from National Archery in the Schools Program
Non-profit organizations in the United States have a rich history and tradition of supporting conservation programs. Hunters, anglers and conservationists have created specialty groups which support important programs to improve wildlife habitat, wildlife populations, and programs to pass on and preserve our outdoor heritage. The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP®), also a non-profit organization has enjoyed the financial support of some of the major conservation groups since its beginning in March, 2002. Several conservation organizations have realized the importance of teaching archery to millions of young students in the 4th-12th grades and provide "NASP adopt-a-school grants'' to purchase archery kits for schools. Archery is proving to be a Gateway' program to other outdoor interests and is the most prolific shooter recruitment program in history.
"The National Wild Turkey Federation , headquartered in Edgefield South Carolina has been a NASP sponsor and partner almost since our inception, ' said Roy Grimes, President of NASP. 'NASP fits perfectly with our Take One Make One' program. NWTF has more than 2300 chapters and 400,000 members and was the first national conservation organization to recognize NASP as a gateway' activity to promote outdoor skills,'' said George Thornton, CEO of NWTF. NWTF chapters have contributed more than $750,000 to help schools buy archery equipment. NASP now serves more than 5400 schools in 46 states.
The Safari Club International headquartered in Tucson, Arizona makes archery grants to schools near its 189 chapters and more than 55,000 members world wide. SCI has been aggressive in training NASP teachers at its American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS) in Wyoming. Each year AWLS conducts wilderness training for school teachers during eight-day sessions at the school near Jackson, Wyoming. SCI staff has received training in NASP and now also certify teachers in archery. This year 140 teachers from 29 states have become Basic Archery Instructor (BAI) NASP certified.
Mule Deer Foundation, President Miles Moretti thinks, "NASP is the great way to get young people involved in the outdoors. " Our chapters and Regional Directors are excited about being a part of the most effective shooting sports learning program in history,' he said. The Mule Deer Foundation has 80 chapters and 11,000 members across American and Canada.
NASP is, a 501c.3 non-profit organization started in 2002 in Kentucky. It is a unique public- private organization with a national board and strong support from state and federal fish and wildlife and education agencies across the US, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia.
State agencies are faced with the every increasing threat of loss of habitat for wildlife and fish.
While NASP teaches international-style target archery, it is a program that can lead students to try other outdoor related activities. Hunters pay for wildlife conservation through license fees and federal excise taxes on equipment. Other conservation groups promote NASP with the idea that teaching a lifetime skill of archery will enable many new conservationists to try other outdoor activities. While there are some shared members each organization brings a unique perspective and ideas to promote archery through NASP.
Brian Murphy, CEO of the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) promotes the scientific management of deer and NASP to 47,000 members in 150 Branches.' "NASP is a great way to engage students in the shooting sports and prepare them to decide whether they will become part of the unique way we manage wildlife in this country, he said. ' Hunting and the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is the most successful model of wildlife management in history," according to Murphy.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), headquartered in Missoula, Montana has 150 chapters and 150,000 members promoting NASP through its Conservation Education programs. RMEF is a leader in wildlife restoration, habitat preservation and conservation education. RMEF, CEO, David Allen says, "NASP is the perfect match for our conservation education programs. Teaching this lifetime skill will give people the option to continue target shooting or be a part of some of the most spectacular wildlife management initiatives and projects. "
Pheasants Forever with its 120,000 members in 635 chapters and Quail Forever with 7.000 members and 100 chapters bring a similar perspective. "Engaging youth in shooting sports prepares them to make good decisions when they become adults. We believe that hunting and wildlife conservation go hand in hand. NASP gets students interested in the shooting sports and we know from research that this kind of skills instruction gives them confidence to try other things,' said Dave Nomsen, Vice President of PF/QF. Nomsen was referring to the 2009 survey done by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association which indicates that 29% of target archers become bow hunters, 32% of archers become shotgun hunters, 38% of archers become rifle hunters and 56% of archers become anglers.
NASP is growing at about 1,000 schools per year or about 250,000 new archers annually. These students will be the conservationists and wildlife leaders of the future. Groups like the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Safari Club International, the Mule Deer Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Quality Deer Management Association, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever provide critical funding to help schools start the National Archery in the Schools Program. This again, is an example of how sportsmen and women support conservation education and help pay for the conservation of our natural resources.
If you or your organization would like to join this exciting, skill and character building effort please contact us at: www.archeryintheschools.org