In its first year, the trap team at Park High School not only engaged 50 student athletes in the sport of trap shooting, but participants also formed Minnesota’s first high school Pheasants Forever chapter. Officially known as the Park High River Valley Roosters, the new chapter becomes the sixth active high school Pheasants Forever chapter in the nation. The new chapter’s focus is on youth involvement in shooting sports as a gateway to interest in the outdoors, upland hunting, and upland habitat conservation.
Advising the chapter is Pete Soukup, the trap team’s head coach, current president of the Mississippi Longtails Pheasants Forever chapter, and a Pheasants Forever life member. Soukup’s passion for getting youth involved in the outdoors has not gone unnoticed—last year he was recognized by the Field & Stream Heroes of Conservation program, and this year his chapter, the Mississippi Longtails, earned the No Child Left Indoors® Chapter of the Year award. The No Child Left Indoors® Chapter of the Year award is given annually to one Pheasants Forever chapter and one Quail Forever chapter nationwide for outstanding efforts in introducing youngsters to the outdoors.
“It’s the beginning of great things to come. The youth in high schools are the next generation of conservation leaders and they have a lot of great ideas,” Soukup says, “Youth shooting sports programs give teens the ability to shine in areas previously marked by a lack of opportunity. It builds leadership, character, and a sense of pride in being able to give back to the community.”
“The youth in the chapter benefit from new experiences in the outdoors through habitat work, volunteering with youth activity days in the area, and being active on a high school trap shooting team,” continued Soukup. “Being connected to Pheasants Forever has benefited the team by allowing them to receive assistance from the work that PF is doing through its No Child Left Indoors initiative, along with grants to help with shooting team expenses.”
Park High River Valley Roosters Pheasants Forever Chapter
- The Park High River Valley Roosters Pheasants Forever chapter has elected student athletes Lucas Coy of Saint Paul Park as president, Benjamin Seidi of Cottage Grove as vice president, Rachael Kittelson of Cottage Grove as treasurer, Connie Grundhauser of Cottage Grove as secretary, and Coach Pete Soukup as the chapter/school advisor.
- The chapter will hold its next meeting on Sunday, September 21. For more information about the chapter, contact chapter advisor, Pete Soukup, at (651) 329-8133 / email.
Pheasants Forever in Minnesota
Minnesota is home to 75 Pheasants Forever chapters and more than 24,400 Pheasants Forever members. For more information about Pheasants Forever in Minnesota, to join a chapter or inquire about starting a chapter, contact Chad Bloom, Pheasants Forever Southern Minnesota Regional Representative, at (320) 292-4771 / email.
Bob St. Pierre (651) 209-4931
Image courtesy Pheasants Forever