Only 3 months old, The Sapphire Range Chapter in Stevensville/Hamilton area is making an impact in the Bitterroot Valley by participating in the first annual Youth Conservation and Education Expo. This is the second such event in Montana where area conservation organizations are teaming up and putting on an event to serve the youth of their local community. There were over 20 organizations represented at the Youth Conservation and Education Expo where each organization had a booth or event. The Sapphire Range Chapter hosted a pellet gun shooting range where they had over 125 youths shoot several rounds, signed them up for youth memberships and provided the brave ones with our infamous Muley Rack hats!
Running the shooting range were committee members were Chris Darnell, Tony Bennett and John Lyon while Regional Director, Marshall Johnson, ran the sign up booth. The day was a typical Bitterroot spring day with wind, cool weather and hints of rain throughout the day, but the speed in which the committee had to keep up with the youth shooters definitely kept them warm. We also were surprised to have Janna Waller from Skull Bound TV visit our booth and hang around for some photos, Janna even wore the MULEY rack hat for some of the photos!!
This event is an example of where conservation organizations need to join forces and work together to reach more youth than the normal individual conservation youth events. By sharing the event, chapters are not so taxed as they only need a handful of volunteers yet they reach 3 to 5 times more youth than individual youth events. Additionally, the chapter is in front of a lot of parents and will benefit from the exposure as the Big Sky Chapter noticed when they were involved with their first partnered youth event by recruiting new committee members as well as seeing several families join them at their annual banquet.. If your chapter is interested on getting a partnered youth event going, start talking to other local organizations and give your Regional Director a call to help you.