Raise ‘Em Outdoors April Challenge
For all the Mom's out there looking for a few helpful tips on what they need to get out hunting with their kids! Check out this blog from our friends at Cooler Rest.
Raise ‘Em Outdoors is starting a new initiative this year to reach kids across the nation and encourage them to get outdoors exploring, hunting, fishing, and learning. We are kicking it off with our new monthly adventure challenge. Giving kids a chance to get outdoors and get a chance to win a little something by participating!
Rules : 1. Follow the challenge directions.
2. Complete the bonus points for extra entries.
3. Share to any social media site; GoWild, IG, or FB and tag us @raiseemoutdoors in your photos and use hashtag #raiseemoutdoors! Remember if you have a private account on FB or IG, we will not be able to see any posts no matter how many hashtags or tags you use!
If you don’t have social media, you can email in your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or just want to keep your profiles private you can send them through DM on any platform.
OK time for the first challenge of the year!
We want you to get outside to your local park, state/national forest, or even your backyard. Whatever is available to you. This can be done anywhere, even if you live in city! Now head out and look for a set of animal tracks ( preferably a wild animal and not your house cat, Pete ). If you are able too, take a photo or draw a picture of the tracks you found. Next we want you to do some research! Ask your parents, teachers, Siri, Google, whomever… and find out who the tracks belong too.
Once you have discovered who the animals tracks belong too, research their history. Are they native to your area? If not how did they get there?
Even More Bonus Points!
Follow the animals tracks to the best of your ability and see if you can find where they nest/sleep. Let us know if what you found with a photo or picture and write about you how you found it.
We will take all of your points earned as entries and draw a winner on April 1!
Raise 'Em Outdoors Hat, Raise 'Em Outdoors T Shirt, GoWild T Shirt, and an OnX Membership!
Sign up for our newsletter to get this challenge emailed to you every month!!
The Best RV Rental Trips
Renting an RV can be a great way to save money on a family trip, visit remote places, try out a specific type of RV before buying or to get a taste of RVing in general without the initial investment. With RV rental companies operating throughout the country, finding the perfect spot to go may be more difficult than finding the RV to take you there. There are unlimited options when it comes to destinations, which is what makes RVing so appealing. The best destination will depend upon what will meet your needs whether that is a relaxing weekend alone or an extended family vacation. Here is a quick look at some things that will make your trip the best RV rental trip.
How much time do you have?
Choosing the best place to go, and having a great time going there can be dependent on how much time you have. Trying to cram too much into a trip is a common mistake made by new RVers. Most experienced RVers will limit travel to 400 miles per day or less. At 400 miles, you will likely not have time to do much else other then drive, park and setup at the end of the day. Travel days that long work when you plan to stay at a destination for a few days. If you are planning a trip centered around traveling, then cut the amont of miles per day to allow for more time to stop and explore along the way.
If your destination is too far away, then plan on renting your RV closer to your destination. This will allow you to fly, or drive a smaller vehicle, there to pick it up. Either option will be much faster, and in some cases cheaper, then attempting to travel the same distance with the RV.
What do you plan to rent and are you experienced with it?
If you plan to rent a travel trailer and you have never pulled one before then the best locations will be close to where you rented it. Planning to pull an unfamiliar travel trailer without experience more than a few miles, at least on the first day, can ruin your trip very quickly.
As a general rule, the first day should be a short trip regardless. By the time you pick-up your rental and get familiar with it you likely will not have a lot of time left in the day to drive great distances.
If you have no experience, a motorhome would be a better choice than a trailer unless you specifically want to test a trailer out to see if one would work for you. Motorhomes are easier to drive, and do not require any special hitches or hitch setup. The downside is you will not have a smaller vehicle to venture out from the campground unless your rental includes some way to tow a second vehicle so you will want to choose sites with lots of activities and amenities so you can park and enjoy your stay.
