NRA kids make good impression in community


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Desertdog
August 6, 2004, 02:15 AM
NRA kids make good impression in community
http://www.tiogapublishing.com/articles/2004/08/04/news/news03.txt

by Sheri L. Baity

Ask people in Mansfield and the one thing they have to say about the kids in the NRA YHEC is, they are respectable and well mannered individuals.

The Youth Hunter Education Challenge, sponsored by the National Rifle Association, was held last week at Mill Cove Recreation Area, near Mansfield.
Five plus inches of rain in two days pounded the competition forcing the events to be closed Tuesday and the morning of Wednesday due to some flooding.

While waiting out the rain delays, there was time to talk with a few groups who were competing in this year's challenge.

The Frederick and Cumberland groups from Maryland were eager to share what they hoped to gain from the competition. As honest and sincere as these youths are, so were their answers.

"Experience, first place, towin and Shooting nationally."


This was the Frederick team's first time at this competition. They have had a state team for some time, but never ventured further for this international event.

"The coach told us that if we win the states again, we will go to the international this year, so we won the states," one youth on the Frederick team said.

All the youths are looking forward to going to New Mexico in 2005 which will mark the 20th anniversary of the International NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge.

The rain delays didn't bother the teams either.

Almost simultaneously, the group said, "We got to sleep in."

George "The Hammer" Robinette stated, "they are giving us an extra day."

The votes were in on the wildlife ID course with rating it as "pretty tough" this year.

It would seem that Jan Morris, Wildlife Identification Director from Imperial Missouri, held true to his words.

Some of the items for identification were skulls, jaw bones, fur, feathers and squirrels. One coach of the Valley Pennsylvania team said, "All of the kids on our team did better than some instructor that I know," meaning himself.

The Valley Team from Rome, Pa., is one of many Pennsylvania teams represented in the challenge.

Like the Frederick, Maryland team, they are also a new organization.

Expanding rapidly they have double thier participation from 18 last year to 34 this year.

Sponsors are always a hard thing to come by for these teams. But there are those few that will come from almost nowhere and hand out a gift for the club.

John Marko of Rome, Pa. donated six acres to the Valley Club with a barn as well. The club went to work and refurbished the barn making it into a great clubhouse for meetings.

This year, the club operated on a $6,000 budget. Dividing that between 34 kids does not allow for much help.

Also coming out of the budget is the youths' shooting materials and glasses.

If anyone is interested in becoming a sponsor for the Valley Club in either monetary, material and time donations for this fine group of youths, they can do so by calling (570) 247-7434 or (570) 247-7599.

"I figure the future of hunting is the kids, because when you run out of kids, you run out of the future," Marko said.

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