This year the scholarship was awarded to Lucas Dreckman. Lucas graduated from MMC this year and intends to pursue a career in environmental education and a conservation officer. Lucas is an outstanding young man. He has volunteered his time both in school and within his community. He has shown his leadership abilities within the extracurricular activities, volunteering, National Honor Society, and work experience that he has been involved in. Lucas not only volunteers in his community, but is also very much involved in activities within the community. Lucas was a good candidate because of his respect and interest in the environment and habitat conservation.
The Cherokee County Pheasants Forever scholarship program was named for Les Licklider, a long-time mentor of youth and supporter of the Cherokee chapter. Les Licklider has spent over 60 years of his life mentoring youth about the outdoors, how to preserve habitat, and how to develop the land for wildlife. Les offered training courses in hunter safety long before the hunter safety programs became law, and in fact wrote the first Iowa proposal for those programs. His television show, "Outdoors With Les," taught viewers how to enjoy the outdoors. He spent time moving throughout Iowa teaching about the outdoors and getting youth excited and involved with the world around them. Les also had an outdoors program in Council Bluffs for abused and battered children. The experiences in the program gave them a chance to heal both mentally and physically. Last year, Les was presented the Pheasants Forever Lifetime Achievement Award for all that he has done for youth and for conservation. Les, now in his eighties, is still mentoring and teaching youth about the beauty of the outdoors.
The Cherokee County chapter of Pheasants Forever is following the national program, No Child Left Indoors. These days it is harder to get children away from the virtual world and into the real world outdoors. Pheasants Forever has started an initiative to get kids involved in outdoor activities. The Cherokee Chapter has many events coming up the encourage children to participate in the fun of the outdoors. Stop by their booth at the Cherokee County Fair to see what activities are going on. If you have any questions or need ideas on getting youth involved outdoors, contact Heather Eaton, Pheasants Forever National Youth Leadership Council Vice President, or Greg Eaton, Cherokee Chapter Youth Coordinator, at 225-2414.