Using these guidelines, you should be able to determine what you can reasonably accomplish with a rental RV in the amount of time you have. The next part of the equation is where to actually go. There are several places that are excellent choices for rental RV trips.
Beach Vacations: There are many excellent RV parks near or on the beach on any coast in the US. These RV parks are typically 50% or more less expensive per night then hotels in the area. A beach RV trip can be an affordable way experience the beach and to connect to the environment and your fellow travelers in ways that simply are not possible at a hotel. Some would say that everyone should experience a beach sunset from the comfort of an RV, at least once.
National Park Trips: Many of the best national parks are in fairly remote areas where hotels are hard to come by. While some national parks do have on site hotels and lodges, getting reservations can be exceptionally difficult. Visiting by RV will allow you to stay in or very near the park and experience it in a more intimate way.
Remote areas: Like national parks, there are many remote areas you can visit that you simply could not any other way. This is truly 'getting away from it all' and are best suited to those with plenty of time a few RV trips under their belts. Often the most unique and amazing spots are unlikely spots where free camping is allowed. Also called boondocking, parking with no amenities (and no fees) is extremely popular with self-sufficient RVs making it a comfortable option.
Local campgrounds or parks: Renting an RV to go a few miles down the road to a local RV park, state park campground or recreation area can make for a great rental RV trip. RVing is about escaping from everyday life with family and friends and you really do not have to travel far or visit exotic locations to do that. Many RV parks, state parks and recreations areas provide great opportunities for fun and relaxation which can include spas, swimming pools, hiking trails, lakes and rivers for boating or fishing and much more. You may be surprised what a great time has been waiting for you just down the road.
Outdoor Access Launches Sweepstakes with GoWild
to Promote Hunting Mentorship
A Letter from GoWild CoFounder Brad Luttrell -
“We have partnered with Outdoor Access to help more hunters and anglers take to the woods or water this year. We are kicking off a series of efforts to get more people enjoying the great outdoors – whether that’s for the first time, or for the first time in a long while.
Outdoor Access, often referred to as the “Airbnb of the outdoors,” serves as an easy resource for GoWild to direct hunters, anglers and others who are looking for private land to enjoy their favorite outdoor recreation. GoWild, in turn, serves as a place for Outdoor Access’ members to turn to for help with questions, as well as, share experiences and help build community around their shared love for the outdoors. The duo’s first initiative is promoting the importance of mentorship in hunting by sponsoring a parent-child turkey hunting sweepstakes this spring. The National Wild Turkey Federation is also promoting this hunt as a part of its Hunting Heritage program.
One winner will receive an all-expense-paid turkey hunting trip for two (one adult and one child). The parent and child will hunt on an Outdoor Access property, with the help and guidance of Erin Crooks, the founder of Raise ‘Em Outdoors, a non-profit dedicated to teaching kids about wildlife conservation and the respect for our outdoor heritage. ….”
Raise ‘Em Outdoors is dedicated to teaching children and young adults the value of hunting, fishing and providing sustainable food through its affordable camps. As the nonprofit organization enters its third year, it’s expanding its team to include new board members and volunteers, which in turn is expected to give the structure the nonprofit needs to take on more camp attendees, and more donors.
Among those new team members is Brad Luttrell, the CEO and Co-Founder of the rapidly growing outdoors app, GoWild. Luttrell joins Raise ‘Em Outdoors’ board as the Vice President, Board of Directors.
“With the negativity in the news around hunting, it can feel like you’re one of the last few to care about the future of this lifestyle,” said Raise ‘Em Outdoors Founder & Chairman, Erin Crooks. “But through this organization, I’ve found others like me who really care about the next generation. Brad and the GoWild team were great partners for 2018, and we’re proud to expand on his role for 2019 and beyond.”
GoWild was Raise ‘Em Outdoors’ title sponsor for 2018 and is back for 2019. In addition to the sponsorship, GoWild added functionality to its platform to accommodate the nonprofit’s mission. GoWild has an activity log and forum for Mentorship, pushed initiatives to garner donations to Raise ‘Em Outdoors and as of January 2019, GoWild is matching any company’s donation of $5,000 with a free credit in advertising on its platform.
