By Lars Dalseide | June 4 2010 12:00

Morris Aguilar, Program Coordinator for NRA's Hunter Services Department and YHEC guru, sent NRAblog the following recap:

I recently attended a Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) sponsored by Boy Scouts Troop 725 at the Meyer Station Nature Center in Odenton, Maryland.

The scouts arrived on a Friday evening to set-up camp and tents for the weekend. Unfortunately, they were met with heavy rain. Patches of clear weather allowed them to set-up tents and they were off to a safety briefing and marksmanship seminars. Directed by Gene Carter, Troop 725 YHEC director, the scouts learned that they would be shooting rifle, archery, orienteering and identifying wildlife (for their merit badges) and participate the YHEC program.

Saturday morning started with breakfast. Meals were finished, the camp was cleaned, and the scouts were divided up into one senior and two junior teams. Each team was assigned an event and continued rotating through the programs – merit badge qualifying programs first and then complete in YHEC.

Everyone had a great time as scouts combined the two programs into one. It was encouraging to see the young scouts smiling before, during, and after each event – a sure sign they were enjoying themselves.

After all events were completed the scouts and their leaders took the opportunity to try shooting a shotgun too.

Many credits go to Gene Carter, Bill Bierman – Scoutmaster, Troop 725 leaders – Zack Harfield, Allison Bierman, Greg Busch, Shortly Colston, Tammy Davis, Paul Francis, Tim Howell, Sam Hubbard and Sylvia Wiedenhoeft as they did a wonderful job working with the scouts trough the entire weekend.

Once the weekend came to a close, some where asked to share their thoughts about YHEC and if they were interested in doing a YHEC program again next year. Every scouts and the scout leaders raised their hands. One leader suggested challenging some of the other scouts troops to compete in the YHEC next year as a troop versus troop competition. That would be something to see.

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