For years, the Ducks Unlimited Greenwing Adventure has offered a young generation an immersive experience in nature, a fun event filled with excursions that allows them to see firsthand why it is so important the environment be preserved.
With several events that occur throughout the year, perhaps two of the most well-known are the Clinton-Sampson Ducks Unlimited’s annual banquet in March and the Greenwing event, which is for children up to 17 years old, each fall. The latter is fast approaching.
“It’s a great event. They can get acclimated to the outdoors and learn how to do many different things they may not normally get a chance to do. That can be something as simple as baiting a hook,” said Clinton-Sampson Ducks Unlimited spokesman Keith Jones. ‘This gets more kids outdoors and they get to love it like we do.”
The Greenwing Adventure is slated for 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov 1. The event will be held at the Laurel Lake Campground and Music Park, located on Laurel Lake Road, just off N.C. 242 west of Salemburg. The cost is $25 for pre-registered participants, or $30 after the Oct. 25 deadline.
“We’ll be fishing and learning about conservation and each child will receive a rod and reel, bait, T-shirt, free food and a year’s membership in Ducks Unlimited as well as a subscription to its national magazine (Greenwing Puddler),” said Jones. He noted the “fun-filled afternoon of outdoor events” would also include BB gun and skeet shooting under the supervision of the N.C. Wildlife officers, bow and arrow target practice, retriever demonstrations, Smokey the Bear and much more.
“A lot of kids may never have shot a bow and arrow or done skeet shooting,” said Jones. “They get to hold it and shoot it under the supervision of the officers, and learn safety issues associated with shooting a gun or a bow.”
Food and drinks will be provided by sponsors for everyone. There is no admission for parents.
The group is limited to the first 200 children so entries need to be mailed prior to the registration deadline to guarantee T-shirt size, Jones noted.
“Last year, I think we had 160 kids, then you double that with the parents,” he noted of attendance at Laurel Lake, where the event has been held for the past decade.
Ducks Unlimited Inc., whose Clinton chapter has between 350-450 members, is a private non-profit organization dedicated to conserving wetland habitats for waterfowl and other wildlife. Since its founding in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has raised nearly $4 billion to conserve more than 13.2 million acres in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Over 900 species live and flourish from Ducks Unlimited projects and for years, members in Clinton and Sampson County — as well as the community as a whole — have led the charge of more than 2,700 chapters nationwide.
The Clinton-Sampson chapter has ranked in the President’s top 100 chapters nationally since the list was first compiled nearly two decades ago. Each year, the list is reserved for the top 100 chapters that raise up to $100,000 in grassroots income for DU’s conservation mission. Chapters raising more than $100,000 are recognized by the President’s Elite award.
Earlier this year, it was announced that the Clinton chapter was fourth in the nation in money raised, tops in the state for the 2014 fundraising year.
“We are the only chapter in the nation that has been on (the President’s list) there consecutively since it started,” Jones noted.
Applications for the Greenwing event can be picked up at Pizza Inn, New Bridge Bank, the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce, the Sampson Independent, Select Bank, Matthews Cards and Gifts, BB&T, Farmers Hardware, James Trading Company in Roseboro, Eddie’s Cafe in Newton Grove or by contacting Keith Jones at 910-590-9335. Checks and registration form can be sent to: Clinton-Sampson Ducks Unlimited, P.O. Box 1447, Clinton, N.C. 28329.
For more information about the event, contact Jones, Michael Oliver at 910-385-6846, Deon Bullard at 910-337-3558, Ricky Autry at 910-590-3796, Eric Hall at 910-214-6187 or Laurice Williams at 910-990-5491. To read more about Ducks Unlimited, visit www.ducks.org.
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.