“We need more people like Erin,” said Luttrell. “GoWild is going to do everything we can to support what she’s doing with Raise ‘Em Outdoors. Last year that meant primarily donations, but for this year we’re proud to take this to the next level with support for strategic marketing and fundraising. This is a camp the entire hunt fish industry needs to support and we’re going to do all we can to ensure we get the word out about it.”
In addition to Luttrell, Raise ‘Em Outdoors has added Molly Ford as an Officer and Board of Directors, Secretary. Ford has a background in grant writing in Oregon. Stefano Scalia also joins the Board of Directors. Scalia is the Executive Director of Marketing for Rock Tape and will be adding his focus on fundraising and education.
About Raise ‘Em Outdoors
Raise 'Em Outdoors is a nonprofit based in Virginia Beach, Va. Dedicated to helping kids from any background get outdoors, Founder Erin Crooks and team help attendees learn about hunting, fishing, bringing food to the table, and the outdoors as a lifestyle. Raise ‘Em Outdoors is a 501(c)(3) Non Profit. Federal ID # 81-530964.
Learn more about Raise 'Em Outdoors and how you can get involved.
We have collected new and used hunting and fishing gear year round. Sending care packages to kids and families across the nation and with hunting season in full swing in Virginia, we want to help out our own Community!
Saturday, November 3rd at Essential Church, in Virginia Beach we will be giving away hunting gear to any families who are in need ( parents included ) , to get outdoors this season.
Most sizes that have been donated to us are adult S-XL men and women’s. They will fit most teens or older kids. We have a few youth things as well. We are also giving away miscellaneous hunting gear like calls, packs, gloves, and so on.
So if you are looking to take your kids out hunting with you this season or they are on their own solo hunts and are in need of gear and it’s not in the budget. Stop by Essential Church November 3rd 9-10 AM, we will see if we can help you out!
When you reminisce back on your childhood and those memorable summer camps, they usually involved organized group activities, water slides, bunk beds, finding your independence, meeting new friends and maybe falling in puppy love for the first time. I’m not going to say those experiences aren’t important, but I just experienced another type of summer camp that blew those traditional camps out of the water! Raise ‘Em Outdoors Camp is on another level! At REO camp, kids 3-17, accompanied by their families, have the opportunity to spend a weekend learning about hunting, fishing and conservation. The campers rotate through various age appropriate stations including .22/bb gun shooting, trap shooting, long range shooting, trout fishing, and archery. Unlike traditional summer camps, the cost is only $25 for campers to attend and the Saturday night BBQ is included. Families don’t have to break the bank for their children to learn valuable life skills at REO Camp.
Much of the hunting industry is debating what to do about falling hunter numbers, but one organization is skipping the debate and diving into the solution.
Raise ‘Em Outdoors is a nonprofit organization that is getting thousands of kids and parents outside, many of which for the first time. Raise ‘Em Outdoors' nationwide camps are a multi-day experience, teaching youth archery, angling, safe firearms practices, ethical hunting and how their actions can impact conservation efforts.
When I first asked if i could contribute to this special and meaningful cause, I asked Erin if there was anything specific that needed to be covered. As always and with a pure heart she replied, “It’s about getting the kids back outdoors.” Raise Em’ Outdoors has, in its own sense, opened doors to my own family. In this unpredictable and at times, unforgiving world we live in, I grew accustomed to sheltering my three boys, Ages 9, 7, and 5. Out of my own fears of what was beyond my front door. i lost touch as a parent that if we do not teach our children about the beautiful world that exists before them, they would never grow into their proper skin as an important part of this planet. Away from the views of city skylines and busy industrial cities, lies the true picture of the environment around us. From the smooth, cascading lines of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, to the serene and calm lakes in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska where bevies of Trumpeter Swans call home. These are the places where nature and humanity once shared the most pure and beneficial form of symbiosis. Millions of years of evolution and technological advancement have diluted that time space into something foreign. Luckily for us, some realize that this should and MUST change. To teach ourselves that we ultimately are responsible for presenting the outdoors to our children and providing them with the necessary knowledge to survive in case of need. But more importantly, IT’S FUN TO BE OUTSIDE! So get your little ones out there! Let them smell that fresh air. Let them feel the grass under their feet and the sand through their toes. Teach them how to fish, how to hunt, and how to stay warm. Pass on the knowledge put before us by our ancestors. Help pass this through your children and into the future, knowing in full confidence that you did your part.
