By Lars Dalseide | June 27 2011 07:54

NRA YHEC Volunteers and kids gather at the Maryland challenge in Willamsport

Maryland State Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) Coordinator Lee Esworthy sent NRAblog the following:

Williamsport, Maryland - The 2011 Maryland Youth Hunter Education Challenge was held on the June 18th weekend at the Potomac Fish and Game Club in Williamsport. Participants and spectators had a wonderful time. This year’s challenge had 23 teams including clubs from Virginia and New York giving us 112 registered participants. The girls showed up the boys by winning several awards and coaching the overall junior team to victory. I can’t say enough about my volunteers ... most are former coaches or parents. One of the best parts is the large number of past participants who come back as volunteers or team coaches.

The Maryland State YHEC program ran all eight events: Rifle, shotgun, Archery, Muzzle loading, Orienteering, Wildlife Identification, Hunter Safety Trail and a Hunter Responsibility Exam. This year the Maryland YHEC program had new event directors of which two are past participants.

Our Orienteering Event Director, Dustin Dawson, is a past YHEC participant who won several individual awards including the NRA International senior title in 2000. He enjoys giving something back to a program that helped him in his career with a Maryland Foresters License and a Maryland land Surveyor. Here are a few words from Dustin.

I was busy with school and work for a few years and unable to volunteer as much for YHEC. With school finished, I've been to be much more involved ... especially ODC in Cumberland, MD team. It was an honor to be involved with YHEC for all those years as a participant and the experience has even helped me in school and work. I promote the program as much as possible and love to seee it grow.

I first volunteered for YHEC 2 years ago. Those first group of juniors came through looking scared and anxious but at the same time ready for the challenge. It took me back to my first year and I was filled with the hope that they would get the same out of the program as I did.

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