I lost someone extremely important to me very suddenly and tragically. A student, who’d become like a son to me, was murdered. While he was trying to help a friend, Devon was shot. At his funeral, a thought began to consume me. “I wish I could buy that bullet back. I wish I could have become that bullet and saved his life!”
I have been a teacher for over 24 years, and I have run the Camp Compass Academy for nearly two decades. When I first began, skeptics told me that I could not build an inner city hunting and firearm awareness program, but I did. The successes of Camp Compass Academy speak for themselves. I have seen so many students’ lives and the lives of their families, turned around through the introduction and continued use of outdoor traditions. And the truth of the matter is this- that if we don’t continue to share that message, our heritage of hunting and shooting will become so eroded and stale that it will eventually disappear altogether. No children from any area, especially urban areas, will be able to learn about what helped mold previous generations. America’s outdoor heritage of hunting and shooting can be a powerful tool in making lives better. My relationship with Devon is powerful evidence of that.
Over the years, I was hoping that a youth umbrella organization would come along and unify the fight for all children in the outdoors. So far, that hasn’t happened to my satisfaction. To go to the next level of awareness and action can’t just be up to me and a few caring adults anymore. It must be up to us all. You and those around you must join this critical mission to prioritize and develop our youth. Only we can save our children, our outdoor heritage, and our country. The result of shifting our priorities to youth and giving future generations the benefits of our respect and love will make our efforts revolutionary. In our country, children need to be our number one conservation and developmental priority. This is the reason why we need the Two Million Bullet Campaign.
The goal of this campaign is to find two million like-minded people who will each give at least $1 to become a BULLET. They will donate the dollar not because they might win a trip, a car, a gun, or any sort of prize; instead, they’ll give because they recognize that all of our children should be placed first on the list of our good hearted efforts. This movement will shoot holes in society’s stereotypes about the shooting and hunting culture. After all, it is our responsibility to give all youth a bridge that will cross them into our great outdoor traditions. The Two Million Bullet Campaign has the power to be that bridge.
Please, starting in 2012, help build the connection by becoming a BULLET. Please join in constructing the necessary bridge, so all kinds of students and families can walk across it. We can’t afford to lose another son or daughter because we did not want to do the work necessary to save lives.