We're always happy to get the call when Sportsmen for Youth is getting ready to go. It's a day for kids put on at the Muskegon County Fait grounds centered on the idea that getting out of the house and enjoying something other than the steady diet of video games and microwave dinners is a good thing to do. It's also a chance to make sure kids get a good meal for the day, a nice swag bag and exposed to some of the things they might not otherwise get a chance to be a part of in the great outdoors.
1993 it all got underway in Muskegon and has grown ever since. From their website - "Sportsmen for Youth, a non–profit corporation with 501(C)3 status, is a group comprised of many sporting organizations who have pooled their resources to design a free one-day family friendly event to introduce our youth to the great joy and appreciation of outdoor sports." Brian Harris is one of the organizers and he's joining me to talk about the fun.
It's a hands on day to say the very least. Opportunities to get into it all are here. Catch and clean your own trout! How about a fishing demo that will pinpoint a fish and show you how it's caught? Archery? Proper use of a fire arm? They will have a critter barn, you can meet up with organizations from the Scouts to the US Military and our area police and fire services will be showing off their stuff with active burn demonstrations as well as activities for kids who might not be completely in to the outdoors theme. There really is something for everyone.
There is no cost to this day at all. There is a nominal charge if parents want to buy lunch for themselves but outside of that, it's all provided as an educational outreach for kids 17 and under and to see crowds of 2500+ is not an uncommon occurrence. With 60 or so presenters who are on hand to inform, entertain and offer guidance, it won't feel like a day or waiting in line, but more of a day of "what's next!" as the excitement builds and the interest grows.
Learn more at the SPORTSMEN FOR YOUTH website which you'll find linked below.