Procrastination pays off with a trip to Memphis

Five DUC volunteers travel stateside to learn how to build better campus chapters

Third Term attendees, pictured left to right: Ryan Sawchuk, Mitch Harris, Alyssa Barbero, Jayme Ladouceur and Kyle Doucette.
©Alyssa Barbero

Students are often warned against procrastination. But in Mitch Harris’ case, putting off school work is paying off.

Last year, this University of Saskatchewan student was studying for an upcoming exam when the corner of his eye caught sight of a Ducks Unlimited magazine. Taking the opportunity for a study break, he thumbed through the pages and found an article about Third Term.

Third Term is an annual event organized by Ducks Unlimited, Inc. that brings students from campus chapters across the United States together for two days of learning and networking. The event helps volunteers build leadership skills, develop fundraising ideas, share successes and reinforce the importance of DU’s North American mission.

In 2016, Harris helped form the University of Saskatchewan’s first Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) chapter. He saw Third Term as an opportunity to learn how to grow interest on campus. “I fired off an email to organizers that night,” says Harris.

His email arrived in Mark Horobetz inbox. Horobetz is the manager of youth and education programs with DU Inc. He says welcoming Canadian students at the event was a no-brainer. “DU Inc. was extremely excited to have our fellow cross-border volunteers,” says Horobetz.

Memphis bound

In August, Harris and four other Canadian students from Saskatchewan, Alberta and Prince Edward Island headed to Memphis, TN to attend Third Term. On one plane was Alyssa Barbero, vice president of the Lethbridge College DUC chapter.

“I was nervous because I didn’t know anybody. But once we arrived in Memphis, I wasn’t nervous at all. I can’t wait to go back to school and share my pages of notes with everybody,” says Barbero.

Harris, who refers to himself as a “country bumpkin,” had similar fears about travelling to Memphis.

His concerns were laid to rest. “I was instantly able to make connections with guys from Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas because we all share the same common goal of conservation,” says Harris. “I met some really cool people at Third Term that I’m hoping to stay friends with for quite awhile.”

Aside from making new connections and learning ways to build his chapter, Third Term has also helped Harris shake his propensity to procrastinate. “I’m already planning one of our first chapter meetings,” he says.

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