It’s all about the next generation, and NWTF is taking a proactive role in getting youth outside.
EDGEFIELD, S.C. — Excitement fills the air as numerous children are exposed to a wide variety of outdoor activities like wildlife identification, fishing, archery and BB gun shooting. This is the typical atmosphere at one of the more than 1,000 National Wild Turkey Federation JAKES Day events held each year across the country.
Keeping in line with Every Kid in a Park, the new White House initiative, the NWTF JAKES program, which stands for Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship, was designed to inform, educate and involve youth in wildlife conservation and the wise stewardship of our natural resources, as well as show them the many ways to have fun outside.
“There are so many distractions in our world today stealing the attention of our youth, but we [the NWTF] have a duty to our communities to provide options to help get kids outdoors,” said George Thornton, NWTF CEO. “We are proud to play a key role in promoting outdoor activities to our youth as they are the generation that we will rely on to help save the future of our wildlife and habitat.
The NWTF started the JAKES program in 1981, and as many as 100,000 youth attend JAKES events each year. More recent programs like Xtreme JAKES and JAKES Take Aim have expanded the program with advanced outdoor opportunities and challenges to reach the older youth.
“Children want to explore new things; it is in their nature,” said Teresa Carroll, NWTF hunting heritage program coordinator. “We are just giving them a push to try new things outdoors.”
The latest major JAKES event was during the 39th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, February 12-15. The convention’s 40,000-square-foot Family Adventure Village, sponsored by Mossy Oak, was free to the pubic and featured live seminars, bait casting, airgun and virtual clay target ranges, a 3D archery competition and many additional hands-on activities for the young or young-at-heart.
Find a JAKES event near you at www.nwtf.org.
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
The NWTF is a nonprofit conservation organization that works daily to further its mission of conserving the wild turkey and preserving our hunting heritage. Through dynamic partnerships with state and federal wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, improving more than 17 million acres of wildlife habitat and introducing 100,000 people to the outdoors each year. The NWTF was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in Edgefield, S.C. According to many state and federal agencies, the restoration of the wild turkey is arguably the greatest conservation success story in North America’s wildlife history. To learn more, visit www.nwtf.org or call (800) THE-NWTF.
About Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to give the NWTF more energy and purpose than ever. Through this national initiative, NWTF has committed to raising $1.2 billion to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential upland wildlife habitat, create at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment. Without hunters, there will be no wildlife or habitat. The NWTF is determined to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
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