Scholarship Fund receives major gift

By Kevin Rhoades, Executive Director
Right out of the starting blocks the brand-new year and decade brings excellent news to OWAA, including a most gracious gift to the Scholarship Fund. This, along with multiple piles of membership renewals and donations, reminds me how generous and caring our folks are. Thank you.
Over the holidays the Bodie McDowell Scholarship Fund received $27,600 from the estate of Jacqueline E. Knight, who was from Williamsport, Pa., an OWAA member spanning the 1960s through the 80s. Ms. Knight was a columnist for King Features of New York and publisher of Solunar Tables.
She was the daughter-in-law of John Alden Knight, who published a number of hunting and fishing books in the 1930s and 1940s and in 1936 published the original Solunar Tables, which predicted fish behavior via the sun, the moon and tides.
This generous gift will benefit the Bodie McDowell Scholarship Fund and scholarship recipients for years to come. The total value of the Fund is $418,000 and will aid OWAA in fostering the next generation of outdoor communicators.

Headquarters needs your help!

If you have access to media outlets or distribution lists, please let the public know about the events, programs and contests listed below.
Remember you have until the end of January to enter the Excellence in Craft Contest competition. Every year I write checks to several members in excess of $1,000. Some years two or three talented individuals receive $2,000 or more!
As you race along this year trying to fit in all of the various activities, events and outdoor adventures – we at OWAA headquarters wish you a healthy, prosperous and fulfilling year ahead.

Board candidates announced

Board Nominating Committee Chair Tom Stienstra announced five candidates who will compete for three seats on OWAA’s board of directors. The slate, in alphabetical order: Chris Batin, Mark Freeman, Gary Graham, Ben Moyer and Steve Pollick. Candidate profiles and responses to questions will be published in the March issue of Outdoors Unlimited, and ballots will be mailed in April to all Active, Senior-Active and Life members.
OWAA bylaws require the nominating committee to submit seven nominees, but this committee submitted only five. Under the bylaws, additional nominations are permitted if made in writing by February 6, to the executive director, by 20 or more Active members in good standing. Active members in good standing for at least three years may stand for election.
The board election is slated for May 7. Three elected candidates will begin serving three-year terms on the board on June 13.

Continue your education for free

It’s time to apply for the John Madson Fellowship, an annual grant that funds continuing education opportunities for OWAA members. The Fellowship provides funding to attend the OWAA annual conference for free, plus expenses – or a full-ride scholarship to OWAA’s Goldenrod Writing Workshop in August. Only Active and Associate members are eligible for Fellowship. The amount of this year’s Madson Fellowship Fund distribution will exceed $2,000, enough for two members to attend Goldenrod for free, if they so choose. The deadline to apply for the Fellowship is February 1, 2010.

OWAA seeks scholarship applicants

OWAA will award college scholarships in 2010 to budding outdoor communicators. Bodie McDowell scholarships typically range from $1,000 to $5,000. Applicants must be students of outdoor communications fields including print, photography, film, art or broadcasting. The program is open to all college students, undergraduate and graduate, from all disciplines and all schools.
Undergraduate applicants must be entering junior or senior years of study; graduate student applicants must have at least one remaining year of study.
The deadline to apply is March 1, 2010. If you know a student with an outdoor emphasis who might benefit from a Bodie McDowell Scholarship, please ask him or her to apply.

Don’t miss OWAA’s June conference in Minnesota

There’s no better way to improve your professional skills while creating new contacts for future business ventures than through OWAA’s annual conference, this year in Rochester, Minn., Jun 10-13, 2010. Last summer the board of directors agreed to a conference template emphasizing the following disciplines: 25 percent writing; 10 percent photography; 20 percent electronic/technology; 20 percent business and 25 percent broadcasting (movies, radio, television, video and Internet).
Here are a few featured sessions:

  • “Blogs: What are they? How to create one and profit from it”
  • “The Shift to the Sport Utility Rifle”
  • “Little Critters, Big Problems: Crayfish”
  • “Time Management”
  • “Understanding and Negotiating Online/Electronic Rights”
  • “The Driftless Area of Minnesota”
  • “Sponsored Blogs and Innovative Web Opportunities”

An overview of this year’s conference as well as the complete meeting agenda and other conference happening can be found at Check frequently because updates will be made weekly throughout January.

OWAA to host writing workshop in August

Members and friends are encouraged to attend OWAA’s first Goldenrod Writing Workshop at the University of Montana in Missoula, Mont., August 1-7, 2010.  The week-long workshop is designed to improve skills in outdoor, nature and environmental writing in a casual setting with hands-on learning from peer groups and veteran instructors. The curriculum includes assignments, discussions, readings and shared critiques along with time for writing and socializing with others who share a passion for outdoor writing. Enrollment is limited to 30 students, and it’s on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline to apply is May 1. If you can’t attend, help spread the word.

$1,700 to be award in Youth Writing Contest

Annually OWAA helps budding writers via its annual Norm Strung Youth Writing Contest. Cash prizes are awarded to winners in grades 6-12 for poetry and prose categories. 2010 awards will total $1,700, thanks to 2010 Youth Writing sponsor Safari Club International. If you know a student who would like to enter the contest, please tell others. Eligible entries must be published during calendar year 2009. The Norm Strung Youth Writing contest deadline is March 15.

Last call to enter the Excellence in Craft Contest competition

OWAA’s Excellence in Craft contests are a lucrative benefit, available exclusively to Active, Senior-Active and Life members. Thousands of dollars in prizes will be awarded this June at our conference in Rochester. Contest rules are available here. You can’t win if you don’t enter! ◊

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