Trailblazer Adventure Program Celebrates “One Millionth” Participant
Milestone Marks Nearly a Decade of Leading Outdoor Youth Education.
Columbus, OH –-(Ammoland.com)- The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation’s (USSAF) signature outdoor education program for American youth, the Trailblazer Adventure Program, is preparing to reach a major milestone on October 2 with its one millionth participant attending an event.
Thousands of youth and their families will be flooding seven Trailblazer Adventure Day locations around the nation including sites in Atlanta, Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, Traverse City, Michigan, Jackson, Mississippi, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Albany, New York and East Providence, Rhode Island.
By the end of the day, over one million participants will have gone through the Trailblazer Adventure Program since its inception as an Atlanta pilot program in 2001.
In 2002 Trailblazer grew with five pilots around the country averaging over 1,000 participants at each site. That tremendous growth continued reaching a record number of 200,000 youth and their families attending in 2009 alone.
Trailblazer has received many awards and accolades including a U.S. Department of the Interior Take Pride in America award for its leadership in recruiting youth and families to outdoor sports.
“For close to a decade, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation has worked with all types of youth organizations to make Trailblazer the largest outdoor education program of its kind in the nation,” said Bud Pidgeon, USSAF president and CEO. “To have touched the lives of so many young people and their families and to have given them a taste of the wonders of outdoor sports has been awe inspiring.”
The Chair of the Trailblazer Program is Mary Cabela, co-founder with husband Richard Cabela, and brother Jim Cabela of the well known sportsmen store chain, Cabela’s. It is under her guidance and generosity that Trailblazer has the resources to introduce legions of youth and their families to shooting, fishing, hunting, and trapping.
Additionally, many organizations have provided invaluable resources to make Trailblazer a reality such as the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, nearly every state wildlife agency, and numerous national conservation based groups such as Fur Takers of American, Masters of Foxhounds Association, and the National Wild Turkey Federation. In addition to these groups, tens of thousands of volunteers, many from the expansive national network of local conservation clubs, have donated their time and money to make each Trailblazer event a unique experience for the children and families attending.
Trailblazer would not be possible without numerous conservation minded businesses such as Cabela’s, the Crosman Corporation, Bushnell Performance Optics, Henry Repeating Arms, and many more.
About Trailblazer: Trailblazer events are typically hosted at a Boy Scout camp or similar facility and features a variety of activities, demonstrations and orientation sessions designed to let children and their parents experience the outdoor lifestyle. Activities include firearm shooting and safety, archery, trapping, fishing and much more. All activities are conducted under the supervision of experienced “Trail Guides” with an emphasis on safety. USSAF Local Field Directors attend each event to ensure coordination between all participating organizations.
Youth-serving partnerships include: Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, Campfire USA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, Girls Incorporated and YMCA.
Conservation organization partnerships include: National Shooting Sports Foundation, Masters of Foxhounds Association, Fur Takers of America, National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), its state chapters and the NWTF JAKES program, Ohio Division of Wildlife, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources- Wildlife, Wild Sheep Foundation, Bass Anglers Sportsmen’s Society, Kentucky Fur Takers Association, Safari Club International Foundation, Safari Club International Golden Gate Chapter, United Taxidermist Association (UTA), Hidden Haven Hunting Preserve, local sportsmen’s clubs, and the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit.
Special partnerships: Three of the aforementioned organizations have signed agreements to provide leadership at Trailblazer events. These groups are the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), its state chapters, and the NWTF JAKES program, BASS, and the United Taxidermy Association.
Also indispensable to the success of Trailblazer are generous financial sponsors including the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Ohio Division of Wildlife, Bushnell Performance Optics, Cabela’s, Charles Daly and the Crosman Corporation.
Additional support: The Lee and Ramona Bass Foundation, Shikar-Safari Club International Foundation, Mrs. Mary A. Cabela, William H. Flowers Jr. Foundation, Alan & Barbara Sackman, McBean Family Foundation, Bicknell Fund, Hampe Family Foundation, Inc., Mr. Richard C. Hampe, JCK Foundation, Northstar Youth Houndsman, U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, West Virginia Trophy Hunters Association, and the Big Game Hunters Foundation.
For more information about the Trailblazer Adventure program, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.trailblazeradventure.org.
The USSAF protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. It is responsible for public education, legal defense and research.
The NSSF is the professional trade association for the firearms industry. Formed in 1961, it manages a variety of public outreach programs with a special emphasis on promoting gun safety and participation in shooting sports.
Cabela’s is the World’s Foremost Outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear. The leader in the outdoor equipment business, it has grown and prospered from simple beginnings to become the largest mail-order, retail and Internet outdoor outfitter in the world.
About the NWTF
The National Wild Turkey Federation is a national nonprofit conservation and hunting organization that, along with its volunteers, partners and sponsors, has worked for the conservation of the wild turkey and preservation of the hunting tradition. When the NWTF was established in 1973, there were only 1.3 million wild turkeys. Today that number stands at more than seven million birds throughout North America, and hunting seasons have been established in 49 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico.
The United Taxidermist Association was founded in September 2007 by a group of like minded individuals, seeking to promote unity and professionalism within the taxidermy industry. The UTA focuses on advancing the art of taxidermy with special emphasis on education and youth.