Sports A Field

A Boost for Outdoor Education

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A new partnership will help more students learn about hunting and fishing in school.

Above: First-time hunters in the Outdoor Adventures program on a duck hunt at a ranch near Sherman, Texas. All four are students at Southlake Carroll Middle School in Southlake, Texas. Photo courtesy of OTF.

Major donations from the Weatherby Foundation International and Safari Club International Foundation will help the nation’s leading provider of in-school outdoor education – the Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation (OTF) – make its unique Outdoor Adventures (OA) program available to more schools across the nation and get more kids outside.

“This new partnership initiative with the Weatherby Foundation International and Safari Club International Foundation will play a vital role in helping OTF reach its goal of being in 1,000 schools by 2023,” said OTF Executive Director Sean McLelland.

Thanks to the nonprofit OTF, based in Dallas, tens of thousands of kids in big-city schools are getting a full-fledged education in the great outdoors. Students get a physical education credit for taking the class, and in every school where it’s offered, demand to get into the class is high. The Outdoor Adventures education program is offered in more than 620 schools in 39 states nationwide, teaching over 60,000 students each year.

The Weatherby Foundation donated $50,000 to further OTF’s participation in schools. “The Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation is one of the leading organizations working toward expanding youth outdoor education and furthering wildlife conservation efforts worldwide,” said Weatherby Foundation president Ricardo Longoria. “The Weatherby Foundation International is a proud partner and supporter of the organization and its mission.”

Weatherby joins Safari Club International (SCI) Foundation as the latest major donors to OTF. SCI’s mission of ensuring the future of wildlife through conservation, education, and hunting, aligns closely with OTF.

“Both of these outstanding organizations share our passion and commitment for educating the next generation of outdoorsmen and women, so that they will appreciate, respect, and conserve our wildlife, wild spaces and our outdoor heritage,” said OTF Board Chair Ricky Fairchild. “We’re so grateful for their support in furthering our mission.”

The Outdoor Adventures program offered by OTF is a fun, interactive course where students are taught lifelong skills using an integrated curriculum comprised of math, science, writing and critical thinking. Detailed lesson plans cover angler education, archery, hunter education, boater education, orienteering, survival skills, camping, outdoor cooking, challenge course, backpacking, mountain bike camping, paddle sports, rock climbing, shooting sports, CPR/first aid and fauna, flora and wilderness medicine.  The curriculum teaches students about the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, and provides a hunter safety certification.

Learn more about this great program here: https://sportsafield.com/2020/an-outdoor-education/

To find out how to bring the Outdoor Adventure curriculum to a school near you, go to gootf.com.

Students in the Outdoor Adventures program at Ennis Junior High School in Ennis, Texas, practice their new archery skills with 3D targets on school grounds just outside the gym. Photo courtesy of OTF.

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