Economically Iditarod!

Sled Dog Ed

Hi, Teachers! 

Movie watching has been a relaxing activity at the main house of the kennel, and I recently overheard the following line from one of the movies.  ”Give me the money!” 

Money is a frequent topic of conversation as mushers and their families plan for entering and running in the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.  Most families, even non-mushing families, develop a budget for their income and expenses to determine how much is needed to pay bills, live off of, and have for extra spending money.  This concept is sometimes difficult for students to understand as they typically do not have to worry about money issues. So, let’s give students the opportunity to understand what a budget is, how to develop a plan to meet a budget and what sponsorships are and how they will help. 

Iditarod mushers, Anna and Kristy Berington, on their website, share information on what it would cost each of them to enter the 2018 Iditarod Sled Dog Race.  Using that information, have your students fill out the worksheet, “Budget Costs”. Basically students will match a monetary amount with the appropriate budget item.  At the end, students will add the amounts to find a grand total of $21,800 each.  

Now, talk with your students on how much they would have to make each month in order to raise that amount of money…about $1817/month.  Next, propose that if they had a job which pays $10/hour, how many hours would they have to work each day to raise that total? The answer would be about 6 hours each day for 365 days of the year.

Considering that would be a tremendous commitment each day, introduce the idea of a “sponsorship”.  What is a sponsorship? Who would sponsor an Iditarod musher?  Who sponsors events in your community?  Have students brainstorm sponsors they have heard about on TV or with sports events. If a sponsor would provide $10,000 to the total cost for each of the Beringtons, the total amount would be decreased to $11,800. Have students refigure the monthly amount needed (now about $983/month).  If a job pays $10/hour that would be about 3 hours each day for 365 days of the year.  Students should see that as much more manageable.

Follow up by using 2014 Teacher on the Trail™ Jen Reiter’s lesson, “Supplied for Success and Survival”, allowing students to discover what supplies are really needed for the race, shopping for their own supplies, and analyzing their finances.

Finally, students may work with their family to create a monthly budget of income and expenses for themselves.  It is never too early to allow students the opportunity to realize that things we need and/or want cost money in our society. Paying for them takes hard work and dedication!

Lots of luck!

~Sled Dog Ed