Military Veteran and Blind Outdoor Mentoring Program

Military Veteran and Blind Outdoor Mentoring Program

From Drew Blake

Connect Outdoors, Inc. is raising money to develop online training courses to teach veterans how to mentor blind people while hunting and fishing. Learn more here: https://connect-outdoors.org/what-we-do/

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The funds raised through this campaign will be used to fund specialized online training courses that will teach veterans how to mentor blind and visually impaired people in the outdoors. 

We feature a 3 step mentoring program that focuses on our Three R’s (Recruit, Rehabilitate, and Reacclimate).  Step one is centered on our Vet 2 Vet program in which we pair a veteran that is suffering from some ailment with another veteran that is suffering or has beaten the same ailment.  In this program both veterans are mentoring each other and helping the other handle their situations.  In the Vet 2 Vet program, veterans received specialized training that teaches them the proper techniques and mannerisms to use when taking a blind or visually impaired person hunting or fishing.  

Step 2 of our mentoring program pairs a veteran up with a blind or visually impaired person from their area.  This is called our Visually Impaired Mentoring Program (VMP). The blind or visually impaired person will have completed a specialized blind hunter safety program that is also presented in partnership with IHEA.  At this time both the veteran and blind/visually impaired person are completing hunting and fishing trips in their area while completing training as a mentor/mentee group.  Through this training the pair learn to function as a team in the outdoors.

Step 3 of our mentoring program brings the pair on sponsored events as a functioning mentor/mentee group.  This is called our Visually Impaired Outdoors (VIO)Program.  Until this time the pair has been attending sponsored events as a group in training.  Once all trainings and certifications have been completed the group becomes a mentor/mentee model group for another group that is starting the program. 

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