Happy Holidays from SCI Foundation.
Warren A. Sackman, III, SCI Foundation President
In this issue…
- Hunting: A Family Tradition
- Partnering with the Salvation Army Outdoors
- Gunwerks Supports Wildlife Conservation and Outdoor Education
- Pathfinder Winner – Brings Aid to Africa While on Safari
- Hunter Harvest Provides Data for Monitoring Moose in Montana
- And more…
To learn more about SCI Foundation please contact Bob Benson, Executive Director at BBenson@safariclub.org.
Partnering with the Salvation Army Outdoors
by Veronica Kosich, Sables President
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.
The 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. Major is an avid bow hunter 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, Major 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. 250 TSAO staff are 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. 94 TSAO instructors were trained to teach basic rifle and 4 are trained to train more instructors. TSAO facilitated 10 trainings in the last 12 months in 3 Salvation Army Territories. Major Cheri Hobbins, who directs the Salvation Army College for Officers, incorporated archery into the college curriculum.
Through this partnership, 10-15 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, 3 D 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 to learn science based wildlife conservation and become hunters and advocates for hunting contact Sue Hankner, SCIF Director of Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or 520-620-1220 ext. 294.
Hunting: A Family Tradition
Many families view the holidays as the perfect time to head out in to the field for a hunt. Sons and daughters look forward to this sacred family time with their parents, and with their grandparents. Each generation shares their love for the outdoors together, but also shares stories of their lives. It is much easier to relate and open up with family members while on the drive to a duck blind or while walking a trail of crackling leaves, well away from the thousands of distractions at the house.
Things haven’t changed since the year 1620, when Native Americans taught the first American settlers how to live off the land by cultivating corn, fishing and hunting. After the colonists’ first successful harvest, everyone joined together and celebrated with a feast. That harvest is still celebrated today and the tradition of hunting has continued to be passed down among families through the decades.
In the States, hunting permit numbers surge for the months of November and December in anticipation for family holiday bonding and the opportunity to pass on a love and understanding of hunting. Sportsmen and women are the economic engine that is fueling the future for our wildlife. Passing on the tradition of hunting to your families will get more individuals actively involved in wildlife management and teach your children an appreciation for the life and nature around them.
Aldo Leopold once said, “Conservation is a state of harmony between land and man.” When families pass down the honored traditions of hunting and gathering, showing respect for wildlife and the land that sustains their lives, then this harmony in itself is an act of conservation. So enjoy the excitement of taking your grandson on his first hunt and be thankful for this time with family and friends. SCI Foundation is thankful for you, and for hunter conservationists everywhere.