Saturday, July 3, 2010

Teeg Stouffer - "Our Lifestyle Runs Downstream"

This past week I enjoyed one of life's full circle moments. I sat in a classroom where I was learning from a former student. I have always asserted that I would proudly learn from, and even work for, many of the students who I've been privileged to meet when collaboratively learning in my classroom. This past Tuesday I had that opportunity, courtesy of Kelli Linn-Bloomquist, the woman who invited me to a workshop she has designed for our nation's homeland security needs, and Teeg Stouffer, the man who taught the workshop. Because of them, rural first responders will be able to do the best job possible when fulfilling their duties as public information officers during emergency situations. Kelli did a super job designing the course, and Teeg did a super job teaching it.

Teeg has the heart of a teacher, and no where is that more evident than the work he does through Recycled Fish.
Recycled Fish, a nonprofit organization Teeg founded just a few years ago along with Waldorf College classmate Ryan Libby (class of '98), highlights his educational skills at all levels. Through countless ways, he communicates about lifestyle stewardship. It's evident that Teeg's passion palpates to the pace of the environmental pulse. He has the heart of an angler and understands what it means to fish downstream.

What began as a desire to encourage catch and release fishing has grown to something far more, as you can see below.
Recycled Fish is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that started out talking about Catch and Release, but it’s bigger than that now. We’re a national movement of anglers who live and promote a lifestyle of stewardship both on and off the water.

We’re doing stuff like putting in low flow shower heads and changing how we care for our lawns, because that stuff matters to fisheries as much or more than catch and release.

If we want more and bigger fish in our waters, now and for our kids, the choices we make every day matter because our lifestyle runs downstream.

Today, Recycled Fish has more than 12,000 members worldwide and is growing. But it never would have existed at all without Teeg's passion and vision - along with the support of good friends and an incredibly supportive life partner, Amy Ruter Stouffer, Waldorf College class of '99.

As you'll hear in the vlog, Teeg and Amy, his wife, have shared life in incredibly adventuresome ways. Once they even sold or stored all their possessions in order to head out on the road, working in promotions together as a team. Now, they remain a new kind of team. While Teeg works for the health of the world's waterways through Recycled Fish, Amy helps "inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees," through the Arbor Day Foundation. (And you know our family has a soft spot for trees and tree houses!)

Our lives - Mark's and mine - have been intersecting with the lives of former students fairly frequently these days. These seemingly regular encounters have come as unexpected, yet timely, blessings, sustaining us as we continue to navigate upstream. As Teeg reminded me lately - in more ways than he likely intended - our lifestyles run downstream.

May I seek to live in a way that helps sustain the lives of those who follow after. Amen. May it indeed be so.


Shari said...

Very interesting! I actually learned quite a bit just from watching this vlog.

Joy said...

Thanks, Shari! Teeg does a great job getting the message out. And there is still so much to learn!