Michael A. Sawyers
CUMBERLAND — Gino Attardi, the founder of Tomorrow’s Hunter, says it all on the organization’s home page (www.youthoutdoors.org), “If we spend all of our time and money preserving wildlife and habitat, but neglect to recruit and retain a future generation of outdoorsmen... we have failed.”
The relatively new organization is growing and now has a Mid-Atlantic Chapter headquartered in Cumberland and coordinated by Darren Price.
“The goal is to take young people who have never been exposed to the outdoors, including hunting, and to show them the great things that exist out there,” Price said this week.
Price expects that many of the youngsters that can be turned on to the natural world are just like the ones he dealt with when they got in trouble during his stint as a Cumberland police officer.
“They need direction. They need productive activities,” he said.
Price said he was one of the lucky ones, introduced to the outdoors at the age of 7 by his father. Price continues to be an avid bowhunter.
“Because our goals are so similar, we are looking for ways to partner with Tomorrow’s Hunter,” said Kimi-Scott McGreevy, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Alleghenies. “The young people need productive activities.”
Another local resident, Eric Rice, is listed on Tomorrow’s Hunter website as the organization’s secretary. Price said he is assisted, also, by Sam Lane, long active with Ducks Unlimited.
Like all growing nonprofit organizations, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of TH is looking for sponsors and donations. The group has a fundraising dinner slated Saturday at the Holiday Inn. To inquire about the dinner or the organization, call Price at 240-727-7331.
“Our chapter and the one in Jackson, Miss., are the two newest,” Price said.
Price said the Jackson Chapter had a 200-acre farm donated to be used for all of its outdoor activities.
“Wouldn’t that be great if someone came up with something like that for us?” he speculated.
The local chapter will establish hunts on which they can take young people afield. Other outdoor activities such as skeet shooting and archery are on the agenda.
“We are looking to get involved in the National Archery in the Schools Program,” Price said. “We already have much of the equipment we need.”
Contact Outdoor Editor Mike Sawyers at email@example.com.