East Lansing, Mich. -The 2010 Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever Focus on Forever Conference is scheduled for July 23rd through 25th at the Demmer Shooting Sports Education and Training Center on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing. A “train the trainer” conference, Focus on Forever is designed for the organization’s chapter members, natural resources agency staff, and members of the public passionate about introducing youth and their families to America’s outdoor traditions and wildlife conservation ethics.
“We are keenly aware of the downward trend in the amount of time kids spend outside. Add the declining number of new hunters being recruited and retained, and we are all left to question the future of our outdoor traditions and land stewardship ethics,” explained Rich Wissink, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Youth Programs Specialist. “Focus on Forever allows us to engage the people who are directly linked to a larger number of kids. The attendees to this year’s event may represent 10,000 youngsters. That’s a lot of kids we hope to get outside through one event.”
This year’s Focus on Forever event in East Lansing represents the third such event. Iowa was home to the 2008 conference, while Nebraska hosted last year’s event. This year’s conference includes sessions covering a wide range of topics; including, best practices for hosting youth mentor hunts, introducing shooting sports to novice shooters, canoeing and angling basics, habitat projects for kids, basic teaching skills and activities from the Leopold Education Project.
Focus on Forever is part of the organization’s larger No Child Left Indoors® initiative. The initiative’s mission is to engage the organization’s members, chapters and conservation partners in working together to introduce youth and their families to a lifetime of adventure and health benefits that come from playing, recreating and spending time outdoors. Hoping to inspire the next generation of conservationists and land stewards; the organization strives to first give youth and their families the skills and opportunity to have fun developing an appreciation for wild places and the critters that live there.
This year’s Focus on Forever conference received a presenting sponsorship donation from The Hal & Jean Glassen Memorial Foundation of Okemos, Michigan. The Glassen Foundation was founded in 1992 to support efforts to foster shooting skills, hunter ethics, and game bird management practices grounded in science. Both Hal and Jean were avid bird hunters and dog lovers.
If you have questions or would like to register for the 2010 Focus on Forever Workshop, please contact Rich Wissink, Pheasants Forever’s Youth Programs Specialist, at 715-722-0286; or Liz Roxberry, Pheasants Forever’s Michigan Youth Education Specialist, at 517-927-8364.
Pheasants Forever is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs.