Bear dens aren’t just found in the wild, and they don’t just cater to animals. At Kodiak High School, a different kind of Bear’s den services a different kind of bear, when it provides snacks, drinks and alternatives to breakfast and lunch for hungry high school students. The Bear’s Den has been around for many years and is located in the main commons of the high school, near what is commonly referred to as the old pool entrance. It’s run by the Booster Club, and manned by a slew of volunteers.
Stephanie Love is the treasurer for the Booster Club and helps coordinate for the den. She said about 25 people volunteer regularly for the food booth, which also opens up during games at the high school.
Booster Club President Bob Brodie said it’s a huge fundraiser for Booster Club, making up about half of the funds that the organization uses to help fund student clubs and athletics. But the popular food den will face challenges in the coming year as renovations and construction continues on the high school.
“At the end of the current school year they’re going to tear down that portion of the building and the Bear’s Den will be relocated to an as yet undesignated location. Whether we’ll be operating out of a store room, a closet or out of folding table and ice chests we really don’t know.”
Losing the Bear’s Den would mean a significant loss of revenue for the Booster Club, especially at a time when diminished ferry service has upped the price tag for student travel.
Brodie said the club increased it’s donations to student activities about 10 percent a year ago when plane ticket prices increased. That represented all of the previous year’s profit.
“We made about $10,000 to $12,000 the year before so we committed all of that profit into the 2012-2013 activities program. So this year, at our last meeting, we pretty much broke even. Every dollar we took in we gave back out. So we weren’t able to put anything away in savings. We do have some savings from previous years that we’re looking at as possibly emergency funding for the year where we’re displaced, but I’ll just have to see how that goes.”
Kodiak High School Athletic Director Bryan Ferris said it will definitely be hard on student activities if the Bear’s Den won’t be operating in full force, but he said he’s pretty confident they will find a way to operate in some sort of capacity.
“So yes not having that next year is going to be financially difficult. Can they off set that with an alternative means of offering their lunch and breakfast programs, and concessions for games, we don’t know yet. But I think they’ll probably come up with whatever will be the best means possible for the situation we’re facing.”
Both Ferris and Brodie said the Bear’s Den will remain in the current location for the remainder of the school year.