Larry Rohrbaugh (center) has a commitment to introducing youth to the outdoors.
Hometown: Spring Grove, Pa.
Home Chapter: Lake Marburg Chapter, Spring Grove
Notable Fact: Larry's chapter is known for its great banquets and JAKES days.
NWTF: Larry, what's your chapter's secret for keeping people coming back to your banquets and outreach events?
Larry Rohrbaugh (LR):I would say that you've got to make it as fun as possible for everyone. We go all-out on getting a lot of things for our banquet, so our Sportsman's Raffle table is always full. We feel if everyone goes home with something, they will be satisfied. We do the same with our JAKES event— make it a fun day, and be sure everyone goes home with something.
NWTF: What NWTF program is most important to your chapter, and why?
LR: I feel that the most important NWTF program for us is our banquet. We only had about 40 people at our first one, now we have about 240! We get the whole family to come to them now, not just men. It has become a big social event that everyone looks forward to now, and we raise a lot of money for our cause. At an NWTF banquet, people actually have time to slow down and visit, and that means a lot in this fast-paced world we live in today.
NWTF: How does your chapter reach out to people in your community to promote conservation, hunting and the shooting sports?
LR: We reach out locally through our local state park (Codorus State Park). The NWTF and the Pennsylvania Game Commission released some turkeys there a few years back, and now sightings are common. We did habitat improvement in the park, and planted a lot of trees in the area to help.
We helped out with the playground at the park and a local township. We also give turkeys away at Christmas to the needy as part of the Turkey Hunters Care program, and sponsor a JAKES Day. We have participated in a local church's wildlife event and handed out our magazines and info on the NWTF. I think when you combine those things, plus the enjoyment people have at our banquet, they help spread the word about the NWTF.
NWTF: How important is outreach (JAKES, Women in the Outdoors, Wheelin' Sportsmen) programs to your chapter?
LR: It's very important! We especially enjoy the JAKES Day. We feel it is crucial to reach the kids while they are young. Most love to shoot a gun and try new things, and we make sure that safety is our top priority during these events.
NWTF: Larry, what's the best part about being an NWTF member?
LR: For me, the best part of the NWTF is the friends that I've made. Being a part of this chapter for 20 years, I have made so many really good friends.
NWTF: What's your favorite thing about turkey hunting?
LR: Being outside with friends and family, enjoying the beauty of God's nature. We have had so much fun, not just from turkey hunting, but looking for wild flowers, like Trillians in the spring. Another great memory I have is finding woodcock and watching them do their mating flight in the evenings. We have all learned a lot from spending time in the woods over the years. It's not about the harvest anymore, but just the excitement of calling in a big gobbler in the spring.