Marengo, OH- Sportsmen and women from across the U.S. converged outside of Columbus, Ohio last weekend for the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) and the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation’s (USSAF) annual Local Field Director meeting to discuss how better to serve the USSA and the Trailblazer Adventure Program.
The 9th annual Local Field Director (LFD) meeting had 32 LFD’s present and began Friday, January 11 with dinner and mingling of new and old faces to the program. Business was as usual on Saturday to discuss the roles of the LFD’s in the USSA’s and USSAF’s day to day business.
LFD’s, volunteer sportsmen and women dedicated to protecting hunting, fishing and trapping, provide expert guidance to youth and their families at Trailblazer Adventure Days and play a vital role in the recruitment of club memberships for USSA. The roll was first developed in 2004; beginning with 10 LFD’s and has since grown to over 80 sportsmen and women from 34 different states across the country.
“We had 18 states represented at the meeting alone, from Maine to Washington, Minnesota to Texas,” said Field Services Director, Jeff Watkins. “USSA events impact thousands of Sportsmen and women and without the help of these dedicated Local Field Directors from around the country our mission would not be as successful as we are now.”
LFD’s serve as liaisons between Trailblazer Adventure host groups and Trailblazer staff to help with volunteer recruitment, logistics of the day, and the shipping, handling, and distribution of all Trailblazer equipment. The Trailblazer Adventure Program is a youth outdoor program of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation that introduces youth and their families to our outdoor heritage through one day events aimed to familiarize youth with target shooting, fishing, archery, and other conservation groups and methods.
Along with helping run the Trailblazer Adventure Program, LFD’s work with USSA club membership staff to help with sportsmen’s club visits across the country to recruit new sportsmen’s clubs and individuals to become members of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance.
“The chance to meet and visit with other LFD’s is always welcome and the exchange of ideas and information between them and staff always makes for a great meeting,” said Howard Robinson, LFD from Mansfield, Arkansas.
The meeting provided new and useful information for LFD’s present, including instructions on how to run a successful Trailblazer event, advice on where to search for volunteers, and training on how to communicate USSA’s message during club visits.
“Trailblazer is really our best hope of reaching the new generation of young people with the message that hunting, fishing and trapping are fun and important,” said Robinson. “We have to get clubs involved in order to get this program and our message in front of more young people.”
USSA staff openly seeks sportsmen and women across the country who would be interested in becoming Local Field Directors to assist in Trailblazer Adventure Days and for club recruitment. If interested in becoming a Local Field Director contact Jeff Watkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information regarding the Trailblazer Adventure Program, visit www.trailblazeradventure.org. For more information on the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation visit www.ussportsmen.org.
By Kali Parmley, USSA