Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation Partnership

Author: Neil Turner

In 1998, The Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation, commonly referred to as OTF, pioneered the first outdoor educational program for secondary schools in Texas. In 2007, a complete curriculum rewrite helped merit accreditation by the Texas Education Association for the newly named “Outdoor Adventures” (OA) program.

Today, under the guidance of Director of Education Scot McClure, OTF has established the OA education program in more than 600 K-12 public and private schools across 40 states. OTF provides curriculum and equipment grants to schools who have purchased Outdoor Adventures as well as providing avenues for teacher training and workshops without charge. With more than 60,000 students currently enrolled, OTF plans to continue expanding the OA program nationwide.

The OA curriculum is not your traditional elective course or PE class. Many outdoor skills are covered including, archery , orienteering , survival skills, first aid/CPR , trip planning,hiking, backpacking, camping , outdoor cooking, conservation/environmental issues, fly tying (yes fly tying) and most importantly, ANGLING.

Tailwaters General Manager, Neil Turner was a student of McClure’s in OA, at Coppell High school in 2003. In fact, he credits McClure as the first person to put a fly rod in his hand on class fishing trips, and Neil has not put a fly rod down since he was 16. The course made an enormous impact on Neil, and helped shape him into the outdoorsman he is today. Neil likes to joke that this is the only high school class he remembers. Not many courses teach you how to trace blood from a deer wound, cook biscuits from scratch in a Dutch oven, and how to tie a wooly bugger. The important things in life.

We here at the shop find the OTF organization an absolute worthy cause for us to provide support in any way possible and want to help bring awareness to the truly positive effects the course and the outdoors in general creates in developing youth.

The primary equipment needed for the OA course is archery and angling gear. The angling equipment can be any combination of rods and reels from various vendors. In our first effort to support the OTF, Tailwaters is asking for your support in our first ever “gear drive” to donate to the Outdoor Adventure Program here in Texas! We are looking for boots, waders, rods and reels: as well as, any other fly fishing items.

THE MISSION OF THE OUTDOORS TOMORROW FOUNDATION IS TO TEACH OUTDOOR EDUCATION AND TO PROMOTE AND FUND CONSERVATION OF WILDLIFE WORLDWIDE.