Partnering With The Salvation Army Outdoors

Youth are the key to continuing our hunting heritage. Young people today do not have the same kinds of outdoor experiences available to them as my generation did.   Sables and SCI Foundation is engaged in giving today’s youth opportunities.

Seven years ago, SCI entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with The Salvation Army Outdoors (TSAO) to partner in developing and delivering outdoor learning experiences to youth related to wildlife conservation education, shooting sports and hunting.

sables-archery-110416The partnership started near Detroit, MI at the Salvation Army’s Echo Grove Camp. Major Wandling, Salvation Army Youth Camp Director at the time, discovered Safari Club International. He made friends with SCI members, joined SCI as a member and ignited support and excitement within Salvation Army for conservation and hunting. Wandling is an avid bowhunter who wants to share this and more outdoor experiences with youth. He integrated SCI Foundation education programs into Salvation Army youth character development programs.   In collaboration with the SCI Southeast Michigan Bow Hunter Chapter, Wandling developed hunter education camps at Echo Grove.   SCI members and Pheasants Forever partnered in giving youth a mentored hunt. That was the beginning of a successful partnership.

SCI Foundation education staff developed education materials and training for Salvation Army Outdoors and provided training until the Army could assume training of its staff and youth participating in their programs. Sustaining this kind of youth program is dependent upon staff training and equipment. It is dependent upon TSAO’s commitment to redirect staff time toward the mission of this partnership.

To date, more than 500 TSAO staff nationwide are trained to teach wildlife conservation lessons. There are 250 TSAO staff trained to teach target archery and 39 trained to train instructors using the National Archery in the Schools Program.   TSAO created and implemented Archery in the Park Leagues in Chicago, South Bend and Grand Rapids, MI. Twenty four TSAO staff are trained as instructors in Archery Trade Association’s Explore Bow hunting.  Each January, TSAO and SCI Foundation staff engage in strategic planning for the sustainability of this important partnership. In the past year, this partnership reached 160,000 youth.

SCIF education staff developed a basic rifle curriculum (pellet guns) that is being used by TSAO to introduce firearms to youth.   There are 94 TSAO instructors trained to teach basic rifle and four trained to train more instructors. TSAO facilitated 10 trainings in the past 12 months in three Salvation Army Territories.   Major Cheri Hobbins, who directs the Salvation Army College for Officers, incorporated archery into the college curriculum.

Through this partnership, 10 to 15 TSAO youth program staff and TSAO officers participate in training at the SCIF American Wilderness Leadership School each summer.   Their AWLS experience motivates them and gives them teaching tools they take back to their youth staff and programs.

Training staff is the key to a successful partnership program. Putting equipment into the hands of trained instructors is critical. More pellet gun kits, rifles, shotguns and archery equipment (bows, arrows, targets, 3D targets) is necessary to sustain the programs.

TSAO is in need of equipment for the many trained staff to use in passing on what they have learned to youth. You can help with a financial contribution. To donate or to learn more about how you can help next generations of youth learn science based wildlife conservation and become hunters and advocates for hunting, contact Sue Hankner, SCIF Director of Education, at or 520-620-1220 ext. 294.–Veronica Kosich, Sables President

6 thoughts on “Partnering With The Salvation Army Outdoors”

  1. I want to make it clear that my vote of ‘very poor’ on this article is to signify how much I despise whoever wrote it, thinks that way, or supports and encourages the slaughtering of innocent wildlife. The only people who kill for fun are psychopaths, and passing that savagery and thirst for blood on to children is ABUSE and should be punished as such. Killing is NOT conservation! And roughly 95% of the population can ‘appreciate nature’ WITHOUT slaughtering a thing. and the Salvation Army are both DESPICABLE for promoting this! These animals are not YOURS to blow away. They belong to the world and each play a vital role in nature. They have lives and families and A RIGHT TO LIVE!!! That anyone would make a game out of chasing them down and snuffing them out, reveling in their fear and suffering then proudly displaying their corpses, is sickening to every decent human being on the planet, These animals are magnificent and fascinating, beautiful and unique, and are to be appreciated and enjoyed and CHERISHED by all and protected for future generations. It’s time you all stop and ask yourselves what is wrong with YOU that you need to take it out on THEM.

    1. Thank you for pointing out what should be obvious to any reasonable, rational, thinking human being. Children are born kind and compassionate. To institute programs designed to beat this natural instinct out of them is abhorrent and The Salvation Army will never get another penny from me.

  2. This is a disgrace. I will never donate any money to the Salvation Army, nor donate clothes to them like I have done for 20 years or so. This is child cruelty, as children can be trained to become sociopaths by desensitizing them. Any desensitizing can contribute to sociopathy, with Hunting in particular, children are forced to overcome their instinct to protect life – to enjoy wildlife – it redirects their emotional development. Blood, gore, sight of pained, terrified animals hardens them. I am very disappointed with this organization. I thought they were supposed to help others, not kill animals.

  3. This is disgusting ! Not only is the salvation army partnered with Safari Intern’l but they are & have been anti-gay. Recently, a transgender person asked them for shelter & they refuse her. She died outside in the freezing temps ! What hypocrites, again, in the name of a religion & the bible. Of course, they are denying & took all the anti-gay statements down from their website but we now know who you hate… NOT christian-like at all. You’ll get NO more of anything from us. You are horrible !

  4. I used to put money into the SA kettle every time I passed one during the Christmas season, but NO MORE!! I am going to make sure everyone I know is aware of this as well!

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