Contrary to the national rhetoric about guns and schools, some Texas students are showing the positive side of shooting sports in schools.
More than 200 middle- and high-school students in Texas have formed new clay target clubs and are set to begin team practices and competitions in February.
The clubs were created in conjunction with parents, officials at five schools, Dallas Ecological Foundation and MidwayUSA Foundation.
The initiative is part of DEF’s popular Outdoor Adventures program, a physical education curriculum now used at nearly 150 schools across Texas. Participants are listed at the URL below:
Certified by the Texas Education Association, Outdoor Adventures teaches outdoor skills such as fishing, camping, hunting and archery, as well as fisheries, wildlife and habitat conservation.
“Outdoor Adventures helped these students realize their interest in clay target sports,” said Scot McClure of DEF. “Their eagerness to participate, combined with the blessing of their parents and school officials, spawned the formation of five new clubs that will offer organized training and recreational opportunities for students both now and in the future.
“And, frankly, if we could find additional practice facilities within a reasonable distance of more schools expressing interest, we’d have even more new clubs today.”
Students will participate in the national Scholastic Clay Target Program. Unlike teams fielded by sportsmen’s clubs, or other clay target leagues formed through FFA or 4H, the new Texas teams are directly affiliated with schools’ Outdoor Adventures classes and must conform to respective guidelines for school clubs.
“Once a clay target club is officially recognized by a school and the Outdoor Adventures program, the club will be eligible to participate in MidwayUSA Foundation fundraising promotions and can establish an endowment account through the MidwayUSA Foundation,” McClure said. “Each year, a club can use a percentage of its account to buy supplies and support its activities.”
DEF is an affiliate of the Dallas Safari Club. A nonprofit charitable foundation, DEF serves as DSC’s grant and funding medium for education and conservation programs worldwide.
The vital support for new clay target teams in Texas is part of a growing partnership between DSC, DEF and the MidwayUSA Foundation and its founders, Larry and Brenda Potterfield. In addition to the Outdoor Adventures program, the Potterfields and their foundation also sponsor the annual DSC convention and expo and an associated event, the Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience, which helps some 400 students a year understand the crucial connections between hunting and conservation.
Ben Carter, executive director of DSC, said, “The generosity and vision of Larry and Brenda Potterfield and the MidwayUSA Foundation are making a difference for the future of the outdoors and our sporting lifestyle. We really can’t thank them enough.”
Learn more about DEF at www.dallasecologicalfoundation.org.