September 22, 2020

Is This Cool or What?

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It has been a while since I heard of anything quite so positive and exciting as what is going on in one high school in Missouri. Ownesville, Missouri has begun a program to get kids outdoors. In short, this is a club where each kid pays $10.00 to join. The club teaches kids about the outdoors and community service. Participating in certain events, each member earns and accumulates points. These points are cashed in for a legitimate day off from school to go hunting or fishing or whatever your favorite outdoor activity is. The idea came from Principal Bob Levy and teacher Bill Seamon.From the Kansas City InfoZone, read some of the things that go on.

“The club’s purpose is to get young people interested in lifetime activities outdoors,” said Seamon. “For most, that means hunting and fishing, but we also get into hiking, camping, and other outdoor pursuits.”

The club has held onto its members with activities including hunter education and water safety classes and camping and trout fishing at a trout park*on a school day. Activities in the club’s future plans include backpacking, a big-buck contest, participating in a prescribed burn for wildlife management purposes, learning to make fishing rods and tie fishing flies, going on a canoe float trip, running a map and compass course, learning to process and cook wild game and building a smokehouse.

One of the club’s most popular events is a wild-game banquet. Last year’s meal included white-tailed deer, moose, elk, antelope, barbecued beaver and raccoon, squirrel, trout and halibut. Wildlife impressionist Ralph Duren capped the evening with his amazing imitations of animal sounds from coyotes to bald eagles.

Besides recreational interests, club members share a commitment to public service. In its first year, they cut firewood for elderly people in the community who heat with wood, donated 50 frozen turkeys to the Owensville Senior Center and took fruit baskets to shut-ins. The club also donated $900 to Missouri’s Share the Harvest program. The money paid for processing of deer donated by hunters to feed needy people.

Attending events also earns members points. A work day is worth three points, monthly meetings two points and fun activities one point. When members accumulate 10 points, they can cash them in to take off one school day a year for hunting, fishing or other outdoor activities.

Now, if we can keep the antis and the extreme left whackos out of this endeavor and figure out how to get more programs like this in high schools all across America, wouldn’t that change the landscape of this country.

Tom Remington

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