As never before, today’s youth face an ever-increasing disassociation with natural areas and its resources. This is as a result of many factors including urbanization, educational priorities, family structure, culture, priorities, values, and beliefs. This trend is detrimental not only to the individual’s knowledge and awareness of the resource, but also (and likely more important) a detriment to the resource itself. This disassociation with natural areas can lead to lost learning opportunities, potential lack of involvement, and/or loss of natural resources. The Texas 4-H Outdoor Challenge will help address this situation through an experiential, educational contest conducted by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel and other natural resource professionals.
When: June 29 – 30, 2013
How: Register on 4-H Connect
Registration Open May 6 – June 2, 2013
Late Registration: June 3 – 9, 2013
Cost: See 4HConnect
Lodging, Facility and Meal Expenses: Varies based upon needs. Dorm and hotel-style lodging will be available. Pricing packages will be listed on 4-H Connect when registering.
The 4-H Outdoor Challenge is a contest. Contestants will need to come prepared to compete in each of the events listed below. The contest schedule is very tight; therefore, there will not be time for instruction or training at any of the events.
The contest consists of 10 events that each team will compete in and potentially earn points for their team. Throughout both days of competition, the team will rotate from one event to the next with an official contest group leader.
Throughout the duration of the Outdoor Challenge, all contestants must wear closed-toed shoes (no flip-flops or sandals) except during the swimming event. All contestants are expected to be at their designated event at his/her scheduled time. In the event the contestant(s) are absent at the specified time, the team will forfeit the event and receive a zero (0) score. Adults and non-contestants are not permitted to directly assist team members nor be located in the immediate contest area at the time of competition. Non-competitors are certainly encouraged to spectate, photograph and even cheer on their contestants. All competitors must abide by rules and instructions provided by contest officials. Any competitor deliberately acting in an unsafe manner, will be asked to leave the immediate event area, which may result in the forfeiture of the event and/or contest. The decisions of all contest officials are final and may not be protested.
For more of an overview of the contest, please review the following Centra recording linked here.
- Youth 4-H members 8-18 years old as of September 1, 2010
- Three age divisions for this event
- Juniors = 8, 9, or 10 (as of September 1, 2010)
- Intermediates = 11, 12, or 13 (as of September 1, 2010)
- Seniors = 14 -18 (as of September 1, 2010); must not have turned 19 by that date
Each age division will be divided into three gender classes:
1.) both male
2.) both female
3.) coed (1 male, 1 female)
By participating in the Texas 4-H Outdoor Challenge, youth will improve skills in the following:
- Shooting Sports (rifle, shotgun, and archery)
- Camping/Outdoor Living Skills
- Identification of Wildlife and Natural Resources
- Outdoor Safety
A team consists of exactly 2 members (no more, no less) within the same age division and gender class, will compete in 10 of the events listed below.
Fishing (possible 20 points)
- Both members of the team will compete to catch, measure, and release as many fish possible within the given time frame. (given ideal fishing conditions and locations are available).
- The team rank will be calculated by the sum total inches of fish caught. Points will be awarded according to team rank.
- Measurements will be made by a designated contest official.
- Teams must supply their own equipment, tackle, and bait.
- If conditions are poor, an alternative dry land tournament will be conducted.. In which case, the following rules will apply:
- 10 casts per member
- A caught fish = 1 point
- The team will ID fish; correct answer = 1 point
- Either member can ID the team’s fish
- Fishing Resource: TPWD Website
Rifle (possible 20 points)
- Both members of the team will compete to shoot .22 light rifles (open sights only; no target rifles) in the standing position at 5 silhouette targets for scoring.
- Distance to target is approximately 30-50 feet.
- Regardless of firearm type, single shot loading is required.
- No shooting accessories (scopes, special clothing, slings) will be allowed.
- Teams must supply own rifle(s), eye protection, and ear protection (coaches and spectators must also provide their own eye and ear protection).
- Ammunition will be provided and must be used during the contest. Five cartridges will be provided per person.
- Each target hit is worth one point each.
Shotgun (possible 20 points)
- Both members of the team will compete in this trap event (12 shots per person; the first 2 shots are warm-up prior to the 10 scored shots).
- Ammunition will be provided and must be used during the contest.
- A broken target is worth one point each.
- Teams must supply their own 12 or 20 gauge shotgun(s), eye protection, and ear protection for each shooter. (coaches and spectators must also provide their own eye and ear protection).
Archery (possible 20 points)
- Both members of the team will compete in this event, which will consist of five 3-D wildlife targets.
- Members may bring their own bows and arrows (practice points only)
- Genesis bows and arrows will be available. Various sizes, draws, and left/right-handed bows will be available to choose from. These bows will not have sites.
- 1 warm-up shot will be allowed prior to the scoring rounds.
- Members are allowed 2 shots at each of the five targets.
- Points of 0, ½, or 1 will be awarded per shot based upon target kill zones
- Teams must supply their own eye protection.
Canoeing/Kayaking (possible 20 points)
- Both members of the team will compete in this event, which will consist of a timed race of a course approximately 1/8 of a mile in length.
- Teams will be required to begin on foot from a starting line, put on personal flotation device (PFD) properly, launch canoe/kayak, traverse course, and return to finish line.
- Teams will be awarded points based upon team placing.
- Canoes/kayaks, paddles, and PFDs will be provided.
