Dylan Stiegemeier, an avid outdoorsman, wanted to create a movement to preserve land through the elimination of litter. "I wanted to create a group that would beckon to like-minded people as myself," said Stiegemeier. The motivated group known as "The Theodores" has around 200 social media followers and growing. While discussing how the name of the program came about Stiegemeier mentioned, "While at a museum, I was reading about the Big Burn and became more familiar with Theodore Roosevelt's conservation efforts in America. Everyone loves Teddy. I share the same values with him, so I figured who better to represent my program?"
The Theodores is a program based off of community outreach through conservation efforts in local outdoor regions. Stiegemeier explained the process as beginning with an individual, group, or in this case a Girl Scout troop. "After they purchase a Theodore flag for five dollars," he said, "they would go on a hike or experience any outdoor activity, bring the flag with them, clean up trash, post the Theodore flag in the region, take a photo of the cleaned outdoor area, and post it to Facebook. They would also 'tag' The Theodores and GSEWNI in their post." The overall goal is to get every state, and eventually every country, to participate in the Theodores movement. Through this effort, we will have a cleaner world and a safer environment for years to come.
While working on his Doctorate in Political Science and teaching Political Science at Idaho State University, he discovered how apathetic his students were. "They didn't think they had the ability to change anything and that was a big factor in what motivated my idea or this program," said Stiegemeier. "I love to be outdoors and it disturbs me when I go to a place that should be wild and realizing it is covered in trash." Through personal experiences, the love for the outdoors, and the inspiration of his students, Stiegemeier was motivated and excited about creating The Theodores.
Stiegemeier wants to challenge you to think, "How Do You Teddy?"