Since 2000, the SCI Foundation has provided $60 million to promote science-based conservation through wildlife research, capacity building in governments, youth and teacher education, and humanitarian programs that show the importance of the hunting community in society around the world. Growth of SCI Foundation has continued to gain momentum through charitable donations from SCI members and direct grants from local chapters and the SCI organization. Throughout the world, SCI’s approximately 190 chapters contribute time, talent, and financial support to local, national, and international projects.
Conservation Efforts are science-based and centered on the principles of sustainable use. When humans benefit from sustainable use of any resource, they actively conserve and protect the resource. Well-regulated hunting is one sustainable use activity that generates revenue for wildlife management, conservation incentives, and value for Wildlife around the world. SCI Foundation has funded or directed nearly 100 wildlife conservation projects including predator-prey studies and Anti-poaching initiatives to name a few.
Humanitarian Service Programs are a primary initiative of SCI Foundation. Through Sportsmen Against Hunger and SafariCare, food and supplies are provided to those in need, both in our backyard and in remote places of the world. The Disabled Hunter Program fosters opportunities for disabled sportsmen and women to experience the hunting tradition. SafariWish grants hunting related wishes to those dealing with terminal or life-threatening illnesses.
Education Programs for both children and adults, provide a hands-on opportunity to experience the outdoors and to spread the knowledge of conservation and wildlife management. One of these education programs is Sensory Safari, a program in which the blind can learn about nature through touch exhibits. In 1988, SCI Foundation also opened the International Wildlife Museum in Tucson, Arizona, to increase knowledge of, and appreciation for, the diverse wildlife of the world. The foundation also runs the American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS) in Jackson, WY.
Nestled in the beautiful Bridger-Teton National Forest, AWLS provides the perfect atmosphere for outdoor educational programs. Established in 1976 with the vision of providing educators with a useful hands-on experience that they can bring home to their classrooms, AWLS has provided an accredited wildlife management program for 5,473 teachers who reach more than a million students annually and a challenging experience for 1,338 students.
At the American Leadership Wilderness School, eight hours of class time are dedicated to National Archery in the Schools Program Certification (NASP). This class provides instruction in how to teach using NASP methods and equipment. At the end of the session each educator is certified as a NASP instructor. Educators learn about organizing a NASP or Community Archery Program in their school or community. The goal is to increase the number of youth participating in archery nationwide. SCIF and NASP are making history through this partnership – AWLS annually produces the most NASP certified instructors of any single location.
This year at the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) National Archery Tournament, the Michigan-based Hartland high-school archery team was able to do the best they have ever done, finishing third overall, meeting their goal of reaching the podium at Nationals as a team… a first for a Michigan team. The team missed second place by a single point and first by only fifteen points. Over 400 teams competed in this year’s national tournament.
In the NASP Target event, Seventeen year old, eleventh grader Chris B. finished 5th place and qualified for the USA All Star Team for his third consecutive year. He will be shooting with the top 16 archers from the USA at the All-Star Shootout following the NASP World Event in Madison, Wisconsin this July. South Africa, Canada, and England will also be sending their top 16 archers to compete.
In the 3-D target event, Chris B. placed 3rd (missing second due only to a recoding error which cost him 10 points) in the high-school level 3D event, and 5th grade female shooter, Ella G., came in 5th place in the IBO 3D event.
Incredibly, Hartland had 15 archers finish in the Top 100 out of 11,000 archers, and all three teams (elementary, middle and high school) finished in the Top 25, which qualified them for the 2014 World Event held in Madison, WI.
Robert Jellison, SCI Member and 2001 AWLS graduate, who was once again asked to coach Team USA, started the Hartland archery program in 2007 with 18 kids in an after school program. He now has over 230 kids that try out for the teams. Currently, he teaches archery to over 400 kids each year during the school day, and runs summer outdoor camps with shooting sports, fishing, and archery. Hartland’s three archery teams practice three times a week at a local elementary school with targets purchased with help from the SE Michigan Bowhunter’s Chapter of Safari Club International (SCI) and a $1500 SCI Foundation AWLS Alumni NASP Grant.
“Last year, SCI’s SE Michigan Bowhunter’s Chapter sponsored our teams at Nationals and again at Worlds,” says Robert Jellison. “This year, they helped us with the purchase of a $2000 set of Rinehart 3D Targets that we needed to practice with prior to Nationals. Without SCI’s SE Michigan Bowhunter’s Chapter sponsorship, and SCI Foundation’s AWLS Alumni NASP Grant, we would not have been ready for this new event. It is because of these programs that we are connecting with these kids. I cannot thank SCI, AWLS, and SCI Foundation enough!”
Hartland has since added shotgun sports, fishing, canoeing, and now even camps youth can attend to help them stay connected to the outdoors. “Many of these kids are breaking away from the TV and are buying their first hunting and fishing licenses,” says Jellison.
Safari Club International Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that funds and directs worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation and outdoor education. Any contribution may tax deductible under Internal Revenue Code section 170(c) as a charitable contribution to the extent permitted by law. Tax deductible amount of gift is reduced by the “Fair market Value” of any goods, services, or advantages that a sponsor receives for the donation. EIN #86-0292099