Know an exceptional youth who deserves recognition? Read this blog!

I hear it a lot. We need to get more young people involved in the outdoor sports. We must teach our youth the value of conservation and how hunting and fishing dollars have financed the preservation of resources we use today. Sounds like a great idea, but only a few have figured out how to implement programs with a major impact on accomplishing this task. 

There are still impressive numbers of young people who actively hunt and fish. We must never overlook their participation because they are in fact one of the best resources for impacting their peers. How? By showing others how much fun it is to shoot a gun at a target, at a deer or a bird, or figure out how to get fish to bite. When you see a friend having fun, the typical response is to join them.

This is why the Outdoor Youth of the Month program that Clam Outdoors and Outdoor News have created is so important. We need to honor the young people doing great things in the world of outdoor sports, which will provide incentive for others to join.

The details are simple. Nominate a student who is in a grade of seven through 12 who has demonstrated leadership or excellence in the outdoor pursuits including: habitat restoration efforts, archery, the shooting sports, or mentored fishing and hunting programs. Outdoor News and Clam Outdoors will select and profile one youth each month in Minnesota Outdoor News and award a prize package including a subscription to Outdoor News, a $250 cash award, and $250 in merchandise from Clam Outdoors. In addition to highlighting the achievements of the individual youth, the Outdoor Youth of the Month program will also recognize the established club or organization that supports the development of the youth’s outdoor passion.

This is one of the requirements of this award. The young person must be affiliated in some capacity with an organized non-profit entity or accredited school in Minnesota. (Examples include, but are not limited to: 4-H, Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, Fishing for Life, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association,  Minnesota State High School Clay Target League,  Minnesota State Archery Association, Pheasants Forever, or Tips Outdoors) And yes, there are many more out there working hard to get young people involved.

The intent of most programs that focus on young people is to bring new individuals into the outdoor sports. The Outdoor Youth of the Month credits those already actively participating, and I truly believe this will create a spark that will generate interest from others that have the ability to be influenced by those honored. Then there will be opportunities to fan the flames created as others strive for recognition.

To see past winners or nominate someone for the Outdoor Youth of the Month click here.

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