Priority is defined as:
1: the quality or state of coming before another in time or importance
Although this is not an unfamiliar term, most of us as hunters and outdoorsmen do not make kids a priority. In fact, most of us see them as a hindrance, a bother or nonexistent. We cannot continue to assume that someone else will make the financial contribution or expect that someone else will donate the time or professional services that it takes to fund and operate an effective youth outreach program.
The reality is, is that there are millions of kids out there just looking for an opportunity to experience the outdoors. We as outdoorsmen are obligated and responsible for each and every kid out there, whether they are ours or not. We also have an obligation to the hunting and shooting industry to recruit new participants and keep them involved.
The majority of people in our society are passive and choose to remain uninvolved, just waiting for the other guy to step up. This is clearly evident in the outdoor industry as we are seeing fewer volunteer hunter education instructors, fewer kids hunting and shooting and a significant drop in hunting license sales nationwide. The ironic thing about all of this, is that we no one to blame for this except ourselves. We are solely responsible for this decline and we alone are responsible for fixing it.
We as hunters, shooters and outdoorsmen must act now. We have got to step and make the future of our heritage a priority, and this means donating your time, energy, money and talent. The days of just sitting by and applauding others for a job well done or simply being in agreement that it’s a great idea, will not cut it. You must take action and be a doer, not an observer.
2: a condition of being given attention before others