Ohio NWTF Chapters Cultivating Youth Hunters
Ohio scholarship recipient Mallory Spring (center) with NWTF's James Earl Kennamer, Ph.D., (left) and guide Jason Carpenter (right) after a successful first morning of the Ohio Youth Partnership Hunt
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Former NWTF Board President Gene Goodwin has a long track record of service to the organization’s mission. He has been involved in wildlife conservation for more than 55 years, helped launch the turkey shoot programs and is now putting his ideas toward a new cause — turning the NWTF scholarship winners from his state into active members of the NWTF. That is why he created the Ohio Youth Partnership Hunt.
“We now have a program that honors our future leaders,” said Goodwin.
The top 10 individuals from the state NWTF scholarship program, based on weighted application scores, are invited to the hunt. “We raise funds to take care of all the expenses and they receive a hunting package including Mossy Oak clothes, Avian X decoys, calls and a brand new shotgun,” said Goodwin.
Goodwin invites notable hunting personalities and active NWTF leadership to serve as guides and mentors.
“Each youth hunter gets a mentor to expose them to the NWTF,” said Goodwin. “But those mentors also learn what the youth are doing and what drives them to succeed and pursue [conservation] careers.”
In addition to hunting, the youth guests are treated to dinner with inspirational guest speakers. A former scholarship winner and a 22-year-old wounded veteran provided this year’s motivational talks.
The hunt has only existed for three years, but Goodwin sees the impact it is making. “We are learning some great ideas from these leaders of tomorrow,” he said. “They are also introduced to a peer group that is like minded. Some have even expressed interest in starting NWTF chapters in their colleges.”
Goodwin invites others to follow the model set in Ohio. Contact Goodwin for more information about this program at (937) 631-2377 or firstname.lastname@example.org.