SCWA Yearend Gift Appeal

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Dear SCWA Friend and Supporter,

December 16, 2017 marked the 31st anniversary of the South Carolina Waterfowl Association. We are proud to announce it has been a record-setting year. SCWA wildlife conservation education programs set new records in scholarship funding and camp attendance. The summer program, Camp Woodie, was at full capacity with 1,062 youth, and Camp Leopold, the school-year natural resource conservation camp, hosted over 6,000 campers. Unfortunately, we were forced to turn away over 300 summer campers due to a lack of space. As we look to the near future, the rapid growth of the Camp Leopold school-year program will also outgrow our facilities within two years. In order to pass on the legacy of our outdoor heritage to the next generation, we need to expand.

As a result of the demand for SCWA youth conservation education programs, the SCWA Board of Directors has approved a $10.5 million expansion plan for the SCWA Wildlife Education Center. The first step in the expansion plan is the acquisition of 400 additional acres that will increase the Wildlife Education Center campus to 791 acres. To date, 177 acres of this land has been acquired, thanks to generous donations. The balance of the land is set for acquisition next April. The expansion plan also includes new lodging facilities, education buildings and activity centers that will allow SCWA to increase the Camp Woodie annual attendance to 2,000 youth and allow us to host 1,000 parent/child weekend campers. The expansion plan will enable the Camp Leopold school-year program to grow to a capacity of 25,000 campers.

We need your help to pass on the legacy of our outdoor heritage to the next generation. Scholarship funding is needed to allow needs-based youth to attend camp. We also need your support to help fund our expansion plan.

Your consideration of including SCWA in your yearend giving is greatly appreciated. There are many ways to give. For example, a $480 donation will fund a Camp Woodie scholarship, and a $160 donation will fund a Camp Leopold scholarship. Or you can make a large or small donation to help fund the Wildlife Education Center expansion plan.

You can give online, by clicking on the “Support” tab on scwa.org and choosing one of the categories, or you can mail in your tax-deductible contribution to the South Carolina Waterfowl Association: 9833 Old River Road, Pinewood, SC 29125. Thanks again for your support and Happy Holidays!

Sincerely,

David J. Wielicki,
Executive Director

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Camp Leopold earns ACA accreditation

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After months of preparation, Camp Leopold is now officially accredited by the American Camp Association. ACA is dedicated to maintaining high-quality camp programs, and Camp Leopold is very excited to be a part of their list.

Camp Leopold Director Joe Gonzalez said on behalf of him and his staff, “This process has been a tremendous team effort – more than a year in the making.  We are very excited to show our attending schools that we have taken the time to analyze every aspect of our camp to ensure we are delivering a safe and quality program for all who visit.  This process holds us to high standards which will make Camp Leopold more marketable in the years to come – this is a true milestone for us as our program continues to grow.”

The ACA accreditation process helped to ensure that the experience Camp Leopold is providing to South Carolina students is one that will be valued and remembered. ACA’s website assures “ACA-accreditation is solid proof of a camp’s accountability, credibility, and commitment.”

The American Camp Association has a database on its website of over 3,600 camps, 12,000 programs and 47,000 sessions. Camp Leopold will now be a part of that database for viewers on the ACA site to find and research. Camp Leopold is dedicated to helping students learn and grow through knowledge of the natural world, and thanks to the ACA accreditation, we will be able to reach an even wider audience with that knowledge.

 

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Reptile Refinement: Leopold staff enhances lesson

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“Their Blood Runs Cold” is a favorite among many lessons that Camp Leopold offers to the schools that attend. Students are given a presentation about reptiles, such as turtles and snakes, and have the opportunity to safely interact with these animals in a hands-on way.

Since there’s always room for improvement, the Camp Leopold staff met with Professor Josh Castleberry, Department Chair for Environmental and Natural Resources, of Central Carolina Technical College yesterday to see how they could cultivate their already popular reptile presentation.

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Castleberry visited Camp Leopold’s sister camp, Camp Woodie, on numerous occasions this past summer as a guest speaker, and the campers loved his sessions. They got to hear about reptiles from a professional and see animals that you don’t normally get an “up close and personal” experience with.

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The Camp Leopold staff learned plenty in their time with Castleberry at the Central Carolina Natural Resource Management Center in Sumter yesterday. Staff members even got to assist in relocating and releasing a copperhead into the forest. Thank you so much to Professor Castleberry for the time spent with our team. Thanks to his professional mentoring, the Camp Leopold staff can put forth an exceptional reptile experience to students from all over the state of South Carolina.

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Waterfowl Associations Band Together

Waterfowl Associations Band Together

This year, South Carolina Waterfowl Association’s Camp Woodie was missing a few veteran staff members. While they were being missed fiercely by the Camp Woodie staff and campers, they were learning and making an impact in Suisun City, California at California Waterfowl’s summer camp at Grizzly Ranch in the Suisun Marsh, which is the largest contiguous brackish marsh remaining on the west coast of the entire continent.

