Bruce Hutcheon, Host of Whitetail Rendezvous shares some insight into the President’s Outdoor Scholars Program success story with William Crawford.
What do young people enjoy doing outside of athletics? This was the question they were trying to answer when William Crawford crafted the President’s Outdoor Scholars Program, an outdoor curriculum that keeps students plugged into the outdoors while they’re in college. So many young people are disconnected from the outdoors or things they grew up doing when they go off to college because they’re out trying to get an education. William assures that with the outdoor program, they can still get an education but there’ll be parts of the outdoors, and it’s something they can fall back on. He adds that the program is having a huge impact on young people by getting attention from people who might not typically go off to college or had no desire to go off to college.
To put some light on the subject we’re heading down to Montevallo, Alabama. We’re going on visit with a good friend, William Crawford, who’s the Director of the President’s Outdoor Scholars Program, at the University of Montevallo. Having said that, William has crafted an unbelievable outdoor curriculum for kids who love the outdoors, who can’t seem to put it together in college, can’t find the right curriculum. Montevallo is a liberal arts school. With that, Dr. Stewart, the President of the university came to William and said, “What if we did this?” and they’re starting a curriculum that’s unique throughout the country about the outdoors. Everything about the outdoors, anything you’re thinking, “I wish I had known that when I was going to college or sooner,” they’re teaching the kids about habitat, about food plots, about marketing, about the outdoor industry. All these things rolled up into one,
The reason Dr. Stewart had this idea is because when he was off in college many years ago, he was taken away from his home turf, his outdoor playground, being eight hours away from home. He felt he missed out on a lot of opportunity related to the outdoors? Dr. Stewart grew up on the coast of Delaware in the salt marshes, offshore fishing and waterfowl hunting. When he was eight hours away from home, he never got to participate in any of these outdoor activities unless he was home for a holiday or a little bit of time during the summer when he wasn’t working.
It brought back to him that he felt he missed out on a lot. He wanted to develop a program that kept students plugged into the outdoors while they were in college. Many young people when they go off to college, they’re disconnected from the outdoors or things they grew up doing because they’re out trying to get an education. They can still get an education and still be a part of the outdoors. They needed something to fall back on. That’s where the whole idea and vision of this President’s Outdoor Scholars Program came about.