Kayson Olsen in front of the forestry building
Kayson Olsen is January’s Philomath High School Forestry Student of the Month sponsored by Starker Forests. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Celebrating his 15th birthday only a few days ago, Philomath High School freshman Kayson Olsen still has a good stretch of time before he decides on what he might want to do after taking the diploma walk.

Based on his early experiences in Philomath High’s forestry program, Olsen just might consider something within that realm and in fact, he said it’s “definitely an option.” He knows one thing for sure — he loves being outdoors.

Olsen, son of Kasey and Ariane Olsen, is January’s Philomath High School Forestry Student of the Month sponsored by Starker Forests. He’s the youngest recipient of this recognition.

“My favorite part of the class is just doing the scales … the events and helping other people learn them,” Olsen said. “There are a couple that I really like —  I like ax throw, choker setting and log roll.”

Olsen had some familiarity with the school’s forestry program, which is headed up by Simon Babcock, through his sister and two cousins. His sister, Madelyn Olsen, graduated last year, and cousins Dillon Olsen, who also graduated, and Kelsey Olsen, a sophomore this year, have been involved.

The range of topics covered in his forestry class cover a lot of ground.

“You do tree ID every day, so I’m always learning new trees each week,” Olsen said. “Also, just learning the scales — there were a couple that I didn’t know before. We just started tool ID and map reading and they’re both pretty fun.”

Olsen, who appears to have a competitive streak in him, can’t wait for forestry competitions to get started up again. Since he’s only a freshman, he hasn’t competed in any yet.

“There was one earlier this year during the fall trimester but that one got canceled and I haven’t heard anything else since,” Olsen said. “So now I’m just waiting for the next one to pop up and go to that.”

March: Audrey Gerding
April: David Hunter-Godard
May: Blaise Pindell
June: Savannah Stokes
September: Lily Hull
October: Case Hoch
November: Hailie Couture
December: Caroline Puckett