three days, we were warmly hosted by Chaco's Brian Scranton and Dave Knutson as they introduced us to a behind -the-scenes view of both the company and this stunning corner of Colorado. When not sharing meals and meaningful dialogue with these guys, we were doing our part to help share Leave No Trace with a diverse cross-section of the valley's community.
During our time there, we presented to over 100 of Chaco's employees, over 130 4th-6th graders from local schools, a creative and energetic group of 1st-3rd graders, and some hunters from the area. Their energy, enthusiasm, and sincere questions were a delight to encounter each day.
Thanks again to Chaco for serving as a model within the outdoor industry. It is always exciting to know that more and more companies are understanding the need for education of all outdoor enthusiasts. If individuals and groups do not understand how they can help to protect and preserve these amazing places through simple choices, will there be future customers wishing to buy outdoor gear and apparel for a denuded and impacted landscape? Think about it...