Teaching the next generation about the exciting world of outdoor recreation and fundamentals.

If you had to make a list of skills essential to outdoor lovers, what would be on it? Most likely you'd put down camping and hunting, which of course includes things like marksmanship, turkey calling, antler scoring, archery, wilderness survival, rock climbing, fishing, boat driving, plant identification, and photography. Now that's quite a list! But those are only a few of the activities taught at the Tennessee Outdoors Youth Summit.

The eighth annual event will be July 16 - 21, 2017, for high school students from across Tennessee. This week-long summer camp, hosted by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency in cooperation with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation, is a way to teach the next generation about the exciting world of outdoor recreation.

We are excited to hold the 2017 Summit at a new location in a natural and beautiful environment. The Clyde York 4-H center in Crossville, Tennessee, will be our new home. The center is located on 190 acres of well-maintained grounds and hosts a large swimming pool with a 180 foot waterslide and two diving boards. There is a rifle and archery range, ATV trails, lakes for canoeing and kayaking, horseshoe pits and a campfire circle. There is also a sand volleyball court, covered basketball court, and softball field. All of which are lighted. 

Students will be staying on-site in modern cabins and lodges, with dining facilities and meeting rooms. The cabins are handicap accessible with central heating and air. Students will be separated by gender per cabin. Because of the center's location, atop the beautiful Cumberland Plateau, the average temperature is cooler and usually more comfortable during the hot summer months.

 Participants will experience boating, hunting, trapping, archery, ATV safety, photography, marksmanship, plant identification, forestry, camping, water quality, trap shooting, skeet shooting, wildlife identification, and several classes focusing on wildlife and fish biology.

The summit is designed to teach outdoor skills. Students will participate in hands-on classes that teach the importance of the natural resources and their management. Instructors are wildlife and fisheries biologists, wildlife officers, college professors, professional shooting coaches and experts from specific fields of interest.

Students will attend at least 10 classes during the week. They will have the opportunity to gain certification in many different programs. Those who are interested in a career specializing in natural resources management will enjoy the training that is not normally obtained until joining the work force. The Summit is changing lives. For many, it is the first time they experience these activities. Even some early students are now working for TWRA. One urban student stated “I never knew all of the things you can venture to outside of the city. You can have a lot of fun outdoors. You get to learn about everything”.

For one youth, it was a camp adventure of a lifetime. This young orphaned boy is in the custody of the state of Tennessee. He was able to join us this year with a full scholarship. He fell in love with the outdoors and now aspires to become a TWRA officer. He told our camp director, on the last day, that the summit changed his life. 

The cost for the week-long experience is $350 per student which covers lodging, meals and beverages. Enrollment is limited to 120 participants. Students will be chaperoned and housed at The Clyde York 4-H center in Crossville, Tennessee. Some classes are held off-site and students will be shuttled to those destinations. 

Helping these future leaders gain an understanding and appreciation of our environment today means that they will likely know enough and care enough to make a difference tomorrow. If you have a son or daughter who wants to know more about the outdoors, make new friends, and create a life-long memory, consider this event for summer.

For questions or additional information, contact Lacey Lane at (731) 415-0641 or email, llane@twrf.net.

Click here for the 2017 Application Form.

Please print application, fill out, have parent or guardian sign, and send in no later than May 26, 2017. 
Make checks payable to TWRF, and send to:
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation
5000 Linbar Dr, Suite 275, Nashville, TN 37211
Attention: TOYS 

Clyde York 4-H Center, 62 4-H Center Drive, Crossville, TN 38572


Watch TN Wild Side's segment on the Tennessee Outdoors Youth Summit:

Donate to TWRF Online

Banner Image - TWRA K-9 Course at TOYS - Photo Credit: Richard Logsdon