An excited group of 44 children from Watersprings Ranch and the Texarkana Baptist Children’s home recently participated in the Youth Outdoor Triathlon at Red River Army Depot’s Elliott Lake. Sponsored by the Rod and Gun Club, the event consisted of fishing, archery and shooting events.
“We are always overjoyed to put this event together and give the kids something new to do,” said Scott Van Zile, president of the Rod and Gun Club. “We could not make this happen without all the support from our volunteers so I would like to give a big heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped make the event a success.”
Several organizations and local businesses supported the all-day event through volunteering or provided needed equipment, materials, and equipment. Support was received from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Game wardens, RRAD employees, RRAD Rod & Gun Club members, several family members from all the above organizations, Bowie County 4-H, Bill’s Trophy and Signs and the RRAD Morale Welfare and Recreation. Also providing support of the events were the RRAD Directorate of Maintenance and Logistics, RRAD Transportation Division who set up a military tactical vehicle display at Elliott Lake, Directorate for Emergency Services Law Enforcement Division and the Fire Department Emergency Services provided support through random and increased patrols, access control support, and an ambulatory stand-by throughout the day at the lake.
The day began at 7:00 am with a safety briefing and followed by each child being paired with a volunteer for the fishing tournament. There were catches from under 1lbs to over 16 lbs. All children, boats and volunteers converged to the community building for a pulled BBQ sandwich, chips, cookie and drink. The day continued with the children, volunteers and chaperones participating in the archery and shooting events.
Upon completion of the last two events, the tournament recognition event began recognizing first, second and third place for each event and three age categories with an overall trophy for each age category 8-10, 11-13, 14+.
“We are planning to make this event larger each year and have already began planning for next year,” Van Zile said. “We want to get as many people and organizations involved as possibly to support these two amazing organizations, so help get the word out and sign up to bring a boat or simply volunteer. The kids absolutely enjoyed it so we are looking forward to seeing them again.”