Union Sportsmen’s Alliance introduces youths to shooting sports, firearms safety, conservation
Nearly 30 youths learned about firearms safety, conservation, and the union trades while experiencing the thrill of the shooting sports firsthand Sunday, Sept. 12 during the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) 9th Annual Get Youth Outdoors Day at Wild Marsh Sporting Clays in Clear Lake, Minn.
The event was part of Work Boots on the Ground, the USA’s flagship conservation program, and a series of community outreach events that aim to instill the next generation with an appreciation and passion for the outdoors.
Volunteers representing the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Trades, Roofers Local 96, Bricklayers Local 1, Iron Workers Local 512, and Central Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council provided safety instruction, educational demonstrations, and hands-on introductions to sporting clays, rimfire rifles, archery, and casting.
“The Roofers are enormously proud to be part of the Twin Cities Get Youth Outdoors Day that began in 2012 and paved the way for similar USA outreach events across the U.S.,” said United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers International President Kinsey Robinson. “The kids are instructed on the importance of conservation and the crucial role unions play in restoring habitat. The smile on the kids’ faces when they break clays or watch their arrows hit their targets leaves no doubt that we are igniting their interest in the outdoors to help preserve America’s outdoor heritage.”
All supplies including eye and hearing protection, firearms, and ammunition were provided at no charge, and the kids received game calls and other goodies. After the event, youths enjoyed a picnic-style lunch with their mentors, and many won outdoor gear in a variety of giveaways.
“The USA’s Get Youth Outdoors events often spark an interest in outdoor activities that may not have been discovered otherwise,” said USA CEO and Executive Director Scott Vance. “One dad brought two teenage boys out to the range for a day of sporting clays and accidentally walked into our youth event. He said they were both active in scholastic sports and wanted to try something different. They participated in all the activities for the day and both boys said it was the most fun they had all year. They left with a new appreciation for outdoor recreation and a higher level of awareness regarding local union stewardship and career opportunities in the skilled trades.”
— Union Sportsmen’s Alliance