Union Sportsmen’s Alliance Hosts Kickoff Boilermakers’ ‘Outdoor Youth Day’ in the Kansas City Area
Spring Hill, Tennessee—Nearly two dozen from the Kansas City area Youth experienced the excitement of shooting sports for the first time on Sunday, September 18, during the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) Boilermakers Get Youth Outdoors Kickoff Day at Powder Creek Shooting Park in Lenexa, Kansas.
A cooperative effort between the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA), the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, and the Kansas City Building and Construction Trades Council (BCTC), the free community event followed in the footsteps of the successful 13the Boilermakers Kansas City Sporting Clays annual kickoff the day before.
U.S. staff along with volunteers from Boilermakers International, Greater Kansas City BCTC, Sheet Metal Workers Local 2, Operative Yeseros and Cement Masons Local 518, and Bank of Labor provided participants with instructions on firearm safety and the they helped shoot bows and shotguns.
“With 11 volunteers, all of the young participants received a lot of one-on-one instruction and plenty of time to practice clay shooting and archery, and they performed exceptionally well – I’ve never seen anything like it,” said US Conservation Coordinator. , CodyCampbell. , who helped the youngsters at the archery station. “A kid shot a bow for the first time and was getting 6-inch groups every round.”
While helping a girl at the archery station, US CEO and CEO Walt Ingram discovered that she was trying to shoot with her right hand even though she was blind in her right eye. “Once we switched her to lefty, she started hitting the bullseye and her demeanor changed almost instantly,” Ingram said. “It was really gratifying to see her change in her confidence and attitude.”
Boilermakers International volunteers were also amazed at the success of the novice shooters as they assisted the youth at the clay sport stations.
“A child of high school age was a natural. He knocked three out of four clays on his first shot,” said William Creeden, Secretary-Treasurer of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. “Most of the children and adults at the event had never held a gun in their hands, and we discussed gun safety with each of them. I invited the parents to try to shoot and several did. I think everyone had a great time, all the kids were smiling when they left.”
All supplies were provided free of charge and each child received a goodie bag containing gifts. Youth and their families also enjoyed a free lunch and many won prizes in a raffle.
“The small group of young participants combined with dynamite instructors and supportive parents created a very intimate event,” said Gene Forkin, who retired as assistant to the Boilermakers president in July and has organized the USA Boilermakers Kansas City Sporting Clays Shoot. USA for the last five years. “When the first clay was broken, everyone cheered. We worked with one girl until she finally broke one, and when she did, I think I screamed louder than she did.”
The event was part of a series of free community-based youth outreach activities organized under Work Boots on the Ground, the US flagship conservation program supported by national partners and founders Bank of Labor, UIG, ULLICO, AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corporation, Buck Knives, and Provost Umphrey Law Firm.
“Our outdoor heritage depends on recruiting new entrants. These types of hands-on, interactive events inspire love, respect and a sense of responsibility for the outdoors and shooting sports,” said Ingram. “We are proud to provide youth and their families with these rewarding experiences and are extremely grateful to all of the union members who make them possible. Thanks to the support we received from the Greater Kansas City BCTC, we have hosted a successful Conservation Dinner, Sport Clay Shooting, Take Kids Fishing Day and now Get Youth Outdoors Day in the Kansas City area this year alone.”
Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA): USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to unions whose members hunt, fish, shoot, and volunteer their skills for conservation. America is uniting the union community through conservation to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage. For more information visit www.unionsportsmen.org or plug in Facebook, Twitter Y Instagram.
Ground Work Boots (WBG): WBG is America’s flagship conservation program that brings together union members willing to volunteer their time and expertise for conservation projects that enhance and enhance public access to the outdoors, conserve wildlife habitat, they restore America’s parks and mentor youth in the outdoors. The U.S. Work Boots on the Ground program works closely with federal, state, and local agencies and other conservation groups to provide the labor needed to complete critical projects that might otherwise go undone.