YHEC: Young Outdoor Enthusiasts in the Making

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There is a competition that includes all the activities that little boys dream of. Each summer around the united states The NRA hosts competitions for aspiring outdoor enthusiasts. This event; YHEC stands for Youth Hunter Education Challenge.  The event itself is quite amazing. There are eight different events that include four shooting events and four "responsibility" events. Scores in each event are added together like in a decathlon to determine an 

overall winner. Wildlife identification is one of the responsibility events where participants are asked to identify an animal given a skull, skin, footprint, or scat. Another event for the youth is orienteering, where competitors use a compass and pacing and a map to answer a variety of questions. The safety trail, another event, involves youth observing a situation in the field with a potential animal target and then being asked to determine "shoot or no shoot?" There is also a lengthy safety exam. The shooting events are archery, shotgun, 22 rifle, and muzzle-loader. 

My family is just returning from the state of Oregon's YHEC competition. We saw young men and women enjoying and learning about outdoor safety. Just like any other sport, a lot of hard work went into preparing for the competition. Participants had spent countless hours studying and practicing so they could perform their best. Families of the participants had spent precious time working with their children and supporting them. Many volunteers who love their sport donated time to work with the kids and provide the opportunity. It is said many times that the youth are the future of this outdoor sport. They must have the knowledge and the skill to make good decisions and keep it alive. 

I feel honored to be part of such a wonderful program and proud to be a YHEC parent.



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