outdoors

Outdoor Enthusiasts of Converse County President Rose Haroian chuckles as she watches Hayden Butler, 7, grimace at a dirty milk jug. Member Nancy Yarborough peeks her head up to look for more litter to clean up.

Donning a pair of durable work gloves, Angela Moore grips a clump of plastic, rips it from a pile of weathered sticks, and places it in a large garbage bag held open by Rose Haroian.

Near the two women, 7-year-old Hayden Butler grabs an old milk jug hidden beneath tufts of tumbleweed while her brother, Jack, 2, runs around grabbing candy wrappers, bottle lids and anything else he can find.

On a hill above this scene, a drill whirs as Toby Spence replaces a board on an archery target.

The group may come in all shapes, sizes, ages and genders, but they have one thing in common – they care about the outdoors.

The Outdoor Enthusiasts of Converse County (OEOCC) spent the afternoon of May 19 cleaning up and making repairs to the archery range at Bartling Park in Douglas, but they do their good deeds all over Converse County.

“We actually helped put this archery range up,” Haroian, the club’s president, said. “So we want to maintain it and keep it nice for the community to use.”

The group has about 14 members throughout Douglas and Glenrock, but Haroian said they’re looking to grow their membership.

“We’d love to have more people join us,” she said. “It takes a lot of sweat equity to put on events. Everybody wants to play, but it’s hard to get people to actually come and get their hands dirty.”

The OEOCC puts on multiple events throughout the year, including the yearly trail race outside of Glendo. They’ve also held archery shoots and other activities.

Haroian said there are no age requirements to join the group – their youngest member is in middle school and their oldest is 66.

“The people who show up to meetings are gung-ho,” Haroian said. “We have all types of ideas for activities for the community. Some might be a little more than we can put on with such a small group.”

Hayden, 7, whose father, Jess, is the secretary of the group, enjoys coming out to events and helping with cleanups.

“We all share a planet,” she said, “and we all need to keep it clean so we have a nice, clean place to live.”

Although she’s not technically a member – perhaps junior member would be more accurate – Hayden is a huge fan of the outdoors.

“I like it because all the nice grass and flowers,” she smiled. “I really like going camping and hiking.”

Moore, treasurer of OEOCC, highlighted their upcoming trail race in September, which will feature 10k, 30k, and 50k trails.

“It’s drawn people from all across the West Coast, so it’s pretty exciting.”

Haroian teased the possibility of a kids fishing day next year, but more details have to first be worked out with Wyoming Game & Fish.

“We want to promote healthy outdoor activities and throw family friendly events,” Haroian said with a wide grin.

*For even more photos, see this week's edition of the Douglas Budget in print or online in the e-edition.

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