Looking towards the future, it is becoming more evident with each passing day, that without the involvement of the youth, our proud hunting heritage, stands to lose further ground. Gone are the days of SCI and Dallas Safari Club standing alone in carrying the torch of responsibility. While those organizations work relentlessly in their goals of involving the youth in hunting, it is up to us to do our part too.
If each one of us, who proudly claim to be passionate hunters, were to look back at that watershed moment when the penny dropped and you became a hunter, were to pin the period in your life that, that happened, the majority would surely point towards their younger years. When a father, uncle, older brother, or grand father, introduced you to this amazing past time and instilled the values of hunting. And it is with these fundamentals that we are proud to launch the John X Foundations’ initiative for 2016.
Our Foundation will be teaming up with Patrick Cairns from the Ithemba Trust, initiating a Junior Hunters Course for previously disadvantaged youth from our local impoverished communities.
The aim of this course is to encourage youngsters to get out to the great outdoors and to create a genuine love for outdoor activities and lifestyle. As such it aims to introduce nature, hunting, and conservation, to a part of our community that has never had the opportunity until now. While hunting is the focus, it will be within a conservation style setting and ethos. The course is open to both young ladies and gentlemen.
The course will be held on the 2000 acre, Orange Grove Farm, outside Tarkastad in the Eastern Cape. The property has wonderful camping facilities where the junior hunters will be based.
The emphasis of the course will be on acquiring practical skills on the following topics and activities –
At the completion of the course, each participant will receive a tanned hide of his or her Springbuck hunted, kindly sponsored by Splitting Image Taxidermy.
John X Safaris will be sponsoring all the required clothing, equipment, and foot wear for the children, as well as assisting in transportation to and from Orange Grove. GTS Productions has come on board as to capture the entire experience on film for not only the participants, but the sponsors too, ensuring these first fond memories of hunting are immortalized forever.
The cost for the course is US $500 per kid covering:
Having initially launched our Jr Hunters Course initiative during Thanksgiving 2015, it didn’t take long for the first mails to start trickling in. Many asked to have a couple of kids reserved for their sponsorship, while others planned to meet with Carl and Ross during Jan/Feb 2016 in the US.
Having met a number of you on our travels, it soon became evident how much we as hunters truly care. It’s one thing talking and saying all the right things, it’s a whole different story when fellow hunters step up to the challenge and sponsor the heck out of the initiative. At one stage both Ross and Carl had to push sponsorship over to 2017, as we had run out of spots for our 2016 course. It was like nothing they had ever experienced with the Foundation!
A special word of appreciation must go out to the sponsors of this inaugural Jr Hunters Course. Some of our sponsors did not want their names mentioned, as they didn’t want the recognition for their sponsorship. To them it was about the kids and the opportunities their funds could provide. While we respect their requests we cannot honor it. These are the true heroes among us – these are the people who need mentioning – no matter what they might tell you – without them this new initiative would not have happened. We salute and thank…
Together with Patrick we have secured and set a date for the course. The course will be held during our third quarter school vacation, from 4-8 October 2016. Trish, Ross, Patrick and Carl, have started the purchasing of equipment and supplies. There’s a lot more that goes into a course such as this than what one would think!
The selection process of eligible kids falling between the ages of 10/11 -15/16 years of age has started, with kids required to apply via a letter reasoning their interest in the course and why they feel they should be selected. Our trackers, camp staff, and all hunting areas staff children have been given first option on the first six spots on the course, with a further two being offered to PHASA(Professional Hunters Ass of SA).
Through PHASA’s Fund and its #HuntersCare initiative we felt we would challenge our competitors in the industry by offering these two spots to some of their interested staff members, seeing them benefit via this initiative in giving their children an opportunity to.
Between now and August we will complete the selection process of the kids, with further purchasing of supplies taking place on our monthly town runs.
We feel we’re onto something special here. Where this initiative may end up in years to come who knows? One thing is for sure, with your continued support we can do anything we set our minds on. Together we can bridge a gap for previously disadvantaged communities by developing a passion for wildlife and hunting in their children beyond the boundaries of their social background.
Let’s stand together and keep the rally of support going – We’re not just talking about doing the right thing – The hunters are doing it.
The John X Team & Foundation
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