Hannah Cato, Trey Gardner, and Taylor Byars migrated to the West Coast in the month of May to join the summer staff of California Waterfowl. Their mission was to collaborate with CWA’s staff members to share experiences and techniques from SCWA’s summer camp to compare with CWA’s summer camp at Grizzly Ranch. These staff members flew thousands of miles out of their comfort zones to help and be helped by a sister organization with so much to offer.

When asked if California fulfilled her expectations, Taylor Byars said, “It was everything I expected and more! It’s way more beautiful than anyone gives it credit for, and the people within CWA are phenomenal. They’re always so willing to help you get more experience and stick their neck out for you.” Trey Gardner only had kinds words to share about CWA as well: “We have been shown every hospitality and gratitude during our time here, and I feel strongly that both associations would like to continue this give and take relationship so that both are examples for other organizations to emulate…”

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Hannah, Trey, and Taylor explored Mount Diablo on one of their free days.

All three staff members experienced things with California Waterfowl that they had never done before. At Grizzly Ranch, Camp Woodie veterans were introduced to women’s and veteran’s outdoor programs, weekend camps, and unique camp activities, such as duck banding. Hannah Cato especially enjoyed the veteran’s camp: “The Veteran’s Camp was an amazing experience. I got to work with shotgunners from all different levels and give them instruction on their shooting stance & technique. It was a great chance to give back to people who fought for our freedom and the rights we all hold dear. We had a great time!”

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Hannah and Taylor assisted as shooting instructors for the sporting clays course.

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Taylor assisted in the duck banding activity at Grizzly Ranch.

George Oberstadt, CWA’s Heritage Program Supervisor, was one of many who guided Camp Woodie staff members through their summer with California Waterfowl. George reported, “We shared a ton of ideas back and forth throughout the summer. The biggest thing that I have seen with SCWA folks is the ‘ownership’ they have in the Camp Woodie program. These 3 talked extensively about “WE do this, and WE do that” and were dialed in to the program, even while working here with us. The ‘army’ of folks that SCWA has developed with young, experienced staff and shooting instructors is quite impressive.”

Hannah, Trey, and Taylor were thrilled to be able to represent SCWA and come together with CWA. Trey had this to say about the value of their experience in California:

“I think that there was a mutual gain between the two associations – California Waterfowl gained 3 experienced counselors/shooting instructors and valuable advice that will allow them to move forward and grow their programs in an efficient manner. SCWA in return gained and will gain ideas to expand the variety of camp activities as we continue to grow and need new ideas to provide a diverse and unique experience for campers as they return year after year.”

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Trey enjoyed being a shooting instructor for not only shotguns, but archery and rifles as well. 

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Hannah was no stranger to being a shooting instructor. She served as a shooting instructor at Camp Woodie for 6 summers.

SCWA is so grateful for all of the help and hospitality from California Waterfowl and plans to continue to collaborate with our west coast friends in the future to allow both organizations to grow.

Camp Leopold 2016-2017: A school year in review

Camp Leopold, the school year natural resource program of the SCWA, reached new heights this school year. From August of 2016 to May of 2017, Camp Leopold hosted 3,130 students from 54 different schools all over South Carolina.

These students spent their field trips at Camp Leopold learning in various classes, from “Creatures of the Wood” to “Human Impact at Camp Leopold.” Fun times were had by all at the South Carolina Waterfowl Association’s 537-acre classroom.

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An astounding $72,080 of scholarships supported many of these students to attend Camp Leopold with their school for 1, 2, or 2.5 days. These scholarships were earned and provided by SCWA chapters all over the state and our generous Camp Leopold sponsors.

Thank you to all of the schools that came, as well as the administrators and educators who made it happen. Thank you to our sponsoring corporations – Boeing of North Charleston, Duke Energy, SCE&G, Wells Fargo, Palmetto Pride, Dominion, Albemarle, South Carolina Farm Bureau, O’Dell Corporation, VLS Recovery Services, Marshall Air Systems, Sea Hunt Boats, International Paper, Walmart, and Honda of South Carolina, for providing so many students with the opportunity to experience Camp Leopold.

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Camp Leopold is expected to host 1,500 students from 15-20 schools during the 2017 fall semester alone. The program is growing by leaps and bounds, and Camp Leopold hopes to continue to spread its outreach further than ever before in the coming school year.

If you would like to book a trip to Camp Leopold or have any questions, please visit the Camp Leopold website or contact Camp Leopold Director, Joe Gonzalez, at joe@scwa.org.

SCWA Lancaster Chapter 3rd Annual Frog Gigging Tournament – Event Info

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July 21st – 22nd, 2017

Tournament Venue: Don Deas Farm

3591 Pageland Highway

Lancaster, SC 29720

Contact:   Robbie – (803) 246-5743 or Don – (803) 320-1023


 

The Lancaster Chapter of the South Carolina Waterfowl Association is gearing up for their 3rd Annual Frog Gigging Tournament.

