The purpose of Youth Field Day is to introduce youth ages 9 to 15 years to outdoor sports; such as canoing, fishing, archery, trapping, and hunting. Youth Field Day will provide opportunities for the youth to be exposed to these outdoor sports through closely supervised hands-on activities.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission have been concerned for some time with the shrinking number of youth hunters and fishers. They have spent a great deal of time talking about this problem with sportsmen and conservation personnel.
Many youths today are not exposed to the traditions, which are so much a part of hunting and fishing. This is in part due to the conditions in highly urbanized areas where there are limited opportunities to engage in these activities.
Growing out of this concern, a concept was developed to introduce the youth of Pennsylvania to the rewards that hunting, fishing, boating, and other related activities can offer. It was dubbed “Youth Field Day”. Area sportsmen’s groups would work together with the Game and Fish & Boat Commissions to provide a one-day event in each county of Pennsylvania where the youth could participate in “hands-on” demonstrations of these activities. It was hoped that providing this opportunity would spark an interest in shooting, hunting, and fishing and create an environment for our youth to explore these areas of interest.
This experience began in 1991 in Venango County and the feedback from the youth, parents and volunteers was both immediate and positive. As a result, “Youth Field Days” are now held in every county on an annual basis. Montgomery County began holding “Youth Field Days” in 1997. Through the efforts of hundreds of unpaid volunteers, the future sportsmen and sportswomen of Pennsylvania are being developed and Pennsylvania’s rich outdoor heritage is being preserved.