Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have honored the chapter recipients of its fifth annual No Child Left Indoors National Awards. The distinction is presented to one Pheasants Forever chapter and one Quail Forever chapter for their efforts in introducing youth to the outdoors and bringing along the next generation of hunters and conservationists. Chapters honored were the High Plains Pheasants Forever chapter, based out of Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, and the Golden Triangle Quail Forever chapter, based out of Quincy, Illinois.
Pheasants Forever’s No Child Left Indoors initiative is the organization’s national effort to engage youngsters in outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing and camping. The No Child Left Indoors National Awards recognize chapters for their youth habitat projects, youth and family community events, and youth outdoor education programs. “These chapters have shown the ultimate commitment to promoting youth activities and getting kids involved in the outdoors,” said Cheryl Riley, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Education and Outreach.
Wyoming’s High Plains Pheasants Forever chapter
The High Plains Pheasants Forever chapter is a model youth participation chapter, holding a minimum of one youth event per month throughout the year. In 2011, the chapter’s events helped 700 children participate in outdoor activities. These activities included a visit to Yellowstone National Park, mentored goose hunts, mentored pheasant hunts, an outdoor survival day, and a day dedicated to game processing and storage.
The chapter also hosts “Day in the Wild” for grade school youth (grades K-6th). At the event, approximately 500 youth are introduced to a wide variety of outdoor activities, skills and programs. At last year’s event, with the financial help of Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wildlife Turkey Federation, the Wildlife Heritage Foundation, and several other organizations and individuals, the chapter provided each attendee with a Wyoming Conservation Stamp. The High Plains Pheasants Forever chapter also serves as the parent chapter for the youth-only Texas Trail Ringnecks Pheasants Forever chapter, further fostering youth in conservation and outdoor education.
Illinois’ Golden Triangle Quail Forever chapter
Less than a year old, the Golden Triangle Quail Forever chapter has hit the ground sprinting. Within five weeks of the chapter’s startup, the first annual chapter banquet had 260 people in attendance and raised nearly $50,000 for wildlife habitat and youth conservation education. The chapter’s commitment to youth programs has already resulted in three wingshooting clinics, a chapter sponsored Scholastic Clay Target Program team, involvement in local hunter safety courses, and a scholarship for youth to attend a special Quail Forever youth camp. The Golden Triangle Quail Forever chapter held multiple youth mentored hunts in 2011, including one specifically for disabled or challenged youth.
In addition to the No Child Left Indoors Award, the Golden Triangle Quail Forever chapter won “Rookie Chapter of the Year” for Illinois. The chapter’s president, Ryan Viehmeyer, was chosen by Field & Stream magazine as a “Hero of Conservation” for his dedication to the chapter’s conservation mission and youth involvement.
For more information regarding Pheasants Forever’s youth programs, please contact Rich Wissink, Pheasants Forever National Youth Programs Specialist, at 715-722-0286 / Email Rich. For all other inquiries, contact Rehan Nana, Pheasants Forever Public Relations Specialist, at 651-209-4973 / Email Rehan.
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 130,000 members and 700 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent, the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure.