Union Sportsmen’s Alliance Annual ‘Get Youth Outdoors Day’ in Clear Lake, Minnesota celebrates 10 years
Clear Lake, Minnesota—More than 60 youth learned about gun safety, conservation and union trades while experiencing the thrill of shooting sports firsthand on Sunday, September 11 during Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) 10the Annual Youth Outdoors Day at Wild Marsh Sporting Clays in Clear Lake, Minnesota.
“We had the largest turnout we’ve ever had for this event, and it was perhaps the most impactful USA Youth Outdoors Day I’ve ever been a part of,” said USA Conservation Coordinator, Cody Campbell. “Most of the kids were novices and really enjoyed learning. A boy stayed at the archery station for about 45 minutes. Initially, he couldn’t hit the target, but he held his own and was soon hitting the target with all five arrows. He then ended up earning a bow as an entrance prize.”
The event was part of Work Boots on the Ground, America’s flagship conservation program, and a series of community events that aim to instill an appreciation and passion for the outdoors in the next generation.
Thirteen volunteers representing the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Trades, Roofers Local 96, Iron Workers Local 512, and Electrical Workers Local 292 provided safety instructions and hands-on presentations on sporting clay, rimfire rifles, and archery.
“We had about 25 first-time shooters this year, but we had a lot of volunteers to give them one-on-one instruction,” said Kinsey Robinson, president emeritus of Roofers International, who helped launch the annual event 10 years ago. “One kid asked to keep an empty shotgun shell, and then all the kids wanted them. They ran around with them like trophies, and the parents were so appreciative of the event and the volunteers.”
All supplies, including eye and hearing protection, firearms, and ammunition, were provided free of charge. After the event, youth enjoyed a picnic lunch with their mentors and many won outdoor gear in a variety of raffles.
“Children are our future, and Twin Cities Outdoor Youth Day was a great learning event,” said Gary Bermel, a member of Ironworkers Local 512 who volunteers at the event each year. “We had a couple of little kids break clay targets and seeing the smiles on their faces are some of the best moments you can experience.”
“Roofers International’s leadership team helped spearhead America’s first Outdoor Youth Day in 2012, and has become a cornerstone of America’s community outreach program, leading to similar events in other cities,” said CEO and US CEO Walt Ingram. “It’s really gratifying to see some of the same kids attend and hone their skills year after year, as well as the sparkle in the eyes of the kids who bust the clay or hit the bull’s-eye when they first attend. We cannot thank our union volunteers enough for helping instill in these young people a love of the outdoors, shooting sports and conservation.”
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.