- Canoeing Resources:
Carrying: YouTube Video
Launching: YouTube Video
Paddling: YouTube Video 1; YouTube Video 2
- Kayaking Resources:
Launching: YouTube Video
Paddling: YouTube Video 1; YouTube Video 2; YouTube Video 3
Turning: YouTube Video
Swimming (possible 20 points)
- Both members of the team will compete in this event, which will consist of a timed relay race.
- Teams will be awarded points based upon the number of teams and their respective placing.
- Proper swimming attire required. (see 4-H Center dress code for specifics)
- Swimming Resource: YouTube Video
Orienteering – Compass (possible 20 points)
- Both members of the team will compete in this event, which will consist of a multi-point compass course.
- Teams must provide own map compass(es).
- Teams will be scored based upon accuracy.
- Compass and Pacing Resource: YouTube Video
Camping Skills (possible 20 points)
- Both members of the team will compete in this event, which may consist of one or more of the following camping skills: tent assembly, campfire building, purifying (boiling) water, backpack gear-packing, tent assembly, hiking, etc.
- Scoring will be based upon time and/or accuracy.
- Equipment and materials needed for this event will be provided.
Outdoor ID (possible 20 points)
- Both members of the team will compete in this event, which will consist of a written exam to identify various items found in the outdoors (see table below for the complete study list)
- Scoring will be based upon the number of correct/incorrect answers.
- Juniors will only be required to identify species; Intermediates are required to identify species and answer one follow-up question about each particular specie; Seniors are required to identify species and answer two follow-up questions about each particular specie.
Knot Tying (possible 20 points)
- Both members of the team will compete in this event which will test the team members’s knowledge, uses, and abilities of tying four of the following knots: bowline, taut-line hitch, square knot, clove hitch, timber hitch, sheet bend, half hitch, Palomar, and improved clinch.
- Scoring will be based on the team’s ability to correctly tie the knots, which will be worth 5 points each.
- Resource: What Knot Website
- Resource: Animated Knots Website
Climbing (possible 20 points)
- Both members of the team will compete in this event.
- Members will be timed climbing a wall or cargo net to a designated height. Other components, such as a zip line may be added for additional points.
- Individual team member’s times will be added together and then ranked among competing teams. Teams will be awarded points based upon the number of teams and their respective placing. Additional points may be earned using the zip line.
- Largemouth Bass
- Smallmouth Bass
- Redear Sunfish
- Channel Catfish
- Southern Flounder
- Red Drum
- Common Carp
- Flathead Catfish
- Red Imported Fire Ant
- Dragonfly Nymph
- Dobsonfly Nymph (Helgramite)
- Black Widow Spider
- Brown Recluse Spider
- Lone Star Tick
- Whitetail Deer
- Mule Deer
- Eastern Cottontail- Link 1 Link 2
- River Otter – Link 1 Link 2
- Striped Skunk – Link 1 Link 2
- Gray Squirrel
- Mexican (Brazillian) Free-tailed Bat – Link 1 Link 2
- Virginia Opossum – Link 1 Link 2
- Ring-tailed Cat – Link 1 Link 2
- Bobcat – Link 1 Link 2
- Poison Ivy – Link 1 Link 2
- Poison Sumac – Link 1 Link 2
- American Beautyberry – Link 1 Link 2
- Yaupon – Link 1 Link 2
- Ash Juniper – Link 1 Link 2
- Live Oak – Link 1 Link 2
- Sideoats Grama – Link 1 Link 2
- Little Bluestem – Link 1 Link 2
- Woolly Croton
- Greenbriar – Link 1 Link 2
- Red-tailed Hawk – Link 1 Link 2
- Cooper’s Hawk – Link 1 Link 2
- Attwater Prairie Chicken – Link 1 Link 2
- Black-capped Vireo – Link 1 Link 2
- Northern Mockingbird – Link 1 Link 2
- Wood Duck – Link 1 Link 2
- Green-winged Teal – Link 1 Link 2
- Great Blue Heron – Link 1 Link 2
- Great Horned Owl – Link 1 Link 2
- Scaled Quail – Link 1 Link 2
- Western Cotton Mouth
- Coral Snake
- Timber Rattlesnake
- Texas Horned Lizard
- American Alligator
- Gulf Coast Toad
- American Bullfrog
- Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle
- Eastern Tiger Salamander
Venomous Terrestrial Animals of Texas – PDF
Snakes and Their Control – PDF
Managing Imported Fire Ants in Urban Areas – PDF
Camping Skills, Orienteering, and Safety (Outdoor Living Skills Program Manual – look on Amazon for used, cheaper versions)
Required Supplies Per Team
- Rod and reel and tackle for two team members (may use artificial or live bait)
- .22 light rifle for one or both team members
- 12 or 20 gauge shotgun for one or both team members
- eye and ear protection for both team members
- swimming attire for two team members
- 1-2 compass(es)
Suggested Supply List
- Pencils and clipboards for both team members
- Insect repellent
- Water bottle(s)
- Lawn chairs for spectators
Suggested Supplies if Staying at the Texas 4-H Center
- bedding and pillow
- clothing suitable for the outdoors in June
Recommended Skill Sets Prior to Competing
- Firearm/archery safety
- Shotgun trap
- Rifle .22 target shooting (standing)
- Swim for distances of two pool lengths
- Basic boating skills (canoeing and/or kayaking)
- Basic camping skills
Times will be posted once registration closes. Times will be approximate and may change depending on condititions at the facility.
(will run events concurrently and have a set rotation by age division on some)
- Contests Begin
- Continue events
- Continue events
- Depart for Home
Mr. Derrick Bruton
Extension Program Specialist – 4-H
17360 Coit Road
Dallas, TX 75252