SAFE Event Turns Gloomy Day Brighter for Wisconsin Youth
By Eric Shoenfeld, La Crosse Chapter Chair
It was a gloomy, overcast day in June 2012, but that didn’t stop 75 children from coming out for the West Salem Rod & Gun Club’s 8th Annual Youth Day, co-sponsored by RMEF’s La Crosse Chapter.
Kids up to 13 years old participated in a variety of activities during the two-hour event, including casting, archery, hatchet throwing, slingshot shooting and a bean bag toss. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to see a child’s face light up after they’ve shot a bow or a slingshot or made a great cast for the first time, you have an idea of the smiles that plastered the faces of the kids all afternoon.
Seven La Crosse Chapter members also conducted a SAFE (Shooting Access for Everyone) event at the affair, where they introduced young and novice shooters to safe and responsible firearms use, and also educated them about the hunter’s role in conservation and the North American Wildlife Conservation Model. Participants also have the opportunity to shoot an air rifle with help from an experienced adult.
The SAFE event was such a hit that when raindrops finally began to fall, both children and their parents alike opted to get wet rather than give up their spot in line.
The volunteers had a great time working with the kids, of course, and can’t wait for an opportunity to do so again. The La Crosse Chapter plans to conduct three SAFE events in the local area in 2013.