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The South Carolina Waterfowl Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that exists to enhance and perpetuate South Carolina’s wildlife heritage through education and habitat conservation. Donate to SCWA to fund education and habitat programs by clicking below.

The South Carolina Waterfowl Association (SCWA) is a National Leader in Conservation Education Thanks to Your Support 

SCWA CEO Update and Year-End Gift Appeal

David Wielicki

On December 16, I will enter my 37th year as the founder and staff leader of SCWA. I am so thankful for the privilege of working with a wonderful team of volunteers, donors, and staff who have built the Nation’s largest youth wildlife conservation education program while also continuing to enhance the quality and abundance of waterfowl and wetland resources across South Carolina. 

I look forward to continuing to work with each of you in the coming year to achieve SCWA’s mission to enhance and perpetuate South Carolina’s wildlife heritage through education and habitat conservation. With your continued support, the future looks bright for our fish and wildlife resources. The SCWA team will continue to enhance these resources through habitat enhancement programs while also educating and recruiting the next generation of conservationists who will carry the torch of fish and wildlife conservation.

Hunting and fishing activities are a very important part of my family heritage. My favorite memories are from times spent with family and friends in the outdoors hunting and fishing. This has been a major part of my quality of life and my relationship with God. My children and grandson Benji also share this passion. It is my desire along with the entire SCWA team to pass this on to the next generation.

The key to successful recruitment programs is the development of a partnership with parents and guardians to provide their families with quality outdoor education and outdoor activity opportunities on a continuous basis. These actions will help them to develop hunting, fishing, shooting, and other outdoor activities as a part of their family heritage. The culmination of these programs is the successful recruitment of youth and adults into the conservation community.

The SCWA school year Camp Leopold program introduces a broad spectrum of youth to the outdoors. Many of these children have never spent time in nature. Camp Leopold opens their eyes to God’s creation and sparks an interest in the environment. Camp Leopold gives them the desire to learn more about wildlife ecology and habitat, fishing, hunting, archery, and shooting sports.

Many of these children learn about Camp Woodie (SCWA’s Summer Camp) during their stay at Camp Leopold. A child can then attend Camp Woodie for up to 10 years to gain valuable outdoor skills. Their parents or guardians can attend weekend SCWA Outdoor Heritage Events with their child to learn more about wildlife conservation, hunting, fishing, archery, dog training, and shooting skills. They also learn about outdoor opportunities provided by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the South Carolina Wildlife Partnership, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and private landowners.

Campers who develop a desire to work in the conservation field can also attend our two-year Gary Dietrich Wildlife Management Apprentice Program where they learn hands-on wildlife and fisheries management skills equipping them to make a large-scale impact on habitat management. This year we placed 5 apprentices in critical wildlife management jobs across the country. In 2023, SCWA will have 9 apprentices enrolled in the program. We are working to expand the program to 20 apprentices.

Your Association has the best-in-class conservation education and outdoor recruitment program in the country. The new SCWA Wildlife Education Center Master Plan features $8 million in expansion with new facilities and land that will allow us to increase annual summer Camp Woodie attendance from a record 1,523 to 2,400 campers.  Annual Camp Leopold school year camp attendance will grow from 15,000 to 45,000 camper days and annual Outdoor Heritage Event attendance will grow from 3,400 to over 7,000 participants. With your support, we can achieve these goals over the next three years.

Year-End Gift Request

Since 2017, SCWA has received $11,276,000 in donations to fund land and facility expansion projects at the SCWA Wildlife Education Center. SCWA has set a three-year goal to raise an additional $8,675,000 to complete the Wildlife Education Center master plan. 100% of your year-end donation will go toward funding SCWA Wildlife Education Center expansion projects that will allow us to reach our education program quality and attendance goals. Please scan the QR code or visit this link at scwa.org/expansion-projects-2022 to see the complete master plan along with completed and future projects. Please fill out the enclosed year-end donation card and mail your gift in the enclosed return envelope. You can also make your gift online by visiting http://www.scwa.org/donate. Stock gifting information is also available on the website.

I greatly appreciate your consideration of making a year-end gift. Everyone at SCWA wishes you a happy and healthy Holiday Season.

Sincerely,

David J. Wielicki

Chief Executive Officer