Let’s Go Outside!
Connecting People With Nature
 
  • National Youth Organizations
  • Archery and the Outdoors
  • Plan Outdoor Trips
  • Learn about Wildlife & Habitat
  • Participate in a Service Project

National Youth Organizations

Scouts with the Blue Goose

Credit: USFWS

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service works closely with several national youth organizations across the country in your community.  If you are a leader with the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, or 4H, learn about how we can work with you.


Boy Scouts of America

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) enjoy a proud history with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and its area Councils around the Country. Scouting helps youth develop academic skills, leadership skills, and citizenship skills. The Scouting program also builds character, trains them in self-confidence, develops personal fitness, reinforce ethical standards, provides services to others through volunteer and internship opportunities that influence the Scout adult lives and provides them with an opportunity to try new things. Boy Scouts has helped build future leaders by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. Helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.

Opportunities exist for Boy Scouts of America to partner with USFWS facilities. Contact www.fws.gov or http://www.scouting.org to locate a local office or communicate via scouting@fws.gov by email to discuss details.

Boy Scout Certificates

Leaders may print Boy Scout Certificates here. You need no longer request recognition letters or certificates from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Washington, DC and Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

These certificates are meant to honor Boy Scouts who completed all the work required along their journey to achieve these awards. Only adult advisors or council staff are to complete these certificates for presentation ceremonies recognizing the accomplishments of these individuals.

Boy Scout Eagle Award ®

Boy Scout Venturing Silver Award ®

Boy Scout Venturing Quartermaster Award ®

Boy Scout Venturing Ranger Award ®


Girl Scouts of the USA

Youth represent one of our most valuable resources. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) value a close partnership with Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) and the Girl Scout Councils around the Country. In Girl Scouts, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Through a myriad of enriching experiences, such as extraordinary field trips, sports skill-building clinics, community service projects, cultural exchanges, volunteer/internship opportunities, and environmental stewardships, girls grow courageous and strong. Girl Scouting helps girls develop their full individual potential; relate to others with increasing understanding, skill, and respect; develop values to guide their actions and provide the foundation for sound decision-making; and contribute to the improvement of society through their abilities, leadership skills, and cooperation with others. The Fish and Wildlife Service will facilitate the Department of Interior’s (DOI) involvement at the Girl Scout Centennial, where DOI bureaus will highlight youth programs, and present resources to engage, educate, and employ young women.

Opportunities exist for Girl Scouts of the USA to partner with USFWS facilities. Contact www.fws.gov or http://www.girlscouts.org  to locate a local office or communicate via scouting@fws.gov by email to discuss details.

Girl Scout Certificates

Leaders may print Scout Certificates here. You need no longer request recognition letters or certificates from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Washington, DC and Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

These certificates are meant to honor Girl Scouts who completed all the work required along their journey to achieve these awards. Only adult advisors or council staff are to complete these certificates for presentation ceremonies recognizing the accomplishments of these individuals.

Girl Scouts Gold Award ®

Girl Scouts Bronze Award ®

Girl Scouts Silver Award ®


4-H

4-H is one of the largest youth programs and reaches over 7 million people per year.  Since 1979, the USDA and DOI have been partnering to honor and support programming that connects people with nature.
 Some of these programs include:

    • Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program
    • 4-H Programs of Distinction
    • 4-H GIS/GPS Partnership projects
    • Assisting kids with their wildlife 4-H projects
    • The National 4-H Sport Fishing Program

 

Presently, through a 4-H and Fish and Wildlife Service GIS Mapping Replication and Expansion Project partnership, we are tapping into the expertise and infrastructure of the 4-H program and 4-H GIS/GPS projects to put youth and volunteer leaders on the ground at wildlife refuges.  The youth are mapping data points based on the needs of National Wildlife Refuges, and working together with refuge professionals to apply the youth’s work.  In the process, we’re building bridges between 4-H/Cooperative Extension at the Land Grant Universities (LGUs) and National Wildlife Refuge and National Fish Hatchery systems to continue working together. 
The new sites will focus on urban and low-participating youth who are new to 4-H -- building capacity with 4-H on projects that put youth on the land and expose them to natural resources career opportunities.  4-H youth will learn valuable work skills that are used heavily in natural resource and environmental fields.  Engagement in these projects will provide 4-H members with a skill set and resume demonstrating GIS skills in nature, and may increase the number of young people who pursue degrees and careers such as wildlife biology and natural resource management. 

In alignment with DOI’s America’s Great Outdoors program to create a new generation of citizen stewards and mentors, 4-H is playing an important role toward achieving this goal.

For further information about 4-H programs, please contact:

James Kahler, Program Specialist, 4-H National Headquarters, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Email:  JKahler@nifa.usda.gov.

Is Archery the Outdoor Sport for You?

Archery Activity at a Fish Hatchery

Students enjoy archery and many other outdoor skills at National Fish Hatcheries.
Credit - USFWS

Archery is a sport with few limitations to participation and one that can be enjoyed by the whole family.  Archery is safe, fun, and easy to learn. It is a discipline suitable for all ages, sexes, and abilities.

Archery is a sport that just about any person can find some level of success in. Children that may not be a star at some of the more traditional sports may find archery is a sport in which they can excel while learning patience, focus and team building skills. Or it can be a family sport with an almost endless variety of ways to participate, such as Olympic style Target Archery, Archery Games, 3-D Archery or Bowhunting.

Programs such as the Archery Trade Associations “Explore Bowhunting” not only teach participants about Archery, but the curriculum is composed of 22 Nature based activities that teach many of the same skills used in Wildlife Photography or Wildlife Viewing.

For more details select one of the Links below

Archery as an Outreach Tool: Includes a brief video Trailer and more detailed FAQ page


U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Contact your Local Wildlife Refuge or FWS Fisheries office to see if they host an Archery program.

Plan Outdoor Trips

Guided tour at William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge

Guided tour at the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge
Credit - USFWS/George Gentry

Getting your youth group outdoors can be as simple as opening the door to the backyard or as exciting as going camping.  And as youth grow bigger and more capable, adventures outdoors can grow in complexity with them.  The important thing is to begin when they are young to let them experience the wonders of nature. For more things to do and places to go, visit the sites below:

Your Guide to Hunting on National Wildlife Refuges

Your Guide to Fishing on National Wildlife Refuges

Nature Rocks

Learn About Wildlife and Habitat

child touching snake

You can find animals that are native to your area by visiting your local National Wildlife Refuge
Credit - USFWS/Steve Hillebrand

Help youth get into nature by figuring out what animals live in your local area.  Then once you have done that, go to a local park or wildlife refuge with your youth group and explore some more.  Once you figure out which animals are local to your area, learn more about them.

Youth may have a project that requires photos of animals.  We have a digital image library that may be useful to you.  Search the web site above for the photos you need.

Participate in a Service Project

Girl Scouts at Anahuac Refuge

Girl Scouts restore habitat at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge,
Credit - USFWS/Steve Hillebrand

Across the country our National Wildlife Refuges work to enhance fish and wildlife resources for you.  Think about giving back by organizing a service project for your youth group.  It could be as simple as picking up trash or as complex as restoring habitat. Contact your local national wildlife refuge or U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service office for more information and discuss possibilities.

Last updated: November 27, 2012
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