Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors forms 1st
Wichita, KS, January 17, 2018. Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors announced today the formation of the first Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors chapter with the establishment of the Kansas Hunting and Fishing Chapter, based in Emporia, KS. This is a new avenue for Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors to engage more men and women as mentors to give more Kansas youths the opportunity to get outdoors and go hunting and fishing.
Mike Christensen, President of Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors, stated, “As an organization, we have not pursued the chapter model before now. We preferred to work closely with existing hunting and fishing organizations, and will continue to do so, but with the ever growing need to recruit more mentors we have taken this first step towards creating Outdoor Mentor chapters.”
”Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors has always fulfilled a unique niche in the outdoors community linking sportsmen mentors with social service agencies and kids in need,” said Ryan Bronson, Chairman of the Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors board of directors. “Establishing locally based chapters to facilitate the fundraising and volunteer roles is the logical progression for our organization.”
With all data pointing towards an ever decreasing population of hunters (the latest survey by USFWS showed a drop of 2 million hunters between 2011 and 2016), mentoring will play a key role in getting more youths outdoors. “Without a mentor taking them and showing them the way, too many of today’s youth will never have the chance to spend time outdoors and learn about our outdoor traditions,” stated Christensen.
“We feel very fortunate to have Eric and the folks behind the Kansas Hunting and Fishing Facebook Group step up to address this need,” said Christensen. The Kansas Hunting and Fishing Facebook Group was started by Eric and designed to bring together Kansas Hunters and Anglers. This group is for the sole purpose of promoting the great Kansas outdoors and currently has over 26,000 members.
Eric stated, “Kansas Hunting and Fishing started as just another Facebook group, but as we have grown, I have realized the potential I had within the group to really make a positive difference in the hunting and fishing community. Before partnering with Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors, I had begun outreach to youth and getting them involved. This partnership is great because we are so similarly focused and it gives us the opportunity to make even more of an impact.”
Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors reached out to Eric and the Kansas Hunting and Fishing group as they were working to find ways to raise funds to promote youth hunting and fishing activities. “The virtual chapter concept is definitely one that will take some refining and work to get it to where it can be a valuable asset in getting more kids outdoors, but we think it is a great start,” commented Eric. In the first week, the chapter has already recruited over 30 volunteers from across the state who are stepping up to become Outdoor Mentors. “We are excited to see where we can go with this idea and how we can leverage social media to address the need for more mentors,” said Christensen.
All Outdoor Mentors are required to be matched to a child through a youth mentoring organization like Big Brothers Big Sisters, which has the resources and expertise to do the necessary background checks and manage the matches to insure the safety of all participants. “Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors provides a wonderful opportunity for youth to experience the great outdoors while building relationships with adults who are interested in engaging in the lives of youth by spending time with them outside of the noise of television, screens, etc. It is a win-win experience for both the mentors and the mentees, while also showcasing the very best of Kansas wildlife and encouraging physical activity,” commented Dan Soliday, CEO of Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters.
To become an Outdoor Mentor or for more information about the Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors program, contact Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors on their website at http://www.outdoormentors.org.
About Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors
Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors is a Wichita, Kansas-based national organization dedicated to providing children with mentors who will share with them the experiences of traditional outdoor activities. The heart of the group's mission is to give children opportunities to connect with nature that they more than likely won't have without a mentor showing them the way. Partnering with organizations with like-minded conservation and youth participation efforts like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Pheasants Forever, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Delta Waterfowl, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the National Wild Turkey Federation, among others, volunteers with a passion for the outdoors can give a child the chance to go fish, hunt, or simply spend time in the fields with a caring adult. For more information about Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors, please visit www.outdoormentors.org.