PILOT MOUNTAIN — The fourth annual Cade Bullins Memorial Youth Conservation Day has changed its location but will offer a full slate of events on Sept. 15 to teach sportsmanship safety, environmental education and recreational navigation.
The event will take place at Raven Knob Boy Scout Camp in Mount Airy from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. In previous years the event was held at the farm of C.L. White but recent additions could have complicated the planned activities.
“We are most appreciative of C.L. White and his family for the support they have given us,” said Extension Agent Teresa Wilkins.
According to Wilkins, the free program is open to youth from the ages of 5 to 15 but participants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. She said it is open to all families in and outside of Surry County. Wilkins explained that initially she was approached with the idea of coordinating a project to involve different local agencies and organizations in teaching youth and families about outdoor recreation.
“Over the years it has evolved to where agencies like Cooperative Extension, 4-H, The Surry Long Spurs chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and the scouts each bring unique things to the day,” said Wilkins.
The Surry Baptist Men’s Association, for instance, will be helping with safety education throughout the day and will also showcase projects they have done locally. North Carolina State Park Rangers will be on hand as well as North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission officers.
The event is staged annually to honor Cade Bullins, who was killed in an ATV accident. He was the son of Game Warden Steve Bullins.
“Steve Bullins has been very gracious to allow us to honor his son in this way,” said Wilkins. “We appreciate all he’s done to make this possible.”
The serious side to the event is all about being safe.
“We really want to show kids that there is something besides TV and computers,” added Wilkins. “Many think they know the safety rules and have good intentions but we are giving them an opportunity to learn more things from the professionals in those areas.”
ATV safety will be taught by Dr. Jimo Ibraham from NC A&T University in Greensboro. Ibraham is a specialist in this field with the university and will cover topics including proper equipment and how to fit a child to an ATV. Participants will not be riding ATVs at the event.
The Boy Scouts will be offering classes on outdoor cooking and will be demonstrating at least three different methods to prepare food, including Dutch Oven cooking, and will teach fire safety and how to interact with fire. Rock climbing and a low rope course also will be offered by the scouts.
Kin Hodges of the NC Resources Commission will offer fishing opportunities for participants. Wilkins said that Hodges will have fishing gear and bait on hand and would especially like to reach out to children who have never fished.
“We’s like to reach an even more diverse audience,” said Wilkins. “We love to see participants come back too.”
Rev. Jacob Norman and his family will be on hand to teach a survival skills class for participants. The Normans will also show how to construct shelters using readily available items.
The Longspurs will offer archers and BB gun shooting opportunities thanks to their mobile, enclosed shooting range.
“Kids really enjoyed it and will get a chance to know about what the National Wild Turkey Federation does,” continued Wilkins.
Sponsors for the conservation day include WalMart, Surry County 4-H, National Wild Turkey Federation, N.C. State Parks, Surry Baptist’s Men Association, The Norman Way Life School, N.C. Cooperative Extension, Raven Knob Scout Reservation, N.C. A&T University and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
A free meal will be provided for participants but Wilkins asked that those planning on attending register online or call the extension office to register or to get a registration form. The extension office number is 336-401-8025 or people may register online by visiting the news section of the website at surry.ces.ncsu.edu.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.