Franklin, Tenn. — More than 160 youth and adults turned out for a weekend packed with conservation-related activities at the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s (USA) second annual Family Campout at Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns, Tenn., on July 21 and 22.
The USA’s Family Campout engaged both youth and adults in hands-on activities including a youth fishing derby, wildlife calling, snake exhibition, trail hiking and conservation education. Participants also enjoyed delicious meals, and youth received fishing gear courtesy of Pure Fishing, game calls courtesy of Plano Synergy and t-shirts.
The free, public event was made possible with support from the Nashville Building and Construction Trades Council (BCTC), Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers (HFIAW), HFIAW Local 86, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 429, Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 480, Sheet Metal Workers (SMART) Local 177, Pure Fishing, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, Montgomery Bell State Park and Tennessee State Parks. Nashville BCTC President Anthony Nicholson and Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council President Billy Dycus were instrumental in the success of the event from promotion to volunteer recruitment to coordination.
“Our Family Campout at Montgomery Bell State Park aims to educate future generations about the importance of conservation while showing them a great time outdoors,” said USA Conservation Manager Robert Stroede. “We’re thrilled to have brought together more than 160 youth and adults to take part in outdoor activities that hopefully kindled a lifelong love of the outdoors.”
Less than an hour drive west of Nashville, Montgomery Bell State Park has been the site of several USA Work Boots on the Ground projects, which bring together union volunteers to tackle conservation projects that improve and enhance public access to the outdoors, wildlife habitats and outdoor experiences for communities across America. The weekend prior to the Family Campout, USA volunteers donated their time and skills to make improvements to the Group Camp 1 Dining Hall at the park. Union volunteers from International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) Local 456, HFIAW Local 86, United Association (UA) Local 572 and International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 369 worked in 90-plus degree temps to give the facility a facelift by painting the exterior of the building. Volunteers donated a total of more than 50 hours to the project.
Photo Caption: Union volunteers engaged both youth and adults in hands-on conservation activities during the Family Campout at Montgomery Bell State Park, an event organized by the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance.
Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA): The USA is a union-dedicated, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose members hunt, fish, shoot and volunteer their skills for conservation. The USA is uniting the union community through conservation to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage. For more information, visit www.unionsportsmen.org or connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Work Boots on the Ground (WBG): WBG is the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s flagship conservation program that brings together union members willing to volunteer their time and expertise to conservation projects that improve and enhance public access to the outdoors, conserve wildlife habitat, restore America’s parks and mentor youth in the outdoors. The USA’s WBG program works closely with federal, state and local agencies and other conservation groups to provide manpower needed to complete critical projects that may otherwise go undone.