By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily
Melania Trump is encouraging Wyoming young people to “Be Best.”
The first lady this week visited Jackson, Wyoming — her first visit to the Cowboy State since her husband became president. She spent the day Thursday meeting the local Scout troop and rafting the Snake River, enjoying the outdoors and national park system.
The first lady was in Jackson to promote her “Be Best” initiative, which encourages positive social, emotional, and physical habits.
Shortly after her arrival, Trump met with local scouts at the landmark Jackson Town Square. She was met by a cheering crowd surrounding the square, some singing the national anthem, others calling out, “We love you, Melania!”
Trump, who was accompanied by Steve Ashworth, head of the Jackson Parks and Recreation Department and Mindy Kin-Miller, Jackson’s first female scoutmaster, held up the Scouts in the Jackson area as a shining example of young adults and children taking leadership in conserving and preserving natural history while embodying healthy living.
Since the 1960s, the Scouts have partnered with the National Elk Refuge to collect shed antlers from the protected area. They then use a portion of the proceeds from an annual antler auction to help with conservation projects.
Trump thanked the young leaders in the Scouts, commending their commitment to public service and protecting historic national treasures.
“I applaud their dedication to such important causes,” she said.
Later that day, Trump rafted the Snake River, along with a group of 10 fourth graders from the Teton County School District and guides from the local Rafter X Ranch. White House Officials said the activity was intended in part to set an example for young people, encouraging them to get outside and enjoy the natural resources the nation offers.
The first lady was in a raft with a group of five school children, while the guide talked about wildlife in the area, including antelope, moose, and bears.
“We should continue encouraging our children to experience and preserve the diverse rivers, mountains, and landscapes that make up the natural beauty of Wyoming that we had the privilege of enjoying today,” the first lady noted.
White House officials say the raft trip also complemented the National Park Service’s Every Kid Outdoors program, in which fourth graders across the nation get free access to all National Park attractions.
Trump’s visit to northwest Wyoming was scheduled to continue Friday in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, but weather cut the visit short.
According to the official web page, the mission of “Be Best” is to focus on some of the major issues facing children today, with the goal of encouraging children to “Be Best” in their individual paths, while also teaching them the importance of social, emotional, and physical health.
The first lady has emphasized other pillars of the “Be Best” Initiative in previous visits around the country. She has visited with school children in Florida while promoting online safety, as well as a stop at Microsoft headquarters in Washington.