While discussing "jargon" (oral language as opposed to the proper grammar of the written word--hopefully!) with the my students during class today, the old expression from my youth "Give a hoot--don't pollute!" popped into my head and immediately out of my mouth.
I felt reasonably sure that among the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts that someone, anyone, might remember the magical character who used those words to rally kids to the cause of reducing pollution... and my query was met with dazed looks...
During the passing time between classes I took a quick survey of my (sigh--younger) colleagues, none of whom remember those emphatic HOOTS! Apparently Woodsy Owl is no longer the hip icon of the United States Forest Service that I once envisioned him as being. Just as times change and things get updated, even Woodsy has seen his motto evolve from hooting about garbage to the more far reaching "Lend a hand — care for the land!"
Though now relegated to the sub-pages of the children's section of the US Forest Service's address on the information superhighway, I'll choose to remember Woodsy as "a whimsical fellow" who's "got his heart set on motivating kids to form healthy, lasting relationships with nature."
KEEP ON HOOTIN' ON, WOODSY!