Wilde Youth Scholarship

Mission Statement
The Wilde Youth Scholarship fosters opportunities for young people
to grow their knowledge and love of birds and conservation
by attending a young birders camp.

This scholarship was started by Blythe and Fianna Wilde, two young birders, who through the help of scholarships to young birder camps expanded their knowledge of the avian world and made deep and meaningful connections. Now they want to help other young people have similar experiences and opportunities. They are partnered with the Morro Coast Audubon Society (MCAS), who is dedicated to supporting educational opportunities for youth.

Donations, of any amount, to this scholarship fund are greatly appreciated. Thank You! All donations are tax deductible.

Blythe and Fianna Wilde at the
Western Field Ornithologists Conference
Colorado, 2017
How It Started...
Blythe and Fianna grew up exploring nature and recording the birds that came to their backyard feeder. This love of the outdoors grew into a passion for bird watching when they moved to California in 2014.

Spending hours in a bird blind,
at Hog Island Teen bird camp,
gave Blythe a huge appreciation for
protecting seabird nesting colonies
In 2016, they took the Snow Goose II over to Hog Island's teen birding camp. During the camp, they visited Eastern Egg Rock, a reestablished Puffin Colony where they assisted the summer interns to construct storm petrel burrows and learned about breeding behaviors. One morning, Blythe and Fianna paired up with other campers and learned about sound recording and bird banding from master banders. Throughout the camp, Blythe and Fianna formed long-term connections with campers and instructors.

The following summer, Blythe and Fianna each received scholarships to attend the Western Field Ornithologists Conference in Colorado. Both of these experiences widened their understandings of the avian world and helped them understand how a passion can become a career.

A year later, they decided to do a big day, a 24-hour bird-searching extravaganza. They asked friends and family to pledge 25¢ or more per species. They did not expect to raise very much money, but at the end of the day with a total of 129 species, they had raised $1,000. This became the foundation for the Wilde Youth Scholarship (WYS).

What WYS Covers...
Scholarships awarded will cover all registration costs for recipient to attend the American Birding Association's (ABA) Camp Colorado ($1,449) (dates will be in July & August), including a travel allowance (up to $250) and membership in both ABA ($25) and MCAS ($20).

How to Apply
Eligible Applicants are:
  • 13-18 years of age (as of March 1, 2020)
  • Residents of San Luis Obispo County
Before March 1, 2020, applicants need to:
  • Complete Online Application (available January 1, 2020).
  • Provide name of a person to provide recommendation letter.
  • Register for ABA Camp Colorado

Engaging with other young people and learning from dedicated ornithologists
NOTE: Print and fill out this Application Worksheet prior to completing the Online Application.

Send questions to wys@morrocoastaudubon.org.