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Check in starts July 21st at 5:30pm through 7:30pm. There is a mandatory team meeting from 7:30pm to 8:00pm. The tournament starts at 8:00pm sharp and weigh-in will be at 8:00am the next morning on July 22nd. You can also preregister at Dixie Food Mart.

Raffles and Prizes include; Coolers, Guns, and Cash.

Entry Fee is $50.00 per two person team.

1st through 3rd place prizes on 20 Heaviest Frogs

Big Frog Cash Pot

GIGS ONLY! No Shooting Frogs!

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Official Rules for the Frog Gig

1) Dates and Times

  1. Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. and continue to 7:30 p.m. on Friday evening, July 21st, 2017
  2. Teams that have preregistered must be checked in by 7:30 p.m.
  3. A mandatory meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m., the team captain must be present.
  4. Weigh in time will be at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning July 22nd, 2017.

2) Tackle and Equipment

  1. Frogs may be taken with gig or by hand only!
  2. Frogs taken alive and without breaking the skin may be culled in favor of larger frogs.
  3. No firearms allowed!
  4. Frogs will be checked for lead or other fillers to make weight heavier.

3) Location

  1. Teams may take frogs within a 300 mile radius of the tournament weigh-in location.
  2. Teams must have written permission to take frogs from private land.
  3. Teams must possess valid hunting and fishing license as required by state law.

4) Prizes

  1. Biggest frog by weight.
  2. Total weight of 20 frogs.
  3. Total weight of frogs will have 1st through 3rd place prizes.
  4. No cheating! Frogs will be checked for bullet holes and anything illegal to make the frog heavy such as lead, corn, wheat. Stuffing a frog so-to-speak.
  5. SCDNR will be at check-in and team meeting.
  6. Cheating of any kind will not be tolerated.

5) Venue: Don Deas Farm – 3591 Pageland Hwy – Lancaster, S.C. 29720

6) Contacts

Robbie Boone (803) 246-5743

Don Deas (803) 320-1023

Chad Channel (803) 385-8400

Securing the Future – The SCWA Foundation

In our 30th year of conservation success the South Carolina Waterfowl Association (SCWA) Board of Directors has taken a major step toward securing a bright future for SCWA:  the creation of the SCWA Foundation, a new nonprofit entity with the sole purpose of supporting SCWA conservation and education programs.

You might wonder,  why does SCWA need to form a supporting Foundation.  There are two reasons:

The first is liability.  The SCWA Foundation will hold and invest SCWA Endowment assets.  Over the years these assets will grow to a significant number.  The SCWA Endowment committee has set an endowment funding  goal of $10 million dollars and are working hard to achieve this goal.   The formation of the Foundation provides a layer of protection for these endowment funds in the event that SCWA is sued.  The SCWA Board of Directors also recognizes its fiduciary responsibility to protect the assets of SCWA and the funds that donors contribute to the SCWA Endowment.

Second, the SCWA Foundation gives us a structured way to manage permanent gifts.  Donors can restrict their gift for a specific  SCWA program use.  Donors can also decide how much of their gift can be used on an annual basis by SCWA.   The Foundation allows you to give a tax deductible gift for the general support of SCWA or to endow specific programs such as Camp Woodie or Camp Leopold scholarships, wood duck nest box programs, waterfowl habitat development projects, building maintenance or staff positions.

A donor can make two types of gifts to the SCWA Foundation.  These include current gifts and bequests ( planned gifts).  A current gift is given by living donors and a bequest (planned gift) is given after the donor dies.  Gifts can include cash, stock, real estate, art work or personal property.    SCWA has retained Winton Smith who is one of the top estate planning attorneys in the country to help donors with their estate planning at no charge to the donor.  Winton prides himself in providing sound estate planning advice which helps people leave more money to the people they love and the causes they care deeply about.

To kick off the current giving portion of the SCWA Endowment the SCWA Board of Directors has created the Camp Woodie Legacy Society.  Members of the Camp Woodie Legacy Society are the founding members of the SCWA Endowment and pledge to donate a total of $30,000 to the endowment over a period of one to three years.   I am excited to report SCWA is half way toward reaching our goal of $1 million in current gifts.  Seventeen people have joined the Camp Woodie Legacy Society in just 18 months pledging a total of $510,000 to the SCWA Endowment.

For the first three years of the SCWA Foundation all endowment assets will be reinvested to grow the SCWA Endowment according to a Board approved investment policy being implemented by Morgan Stanley.  Starting in 2020 the Foundation will annually donate 3 to 5 percent of the endowment assets to support SCWA conservation and education programs.

If you are interested in making a donation to the SCWA Endowment, please contact David Wielicki, scwadw@ftc-i.net, 803-452-6001 (O), 803-600-8979 (C).  Your consideration of support is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Gary Dietrich

SCWA Endowment Committee Chairman