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Youth invited to participate at FWP Olympics at NE Montana Fair

Monday, July 31, 2006

Headlines - Region 6

Area youth invited to participate in FWP Olympics during NE Montana Fair

How far can you cast a fishing lure? How accurately and safely can you shoot an airgun? How well do you know your Montana wildlife? Area youngsters can test these and other outdoor abilities in the first-ever “FWP Olympics” during the Northeast Montana Fair in Glasgow next week.

The event will be held in the Valley Event Center on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 7 and 8, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Monday is reserved for participants aged 6 and younger. Participants aged 7-14 will compete on Tuesday. 

Each group will rotate through 5 events. The younger “Olympians” will draw or color a Montana fish, cast a fishing rod for both accuracy and distance, “catch” as many plastic fish as possible in a timed event and identify Montana wildlife in two separate stations. One station features furs, skulls, hides and skins that participants can touch and hold. The other will require participants to identify a wide range of eastern Montana animals from a picture.

The older group will also compete in casting, catching plastic fish and identifying wildlife, but will shoot airguns instead of coloring fish. 

“Kids of all abilities are invited to participate,” says Andrew McKean, FWP’s Region 6 information officer. “Points will be accumulated based on performance at each station, and we will post results at FWP’s booth in the Commercial Building. We’ll award prizes to the top finishers in each age group. The idea is to have a fun competition, and hopefully learn a little about Montana’s resources, recreational gear and its appropriate use.”

While all youth 14 and younger are invited, sign-up is mandatory. That’s because each participant will compete only one time and pre-registration will give organizers an idea of the size of each group. A sign-up sheet will be available at FWP’s booth, located in a rear corner of the Commercial Building under the grandstands. 

Valley County’s volunteer Hunter Education instructors will conduct the airgun station, but McKean noted that more volunteers are needed to help with other events.

“We’ll have a judge and one or two coordinators for each station for each of the two days,” he said. “We’re a little short-staffed because this is field season for FWP crews, so we’re asking the community to help out. If anyone wants to help run an event or be a judge, we can really use you.” 

Call McKean at 228-3723 to volunteer or to learn more about the FWP Olympics.