Reach Outdoors: Connecting Youth with the Outdoors

Reach Outdoors is a weekly blog from MUCC Youth Camp and Education Director, Shaun McKeon
Last week we talked about the importance of passing on the knowledge we have gained as sportsmen and women to the Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 8.57.59 AMup and coming generations.  Now that fall is around the corner and my days at camp are mostly limited to rental groups and cutting grass, it is time for the next season to start up.  It is outreach season!  From this Saturday until the fishing shows in Grand Rapids in mid-march you can find me traversing the state with my Subaru loaded up full of equipment that I use for outreach events  as I continue my quest to educate our states youngsters about the outdoor world that surrounds them.
Fall is always a busy time of year in the outreach world as many organizations are taking advantage of the beautiful weather and it is also the perfect time to get youth interested in the heritage sports with hunting season just off in the distance.  This weekend you can find me in Muskegon on Saturday representing MUCC at the Sportsmen for Youth Outreach Day and on Sunday I will be in the southern section of the state at Lake Hudson Recreation Area partnering with Pheasants Forever and the DNR for the Great Outdoors Youth Jamboree.
On Saturday September 6th from 9:00 AM- 3:00 PM, the Sportsmen for Youth Event will take place.  It will be held at the Muskegon County FaiScreen Shot 2014-09-04 at 8.56.48 AMrgrounds located at 6621 Heights Ravenna Fruitport, MI.  This event is completely free and focuses on youth under the age of 17.  Last year over 2,000 kids had the chance to participate in the day’s events.  This year I will be joining roughly 40 exhibitors all who have activities planned for the youth.  Each organization has the goal of creating a unique one day experience for youth and adults.  Past favorites include, The Michigan Anglers host an above ground pond holding 1000 live trout, to allow each child the opportunity to go fishing – for real fish! Conservation clubs, theDNR, and other exhibitors whose organizations bring in live animals – allowing youth to touch and hold animals and learn in a safe fun environment. Safari Club International’s Sensory Safari trailer exhibits animal mounts from around the world, and I will be there talking about the Michigan Out of Doors Youth Camp, TRACKS Magazine and teaching casting techniques.  So if you are on the west sides of the state grab your kids and come by for an exciting day.
On Sunday September 7th from 10:00 AM- 4:00PM come visit me at the Great Outdoor Youth Jamboree, located at the Lake Hudson State Recreation Area.  This event is also free to the public but you will need a recreation passport for entry to the park.  This event has over 40 vendors providing hands on activities to youth. Kids and families can participate in many facets of outdoor activities and recreation, such as shooting sports, birding and fishing. Vendors provide hands-on experience for youth of all ages.  I will be doing mammals of Michigan presentations using pelts and skulls as well as talking about camp and giving away TRACKS Magazine for Free!
More information on these events can be found on their websites,
For more information about Michigan Out of Doors Youth Camp click HERE for videos, pictures and more
Hopefully you will have a chance to take advantage of one of these great events and don’t forget to swing by the MUCC table and say hello, I might even have some free stuff for you to take home!

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