On June 28, at the Mountaineer Chapter of Izaak Walton League of America property, if you listened close enough you could hear the laughter, the yelling of excitement after catching a big catfish and the many other different sounds made by 88 children attending the Tygart Valley Chapter of National Wild Turkey Federation JAKES Day.
The day was filled with six learning stations from fishing, West Virginia snakes, air rifle shooting, skeet shooting, amazing animals, "What's in your pond?" and T-shirt rub.
JAKES, which stands for Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship, is dedicated to educating and involving youth in wildlife conservation and to enjoy the great outdoors. This event is sponsored by the Tygart Valley Chapter and is also co-sponsored by the Mountaineer Chapter of IWLA, from which their many members volunteer their time and special skills to help make this event possible. A lunch is also provided by the Mountaineer Chapter for all that attend the event.
The Mountaineer Chapter of Izaak Walton League of America recently hosted the Tygart Valley Chapter of National Wild Turkey Federation JAKES Day. More than 85 children were in attendance. (Submitted photo)
Our event requires special people with special skills or jobs to present a learning station, and many devoted their weekend off to bring joy to youth in our area. Those individuals were Jim Fregonara, Beth Simon, Kristy Durham, Jennifer Hollen, Cathy Johnson and Barb Bright. This year officials had some extra stations created for the younger JAKES; many thanks to Debbie Ogden, Kate Ware and Linda Coberly for making the day a little more exciting for the kids.Officials also were very lucky to have Pat Lewis, as our photographer for the day. There were so many people that helped make the event a great success, that it would be impossible to name them all.
Next year's event will take place on June 27 at the same location. You may learn about more free youth events sponsored by Tygart Valley Chapter of NWTF by visiting their Facebook page. During the Mountain State Forest Festival, the chapter will be making another appearance in the city park with the JAKES Take Aim Air gun shooting tent, another exciting learning station for kids ages 8-17.
The chapter members would like to thank all volunteers, parents, grandparents and businesses for all the contributions for making a day to remember for 88 youth in our area.