Mahaska County Pheasants Forever Chapter WINS the prestigious "No Child Left Indoors" award at the 2010 National Pheasant Fest in Des Moines! Click here for more information!
The Mahaska County Pheasants Forever Chapter is an Outstanding nominee for the prestigious "No Child Left Indoors" award. This chapter truly believes that the only way to influence the future of conservation and outdoor recreation is to provide tremendous opportunities for our youth. The chapter routinely develops new and outstanding programs for young people.
Annual Youth Outdoor Day: Every fall, the chapter hosts a fall field day that focuses on the consumptive side of conservation. The event has become a highlight for attendees and their parents, as evident by the number of individuals who show up despite their other weekend commitments. The event has now grown to the point that each year over 200 kids attend. Many of those children are accompanied by their parents, making the fall field day a true family event. Mahaska County PF was the lead conservation organization that helped convince the other local conservation group that the field day would and could be something special if they all worked together. To help the participants continue their appreciation of conservation after the event, Mahaska County PF purchases a Ringneck membership for each of the attendees. Click here for to watch a video of our 2011 Youth Outdoor Day!
Sponsoring the local YHEC team:
Mahaska County PF works with the Eddyville, Iowa Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) Team on a yearly basis, as well. This team competes in a statewide contest about hunter education and safety. This year, the team had 11 members and the chapter contributed $1,100 towards their expenses. According to the YHEC coaches, they would not be able to provide this truly important program without PF’s contribution. Many of the past YHEC participants are now serving as volunteer coaches for the program.
Sponsoring local shooting sports teams:
Mahaska County is fortunate to have a very active scholastic shooting program. This year, 60 young people participated in the program. Many of them were able to place at the state competition. Mahaska County PF saw the tremendous need for a shooting program and they stepped up to make sure the program would be successful. This year alone, they donated $8,000 to ensure that each of the scholastic shooters could have a rewarding and beneficial experience. Fourteen individuals from the scholastic program were able to compete at the national shooting competition. To help them get to the event, Mahaska County PF stepped up and donated an additional $2,500.
Besides donating money to the YHEC and the scholastic shooting program, Mahaska County PF works hard to keep those young people committed to PF and conservation in general. Each year, Mahaska County PF asks those young people to come to the banquet to talk about the programs they have participated in and to help with the banquet.
This experience helps the young people understand the commitment that many people have to conservation throughout their lifetime.
Annual Youth Mentor Hunt: A tradition each fall in Mahaska County is the Mahaska County Youth Mentor Hunt. In 2011, fifteen individuals participated in the pheasant hunt. Safety has always been the most important focus of the event. Each youth hunter is provided with a safety vest, PF hat, as well as lunch. However, most importantly, they are able to have the chance to learn to hunt alongside an experienced and enthusiastic pheasant hunter as well as have the opportunity to hunt over well trained dogs.
Annual Night Prairie Burn: In the spring of 2009, Mahaska County PF, in conjunction with the Mahaska County Conservation Board, hosted a night prairie burn. Many of the people who attended were families with young children. The event allows people an opportunity to learn the importance of proper management of native plantings, as well as to learn about its benefits to wildlife.
Annual 5th Grade Field Day: Each spring, the chapter sponsors an outdoor day that includes every 5th grade student in Mahaska County. The event is a partnership between Mahaska County PF, Mahaska County Conservation, and Mahaska County Soil and Water Conservation. Throughout the day, the children learn about a wide variety of environmental and conservation topics. Some of the past topics include bird watching, fishing, composing, beekeeping, and knot tying. On average, this event attracts 350 youth, plus numerous chaperones.
Donating to PF Youth Trailers: When the discussion started about developing PF youth trailers for use throughout the state, Mahaska County PF was one of the first to contribute. They contributed $2,500 to help get the project started. They realized that for many counties, these trailers and their contents may be the only opportunity for young people to get some type of exposure to conservation and natural resources. Mahaska County PF was also one of the first organizations to request and receive these valuable resources for use in an event.
Oskaloosa Pioneering Ringnecks: Mahaska County served as the first chapter in the nation to organize and support the first of its kind- a high school PF chapter. The Pioneering Ringnecks Chapter, consisting of students from Oskaloosa High School, was fortunate enough to have the support of the Mahaska County PF in helping to organize and partially fund the chapter. Mahaska County Pheasants Forever is 100% behind this chapter and realizes the tremendous opportunity PF has in being able to duplicate the high school chapter across the nation.
National Youth Leadership Council: The National Youth Leadership Council has always had a special relationship with Mahaska County Pheasants Forever. Brooks VanDerBeek, Oskaloosa Pioneering Ringnecks President and Mahaska County Pheasants Forever committee member, has been on the National Youth Leadership Council since it began. Brooks was a very outspoken ally for the Iowa Water and Land Legacy initiative sustainable funding. He spent countless hours lobbying state legislators on the importance that sustainable natural resource funding will have on Iowa. For more information on how to get involved with the National Youth Leadership Council, contact Mahaska County PF Chapter President, Jeff VanDerBeek.
Take Part!!! Mahaska County Pheasants Forever strongly supports getting youth involved in conservation and promoting their interest in preserving our natural resources. For more information, contact Jeff VanDerBeek, President or Jenna Sytsma, Youth Coordinator.
Copyright © 2011 Mahaska County Pheasants Forever
MAHASKA COUNTY PHEASANTS FOREVER