Building Skills and Friendships in a Summer Youth Trap League
The state of Nebraska boasts perhaps the largest group of youth trap shooters in the country. When the state and national youth competitions finish up in the spring, youth are still eager to get outdoors and shoot. The Lincoln Chapter came up with a way to keep youth engaged in their favorite sport and boost youth and family interest in the League.
The chapter runs a six-week youth trap
league every year from mid-May until just
before the 4th of July, with an awards banquet
at the end to recognize a range of youth
achievements. The chapter has coordinated the
youth league for more than a decade, and
participation has grown every year. This year
they had a record 106 shooters
— 63 high school students and 43 junior high school students.
With youth eligibility starting at sixth grade, “sometimes the guns are as tall as they are!” says Lincoln Chapter president Dave Tunink. Youth must pass a hunter safety course to take part in the trap league, and safety is the top priority.
Tunink says trap shooting fosters camaraderie, much more so than other youth sports, and offers a range of competition to fit any child’s interests. “In most youth sports, it’s one team against another and a lot of yelling between teams. In trap shooting, the kids develop friendships with kids from different school teams and clubs. There is a lot of communication between the kids.” There’s no sitting on the bench either, says Tunink. “Everyone gets to shoot, not just the top five players on a team. They can be a state champion or just come out and have fun.”
Chapter member and high school trap coach Dick Mavis runs the youth league, and “trap moms” Kim Mavis and Ann Lafler track scores and payments. The Lincoln Chapter’s youth trap league is definitely a family event. “Parents come out and help score the competition and pull for the kids,” Tunink says. And the whole family is invited to a cookout and awards banquet when the youth trap league ends — with lots of trophies and even more smiles.
For more information about this and
other Lincoln Chapter activities, please visit
the Lincoln Chapter Web