Blessings to All,
"It's apparent that kids aren't getting outdoors like they used to. As a kid, I lived for the days my family would go camping. I would spend hours on the lakeshore catching frogs and tadpoles, fishing, and swimming. We weren't glued to a television all day, and we didn't have tablets or cellphones. It's no wonder the number of hunters are declining. So, what is happening? Can families not afford the hunting and fishing lifestyle? Is there a lack of knowledge or teachers? Are we failing our younger generations? There are plenty of reasons or excuses for it, but it comes down to how we move forward and we can start by teaching our kids about the outdoors. This is where, organizations like Raise 'Em Outdoors, are important"
If you are headed to SHOT Show this coming year don't miss out on the Moose on The Loose 5k, hosted MondayJanuary 22, 2018, by Julie McQueen and Jimmy Herman. This is the 3rd annual race! You simply sign up by donating to one of the charitable partners of Moose On The Loose 5k. This year we are humbled to be one of those partners! So to promote fun, wellness, and getting kids outdoors go sign up today and join us in Vegas to kick off SHOT show with a fun run.
Check out our latest interview with guys from Go Wild. Then check out this great outdoors app and download it your phone. There isn't another app out there like it!
Justin with Hunting Product Guru recently made a video that talked about when he had his first son, he immediately started dreaming of the day he could teach his son to fish. It's something many of us can relate to—a desire to teach our kids the same way of life that our parents and grandparents taught us. But some kiddos aren't so fortunate, and they don't have the gear to hunt, or the person in their life to teach them. That's what Erin Crooks is trying course correct with her nonprofit, Raise Em Outdoors. When you talk to Erin, you can feel her enthusiasm for this lifestyle. She's incredibly passionate about her organization, and what it can do for kids, not only in her state of Virginia, but nationwide. We recently caught up with her to talk about her own hunting and fishing, as well as Raise 'Em Outdoors...... CLICK LINK BELOW TO READ MORE!!
There are many ways to help at Raise Em Outdoors and WE NEED YOU! REO consists of a small team with big goals. Within the next year we have big plans;
- Hosting at the least 6 youth outdoor camps across the Nation. Two days and two nights. Teaching kids archery, rifle shooting, fishing, fly fishing, conservation, hunting education, and all about the wildlife that exists in the region they live in.
- Starting a free membership program for kids that keeps them involved in the outdoors year round.
- Opening a mentor program for our members who want to get into hunting or fishing and are in need of guidance from an adult.
- Giving away youth hunts and guided fishing trips.
- Continuing to outfit as many kids possible with any outdoor gear they need. From fishing rods, tackle, hunting clothes, boots, bows, you name it. If we can find a way to get a kid what they need we will.
REO is looking for help. Whether it’s volunteer for a future summer camp, host a fundraiser banquet, becoming a regular monetary donator, starting a collection box at your local outdoor store or taking off your hands all of that outdoor gear in your garage. There are many ways to get involved. If you would like to help you can reach Erin and email@example.com. Let’s get the next generation outdoors! Preserve our wildlife and help raise the next generation the way we have been doing since the beginning of time. but seems to beslowly fading away from us.
