Thanks to a grant from SCI Sables, nearly100 youth were treated to dove shoots at two different hunts by Tennessee Valley SCI. Working in partnership, with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the Chapter sponsored two shoots for youngsters 16 and younger this fall.
On opening day, the Tennessee Valley Chapter SCI worked with the Sequatchie Valley Youth Hunters Association to host a shoot for more than 60 young hunters.
The event included a BBQ, live music, tee shirts, hats, and a prize drawing that included a youth model shotgun. Two days later, the Chapter worked with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to sponsor a shoot in Hamilton County, Tennessee for approximately 25 young hunters. There, the kids were given hats and a drawing was held for a muzzleloader and a shotgun. More youth events are being planned, including a seminar on varmint hunting and hosting a rabbit hunt.
SCI Foundation Education Sables are focused on conservation education with the Hands On Wildlife Kit, American Wilderness Leadership School teacher education programs, college scholarships, financial support for the National Archery in the Schools, 4-H National Shooting Sports, Boy Scouts of America Venturing Program, The Salvation Army Outdoors, Outdoor Writers of America Youth Writing Contest and grants to SCI Chapters to support community youth programs.
For many years, I have been recruiting educators to attend the American Wilderness Leadership School. Several years ago I became more involved with the promotion, gifting and sales of the Hands On Wildlife (HOW) Kit. The Kit has evolved into ‘Conservation Education’ using North American Model of Conservation instructional materials, animal pelts, and replicas of skulls, tracks and scat. The Kit size is easily hand-carried by educators using its contents to teach about wildlife management and the positive role of hunting.
Have you or your chapter invested in a HOW Kit or in distributing HOW Kits to educators? In my opinion, the best bang for the buck is for a chapter or individual to have a loaner Kit. I try to keep a Kit at home to loan to Boy/Girl Scout leaders, teachers, Park and Rec departments and other interested parties.
If you give a Kit to a teacher how much use does it get? A single teacher can use the Kit to teach thousands of youth each year. I use HOW as a recruiting tool for AWLS prospective applicants. If you can hook an educator on the Kit the party line is “Go to AWLS to learn how to use the Kit to its fullest potential.” Another carrot to use with potential AWLS applicants is “Go to AWLS and complete a gifting application with the possibility to have your own Kit.” These strategies worked for me this past year in recruiting 10 educators to the AWLS program.
A Chapter can gift a HOW Kit to educators it sponsors to AWLS. When an AWLS alumnus is given instructional tools, he/she is more likely to pass on to his/her students what was learned about conservation at AWLS. Chapters can purchase the HOW Kit for $550 plus $30 shipping from the SCI Foundation Education Department.
Contact Stephanie Gary at email@example.com or (520) 620-1220 — John Floyd, SCI Foundation and member of the Hands On Wildlife Committee
Tennessee Valley Chapter SCI member Bill Swan, III, along with three Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Officers Christie Twilla, Andrew Ward and Joe McSpadden , showed the “Sables Hands on Safari kit” to grade school children at Signal Mountain Christian School on Signal Mountain, Tennessee this week. Not only were the kids able to handle animal skins, skulls and other items, but they were able to get a close up look at the Agency’s trucks.
During the spring 2011-2012 school semester, the Jessie Beck Nature Club sprang into action again. This year, 5th and 6th grade students met seven times to learn about many outdoor topics. One session was dedicated to mimicking the sounds of wild animals: crows, coyotes, distressed rabbits, deer, elk, and more. Each participant received a diaphragm call and four other reed calls, which they put together themselves. In another session, students learned the basics about turkeys: analyzing a mounted turkey, determining how to age a bird from spur length and tail feathers, and even creating their own writing instrument – a turkey quill pen. Other sessions focused on finding animal signs, specifically scat and tracks. Using the hoof of an elk, the students pushed it into wet soil and then made a mold of the hoof print using plaster of Paris. After the meetings were concluded, the Club’s camouflaged T-shirts could be seen on at least one member on any given day.
One can only imagine the impressions these students had during the Club sessions. For many, these are first time experiences, and the program has become one of the school’s most popular. The program is the brainchild of NNSCI Director Ryan Brock. With NNSCI Chapter support, Brock has developed this program into an ongoing annual event the students eagerly anticipate.– by Terrence Melby, SCI Northern Nevada Chapter Director