Youth in North Carolina haven recently been given multiple opportunities to experience hands-on outdoor related activities at recent U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation’s Trailblazer Adventure Days hosted by local Boy Scouts of America Councils and National Wild Turkey Federation chapters.
Thanks to a partnership between these organizations, Trailblazer Adventure Days have made a large footprint in the state of North Carolina this year, with the most recent events happening in October.
“Gold Rush” featuring the Trailblazer Adventure Program was held October 20th by the Central North Carolina Council, Boy Scouts of America in Albemarle, North Carolina.
Held at Camp John J. Barnhardt in Stanley County, NC, the event offered a weekend filled with activities tailor-made for the scouts and their families. Activities included camping, archery, BB gun target shooting, gold panning, canoeing and a host of 81 other scout related games.
“The event went really well and we were able to reach a lot of scouts and their families.” said Yvonne Goings, Trailblazer Local Field Director. “The time schedule was great and over 800 scouts participated.”
In attendance were 56 packs of Boy Scouts from seven counties including Anson, Cabarus, Montgomery, Richmond, Rowan, Stanly and Union. The scouts arrived on Friday, October 19th to begin the weekend with a night of camping and bonfires. An early start to their day on Saturday began with a flag demonstration from the A.L. Brown High School JROTC Cadets from Kannapolis, NC and a 40 minute presentation on gun safety from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
Pellet gun shooting was a popular activity with 30 youngsters trying their hand at any given time. The archery station was nearly as busy with 20 lanes of participants at a time. The scouts were given in depth firearm and archery safety lessons before being allowed to participate.
“The event was a huge hit for the kids,” stated Mike Baker, Trailblazer Local Field Director. “We had a lot of positive reactions to all of the stations, and everyone seemed to have a good time.”
A second Trailblazer event was held this fall in East Bend, North Carolina. This event was held in conjunction with the NWTF Red Clay Longbeards. The Jakes Day event featuring the Trailblazer Adventure Program was held as a walk up event, and saw close to 150 participants.
Activities included pellet gun and archery shooting, hunting dog demonstrations, water boat safety instruction, and more. Groups involved in the event included Tombstone Outdoors, DropTine Archery, Big Elkin Creek Waterfowl and Retriever Association, the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
Target shooting at paper targets took place at the pellet gun range, while the archery station saw youth attempt to strike a dinosaur which proved to be a big hit for participants.
Guests were given three different hunting dog demonstrations by the Big Elkin Creek Waterfowl and Retriever Association to show how hunting dogs are trained for the retrieval of game in the field.
“The event had a lot of hunting activities for the kids to try which was really great to see.” said Baker.
Youth in both events received a Trailblazer Adventure Patch after participating in as many activities as possible. The Trailblazer program provided equipment for both the Boy Scouts and NWTF, and donated six Crosman 760 Pumpmaster pellet guns and 15 Eagle Claw rod/reel combos to use as door prizes for the youth.
In total, Trailblazer has held eight events in North Carolina this year, with the ninth event upcoming on November 3rd in Bailey, North Carolina. Planning is currently underway for additional events next year.
The Trailblazer Adventure Program, a youth outdoor program of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation and Titled Sponsored by the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, held its first event in 2001 and has since reached over 1.5 million participants. Trailblazer events are held across the country to introduce youth and their families to outdoor activities and conservation groups. The program focuses on placing a bow, gun and fishing rod in the hands of all participants.
The Cabela’s Outdoor Fund is a tax-exempt organization dedicated to the promotion of conservation and hunting, fishing, camping, boating and other outdoor sporting and recreational activities. The Fund engages primarily in lobbying and advocacy for these activities. The Fund is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, and contributions to the Fund are not deductible as charitable contributions under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.
For more information on the Trailblazer Adventure Program, visit www.trailblazeradventure.org or call 614-888-4868 to speak to the Trailblazer staff.