The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) and Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever (PF/QF) are partnering to introduce youth to shooting sports, hunting, wildlife conservation, and other outdoor experiences. SSSF and PF/QF will work together to develop new outreach programs, promote each other’s missions, and host joint introduction to shooting/outdoor events. The partnership focuses on strengthening the link between hunting and conservation, as SSSF and PF/QF will work together to educate and engage today’s youth to ensure a future of avid hunters and passionate conservationists.
Both organizations recognize that today’s youth are the next generation of outdoor leaders and conservationists. “Youth are making dedicated sport choices at a very young age these days,” explained Ben Berka, president and executive director for SSSF. “If we can make that choice a shooting sport we can begin to influence the future of recreational choices for kids and families. By operating through the proven model of organized youth sports, SSSF has the ability to recruit many urban and suburban youth who have very little awareness about wildlife conservation or the outdoors in general. Also, youth shooting sports have structure, social interaction, and trusted adult leadership—things that are attractive to busy families.”
For PF/QF, promoting shooting sports is an important aspect of the No Child Left Indoors® initiative, which includes the FOREVER Shooting Sports Program. “We look at this partnership as a way to groom future leaders who care about the legacy we are leaving and who will pass on our love for the outdoors. In turn that connection to the land through hunting will foster a conservation ethic,” added John Linquist, national shooting sports coordinator for PF/QF. “We look forward to expanding participation at youth events nationally through this partnership.”
For more information regarding the SSSF and PF/QF partnership, the FOREVER Shooting Sports Program, or opportunities to work with local youth sporting teams to encourage interest in upland hunting and conservation, please contact John Linquist at (712) 754-3221 / email.
Bob St. Pierre (651) 209-4931
Image courtesy Pheasants Forever