Around a year ago, a good friend of mine sat down with me to talk to me about making a change in peoples lives and starting with kids. We talked about kids camps and about my idea to start Raise Em Outdoors, but it took a good 6 months longer before I did anything. I thought about it every single day though. This last Christmas I started with my donation program, still always thinking about the camps. Finally I decided I needed to do them, I started to talk about it to friends. I was then introduced to a member with the Mule Deer Foundation. He talked to me about all of the kids programs he had been involved in and very confidently let me know, that my idea for these youth camps could become a reality. Fast forward a few months I had been introduced to another member of the MDF, Ken Hand, who offered to bring his shooting trailer down for the camp and help me plan this event. I then spent the next few months with a good friend, Maria Taylorworking out the rest of the details for the FREE youth camp.
In 3 short months we managed to put together an outdoor camp for kids age 3-17. Offering rifle shooting, archery, and fishing lessons. Hosting two days at the Big K Ranch in Elton, Oregon. Parents brought there kids to a large camp placed on the river banks of the ranch. The families were offered a free camping spot, dinner provided each night, and skill set instructions on all the outdoor sports we hoped to help these kids learn more about.
One of my main goals with Raise Em Outdoors was to also help parents get more involved with their kids outdoors. We made this camp a camp for the whole family. This wasn’t your typical drop off Summer camp. When introducing your kids to the outdoors, knowing some families were not into any hunting, fishing, or shooting themselves, we wanted them to learn along with their kids. Getting outdoors not only teaches kids patience, appreciation , hard work, and love for the wild where we began, but bringing parents and their kids together outdoors makes for memories you can’t create any where else. That they can take home and continue to do together after the camp.
We had around 100 people total at the camp with volunteers included. For two days instructors led theses kids along the river banks catching fish, learning to cast fly rods, and learning about the species that were in the river with them as they waded out to keep cool during the lessons. Their fishing guides came from as far as Montana, and from the local Project Healing Waters Crew. PHW brought out their vets to in turn teach the kids anything from casting fly rods to catching craw dads. Watching these vets and guides spend an entire day in 90 plus degree weather teaching kids and parents both all about fishing and with a smile on their face the whole time was one of my favorite parts of the camp.
They also spent time learning to shoot archery and perfecting their form and learning the skills of shooting a bow, then moving on to the air rifle station getting used to shooting a gun before moving on to .22 single shot Cricket rifles. All the while with their parents helping and observing their kids as they got those huge smiles after hitting a bullseye. Day two we had a friendly shooting competition at each station that seemed to really get everyone having fun.
All the families took a break around 3 PM to swim in the river or head further down the long river banks of the Big K Ranch to fish more before the catered dinner event. Each night we gathered together for dinner together, so families could get together and get to know each other better. While kids ran around with their new friends. Campers all camped together on one side of the camp and the volunteers on the other so that we could regroup and plan out the next days events.
At the end of camp we had a fun giveaway of prizes to the sharp shooters and the best little fisherman. Kids faces lit up as they won and everyone clapped for them. One little boy in particular who won a Genesis bow, was all smiles. Not long before the camp, his house was broken into and his bow was stolen from him. Moments like that make you feel good, after spending an entire weekend running around making sure things are running smooth and everyone is doing ok. It washed away all the stress I had on my shoulders that weekend. From hosting my first ever youth event.
I learned a lot with this event and I can’t wait to improve the camps to make the best outdoor experience for these kids in the future.
Thank you to the M.U.L.E.Y foundation for helping us with our shooting stations, to Project Healing Waters for bringing their lead fishing guide for the Umpqua River and all the vets who donated their time to volunteer to teach these kids all weekend. Thank you to all our amazing archery instructors, shooting instructors, and fishing instructors who all traveled from near and as far as Montana and Texas to come help me put on this camp for the kids. Your faith in me to put this on and come help these kids all weekend long. I know made a lasting impression on many kids and parents this last weekend. Without all of you and all the families who are wanting to get their kids into the outdoors more, we couldn't do what we do. The future of our outdoors and the future of our next generation depends on amazing people like all of you.