One by one, boys and girls lined up at an inflatable range to fire a BB gun.
“We’re teaching kids gun safety,” Terry Sweet, volunteer and chair of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Grand Junction Chapter, told the Grand Junction Sentinel. “A lot of them have never shot anything.”
BB gun shooting was one of a litany of activities at the 15th annual Outdoor Heritage Day in Palisade, a small town about 10 miles east of Grand Junction in western Colorado. Participants also learned how to shoot a bow, climb a tree while wearing a harness, build a fire, identify and handle some animals, and even got some hands-on tips on how to catch their own dinner.
“They’re practicing how to use their fishing pole,” Ivan Archer, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) assistant area wildlife manager, told the Grand Junction Sentinel. “We give them the pole to take home but want to give them the basics on how to cast and how to reel.”
In all, CPW gave away about 300 fishing poles. Young participants also went home having learned how to clean and prepare freshly-caught fish.
RMEF often provides volunteer manpower and funding to assist youth camps, mentored hunts and other outdoor-related activities. In 2021 alone, it helped out with more than 200 similar events across the country.
(Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation – image is from a different but similar past RMEF-sponsored event)