• A stator in the third powerhouse at Grand Coulee.
  • The penstocks above the water at Hoover Dam
  • The top of Shasta Dam in California
  • An automated gate structure on a canal in Washington.
  • An aerial photo of the sunsetting at Ruedi Reservoir in Colorado.


Children are without question the world's most precious resource in need of nurturing and providing them with a well-rounded perspective of the world so that their dreams lead to success and a better environment for future generations.

In an effort to support and mentor children, the Bureau of Reclamation has stepped up to engage them in new educational activities and programs.

Otto at Parma Safety DayIn 2012, the PN Region organized and co-sponsored several events for young people ages 5 to 18. Our goal is to engage, educate, and employ youth, which supports Secretary Salazar's youth initiative.

Connecting with Young People
In April, the PN Regional Office coordinated a combined Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day and Let’s Move Outside event. Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day exposes girls and boys to what a parent does during the workday. It also shows them the value of their education and helps them discover the power and possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life.

Let's Move is a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.

The region co-sponsored six Catch a Special Thrill (C.A.S.T.) events which were held in June in Yakima, WA; July in Prineville, OR, and Rupert, ID. In August, another two events were held, one in Moses Lake, WA, and one in Emmett, ID; and the last one was in September in Gaston, OR. We had about 155 kids who participated.

C.A.S.T. offers disabled and disadvantaged children the opportunity to enjoy a day of fishing on the water. For many of the participants, it is their first fishing experience.

During the year, Reclamation’s mascot, Otto Otter was engaged in children activities all over the region. Otto Otter Canal Safety Program is a water safety program delivered to over 30,000 first, second, third and fourth graders in the PN Region city schools, county fairs, parades, and other special events. The program teaches children to be safe around canals, ditches, and other water sources.

Reclamation is a partner in education with Horizon Elementary School through a "Lunch Buddy" program. Forty-nine employees volunteered as mentors to students in grades 1-6. The purpose of this mentoring program is to build self-confidence and self-esteem of the children involved in the program. The mentors met with the students once a month followed with a picnic at the end of the school year.

Kids Enjoying the Living River Exhibit at the Sawtooth Salmon Festival.The PN Region also participated in the Sawtooth Salmon Festival, school tours at Grand Coulee Dam, and an underwater skills presentation to local kids in Boise.

The Sawtooth Salmon Festival was held on the Stanley Historical Museum grounds. It's an educational event that celebrates the return of the salmon from the Pacific Ocean to Salmon River tributaries. Kids learn about the remarkable salmon and steelhead, and their amazing 900-mile journey through presentations and hands-on activities. About 200 kids participated in the event.

Grand Coulee sponsored school tours at Grand Coulee Dam for over 1200 students. The tour guides shared technological, historical, and geological facts about the Dam.

The Snake River Area Office hosted an underwater skills demonstration to 25 children from the Boise Rescue Mission's City Light Home for Women and Children. The children were shown how to put the diving equipment on, explained how the breathing apparatus works, and discussed step by step their safety procedures before they dive.

Young People Working for Reclamation
The PN Region hired 41 youth in 2012 and one student through the Student Conservation Association; recruited 2 college or vocational students to the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP), and converted 3 SCEP students to full-time employment.

In addition, the PN Region partnered with tribal organizations, and other nonprofit organizations to engage and employee youth.

Reclamation conducted a 2-day training class as part of the Native American Outreach Initiative which is designed to deliver USAJobs training to six tribes in the PN Region. Over 160 tribal staff and members have taken the training.

PN Region employees also served as motivational speakers, role models, and mentors for participants at the Hispanic Youth Symposium (HYS) in Sun Valley, ID. The HYS was held in partnership with the Hispanic College Fund, public sector, private industry, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and community organizations.

Throughout 2012, the PN Region served thousands of children and youth. We are looking forward to doing more in 2013. If you would like to volunteer with any of our children or youth activities, please contact Annette Ross at aross@usbr.gov. Together we are making a difference!

Released: February 07, 2013