Jim Nora has lived in Lowell for 18 years and started Crossbeam Outdoors, Inc. five years ago. It’s in its fourth year of offering activities for kids between the ages of 9-15. With a Christian foundation, the non-profit organization hosts nine gatherings between April and September teaching kids about deer hunting and the outdoors.
A Love for Nature
Nora reflects back on the experiences he had as a child with his father who showed him deer hunting and the outdoors, a location which has become his passion. He hopes to teach future generations about deer hunting and being stewards of natural resources. “I decided to start the non-profit Crossbeam Outdoors, Inc. in hopes that I could help introduce and teach the next generation about these things and hopefully give them the opportunity to create their own passion, respect, and memories in the outdoors.” Nora and other adult volunteers teach kids about hunting, the outdoors, and respecting nature.
Nora also notes seeing kids being too caught up in a virtual, technology world, “completely missing the beauty and wonder of creation found just outside their windows” as another reason to show younger generations the importance of spending time outside.
Over the course of nine weeks, students meet on Saturday mornings to learn about a specific topic. Sessions are open to males and females; topics covered include food plots and habitat, deer biology, deer instincts, ethical hunting, stand locations, gun and bow safety and more. The final session of the year is the Michigan youth hunting weekend where participants and their families experience a full deer camp, this year the weekend of September 21-23.
Nine kids have participated each week alongside 12 adult volunteers. Between sessions, participants are given scouting reports to complete before meeting again. According to Nora, these include Bible verse memorization, deer research and family activities to name a few things. “Each session has specific curriculum that is taught and is always tied back to Christian values.” he says. “…we can play an active role in His creative process by not just taking from it but by giving back to it through active stewardship of the land and deer.”
Local farmers and landowners in the Alto area have donated their land for use by Crossbeam Outdoors for their activities. Nora hopes to expand the program beyond the Alto/Lowell area in the future.
New Session Begins Next Spring
Events for this year are winding down as kids prepare to head to deer camp this weekend. But those who are interested in putting this program on their radar for spring when it starts up again should visit and like the Crossbeam Outdoors, Inc. Facebook page.
All photos courtesy of Crossbeam Outdoors, Inc. and used with permission.