More than 250 youth in the Bannock County, Idaho, 4-H Program will have the opportunity to learn about archery and practice their bow-shooting skills thanks to a $4,200 donation, in cash and equipment, from the Southeast Idaho Building and Construction Trades Council (BCTC). The BCTC hosts an annual Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) conservation dinner to raise funds for local conservation efforts.
Electricians from IBEW Local 449, Jody Bunker, James Smith and Spencer Musselman presented the donation on April 9 to Nikki Dalton, extension educator with the University of Idaho Extension 4-H Youth Development Program in Bannock County.
The package included 12 Original Genesis compound training bows, five dozen arrows, finger and arm guards, Morrell targets, a target backstop, a training and safety DVD, as well as funds to help volunteers obtain archery training certificates.
“We saw a good opportunity to support youth activities in the area, and the council voted to help the 4-H organization get their archery program rolling,” said Ned Jones, BCTC representative and Local 449 business manager. “The council’s fundraising efforts through our Union Sportsmen’s Alliance conservation dinners and the generosity of members of all our union locals in the area made this donation possible.”
“Thanks to the Idaho BCTC, future generations will now have another avenue to recreate outdoors and learn a new skill,” said USA Conservation Programs Manager Sam Phipps. “It makes us proud to see our members stepping up and lending a hand in their communities, and this donation to start their local 4-H archery program is a prime example of that.”
Bannock County’s 4-H Youth Development Program consists of 12 community clubs, all of which will benefit from the union donation, according to Dalton.
“Jody Bunker did so much work for more than a year to get things moving for this donation,” she said, “and I’m very excited to get this program going. It will be a great opportunity for kids in the community to develop an interest in the shooting sports.”
Tentative plans for the summer include adding archery to a six-week shooting sports program open to all 4-H youth in Bannock County, as well as being part of several community outreach activities designed to introduce local children and their parents to the 4-H program.
In addition to the equipment, Bunker and other union volunteers will donate their time to set up the bows and help 4-H personnel become familiar with all the gear.
“I see this as something that can potentially benefit all the kids in the community and their families,” he said. “It will give them the opportunity to try archery and see if it’s something they want to continue. Whether they later become avid target shooters or bowhunters, they’ll be carrying on our outdoor heritage.”