Our SPARC course had several different areas of focus within the arena of outdoor recreation. One part of the course focused on hunter education. We were privileged to have a Texas Parks and Wildlife certified instructional team to guide the students through the various parts of hunter education resulting in them receiving their hunter education certificates. All hunters must have these certificates to hunt in the state of Texas so these boys are now able to hunt safely and independently.
Another focus was recreational boating and fishing. We worked through a local fishing guide and were able to go to Richland Chambers Reservoir near Corsicana for a fun-filled day angling for catfish. The weather almost didn’t cooperate as it was cold and blustery, but the boys persevered and caught a good number of catfish and never complained about the conditions. For lunch we enjoyed fresh-caught fish fried on the bank along with french fries and hush puppies.
The other area was gun safety and shooting sports. We were able to utilize the skeet range at Rose City Flying Clays to introduce the boys to 5-stand clay shooting. Two of our international students had never fired a shotgun before so this was a new and exciting experience for them. Along the way we continuously stressed the importance of being safe, respecting God’s creation, and being conservation-minded while hunting and fishing.
My favorite memory of the course was watching the boarding students enjoy the freedom of shooting a gun, knowing that in their home country this is probably not possible.