Wampus Talks celebrates 100,000 hits

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(Courtesy photo) Clark Fork Junior/Senior High School instructors KC MacDonald, left, and Mike Turnlund, right, celebrate Wampus Talks 100,000 hits with candy.

CLARK FORK — Anyone who wants to know what it going on at Clark Fork Junior/Senior High School doesn't have to look much further than the school's online blog, Wampus Talks.

"It has taken off exponentially," said Mike Turnlund said, CFHS instructor and experiential learning track coordinator.

And last week was time for celebration as Wampus Talks surpassed 100,000 page views.

Turnlund and CFHS instructor KC MacDonald started the blog in February 2014 as a way to connect the school with the community. Some posts are serious, some are a bit goofy, but all are a way to celebrate the achievements of the students and school, Turnlund said.

"It's become a way for the community at large, people who are interested in Clark Fork High School, to experience Clark Fork High School at an intimate level," Turnlund said.

Some recent posts include sports updates, such as the volleyball team's appearance in the Daily Bee, and the return of 2017 graduate Nona Young, who was visiting from North Idaho College to help seniors prepare for post-secondary college careers. And let's not forget the humorous diagram by a student on how to trill an "r" in Spanish or the picture of Wampy the Wampus Cat with its "new 'do" after someone placed a wig on it.

MacDonald takes photos and sends them immediately to Turnlund who updates the site regularly, sometimes multiple times a day. Teachers also contribute photos and mini-stories to the blog. For example, MacDonald said, the students were doing a project in English that nobody knew about except the kids and the teacher.

"She sends us a picture and now the community knows," MacDonald said. "We are showing the day-to-day, cool ideas that are coming out."

Each of the school's experiential learning track programs has its own offshoot blog on Wampus Talks as well. The tech and outdoor tracks are especially popular, MacDonald and Turnlund said. They even received an award one time, though they don't know who it was from — it was legit — stating that Wampus Talks ranked among the top 100 outdoor blogs on the planet.

People outside of the Clark Fork community check out the blog, including some page views from foreign countries. Wampus Talks has sponsors as well, who link it to their websites to show their patrons who they are investing in.

With the success of the blog, Turnlund said he encourages all schools to start one, and is surprised more schools don't do it.

"It builds the school, it builds kids and it's just plain fun," Turnlund said.

Check it out at wampustalks.blogspot.com.

Mary Malone can be reached by email at mmalone@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.

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