NWTF Chapters Earn Youth Outreach Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For outstanding achievement in coordinating and hosting youth outreach events, four National Wild Turkey Federation chapters received national awards.

Representatives from the Franklin County Longbeards, Plateau Longbeards, Tulsa and Upper Cumberland chapters accepted JAKES (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship) awards during the 43rd annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show. Mossy Oak is the official convention sponsor.

This year’s winners received their awards for the following:

Franklin County Longbeards, Virginia – Recognized with a Partnership Award, the chapter’s JAKES Day event had more than 180 youth attendees and would not have been possible without the efforts of nearly 80 volunteers and countless partners. Partners included Rocky Mount Police Department, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin County Public Safety, Rocky Mount Fire Department, Virginia State Police, the Virginia Department of Inland Game and Fisheries and Franklin County High School.

Plateau Longbeards, Tennessee – The chapter received a Partnership Award for its annual JAKES Day event that welcomed more than 350 youth. It took the collaborative effort of 150 volunteers and 50 mentors, who worked with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency and Cumberland County first responders to host an event offering more than 30 different activities to area youth.

“We count it to be such an amazing opportunity that we are able to team up with other outreach groups to better the education for the kids,” said Kennetha Wattenbarger, Plateau Longbeards Chapter President. “[The volunteers] go above and beyond to work together to make everyone have the best experience.”

Tulsa Chapter, Oklahoma – In recognition of a new successful JAKES event, the chapter received an award for Best Inaugural Event. Specifically designed to introduce urban youth to outdoor activities in a family-friendly atmosphere, the Tulsa Chapter collaborated with the state agency, local first responders and other partners to provide numerous activities and demonstrations. The Tulsa Chapter also purchased JAKES memberships for all 203 youth participants in the first-year event.

Upper Cumberland Chapter, Tennessee – The chapter’s JAKES event welcomed more than 1,120 participants and recruited more than 500 new members for the NWTF, helping to earn a Membership Achievement Award. Families enjoyed more than 20 learning and activity stations, including the newly added rock-climbing wall.

“Our NWTF Upper Cumberland Chapter Committee is honored, humbled and blessed to receive recognition for our JAKES Program in 2018,” said Christopher Peterson, Upper Cumberland chapter president. “Our committee is a small part of a community that comes together to support our JAKES Day and the Kids of the Upper Cumberland each August. We are blessed to be a part of an organization that recognizes the return on our investment in our youth to protect the future of hunting heritage and privileges that God has given us.”

“There are few things more fulfilling in this world than helping a child discover there is an entire world just outside their front door,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “Our volunteers and chapters provide excellent opportunities throughout the year for children across the country, and we are certainly proud of their efforts.”

In 1981, the NWTF saw a need to get youth outdoors and began the JAKES program. JAKES is dedicated to teaching the principles of wildlife management and passing along the traditions of safe, ethical and responsible hunting.

About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights. The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to raise $1.2 billion to conserve and enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruit at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. For more information, visit NWTF.org