Bob Frye photo
Getting kids outdoors often requires a commitment from parents, so some sportsmen’s clubs are working more specifically than ever to get moms and dads outside.
It’s a change not in activities or even intent, but approach.
All across the state the summer, sportsmen’s clubs are hosting what were once called “youth field days.” They’re one-day events meant to introduce youngsters to hunting, shooting, fishing, trapping, boating and the like.
The goal has always been to encourage kids to get outside.
Kids, though, don’t drive. And these days, they’re not allowed to roam the neighborhood like a generation or two ago.
“Family” field days are perhaps an answer.
Some clubs have switched to hosting events where moms and dads, as well as their children, are able to participate. Apollo-Spring Church Sportsmen’s Club in Armstrong County, for example, opened up what was its youth field day to parents last year, and is continuing that this year.
“If mom and dad want to do something, the kids are going to do it. And vice versa,” said event organizer Rocco Ali of North Kittanning.
At Apollo-Spring Church’s particular event – set for July 9 – parents and children will be able to shoot .22 rifles and shotguns, learn to fish and navigate with a compass, shoot recurve and compound bows, hunt turkeys with a dart game, and learn about trapping and muzzleloading, among other things.
Parents don’t have to participate, Ali said. If they just want to watch, that’s OK, too. It’s their call.
Either way, the goal remains the same as ever.
“Our purpose is to expose people to our outdoor heritage and let them take it where they will. We just want to spark an interest,” he said.
Registration for the event is open through July 8. Details on it, and other events statewide, can be found by clicking here.