Last week the Missouri Conservation Commission met and presented the 2008 Volunteer Hunter Education Instructor Award to Mark Burns (who is shown in the center of the photo with his wife Diane and Conservation Commission Chair Chip McGeehan). With as many as 2,000 people volunteering as Missouri Hunter Education instructors, this recognition attests to Mark’s outstanding service.
Mark has volunteered his time for 14 years as a hunter education instructor, and he also took on bowhunter education instruction and support of the new online/field day testing. When people are asked why they don’t take part in outdoor recreation, lack of time is one of the top things they mention. We lead busy lives. That makes the time a volunteer contributes even more unusual in today’s society.
So I asked Mark he why he does it…why volunteer to teach hunter education? He quickly responded, “If all my hours of volunteering prevent one hunting accident, then it’s worth it. Plus, I have a group of instructors that work with me and together we make it happen. And Conrad (Mallady, who is the Missouri Conservation outdoor skills specialist who coordinates hunter education in his region) is awesome.”
I was going to put that up today in this blog, but this morning I got an email from Mark that makes it even clearer.
“You asked why I teach hunter education. My standard answer is, if my many hours of volunteer work helps prevent one hunting incident, or saves one life, it is well worth the effort. But the truth is, it’s much simpler than that. Here is a list of the reasons I enjoy teaching these classes:
These and many other reasons make it all worth it.
Volunteer Missouri Hunter Education Instructor