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The Youth Education Program - YEP!

Laural Highlands CHA - April 3, 2010
What a day! Best group I could ask for.
-Bruce Knopsnider, Club President

Contact us at (269) 343-9020 or
e-mail tkellam@ukcdog.com

United Kennel Club is a leader in the sport of coon hunting and involving and recognizing our coon hunting kids. From youth bench shows at major events, to the Next Generation News and the For Kidz Only sections of COONHOUND BLOODLINES, to the UKC/CB Horizon Awards, to the Youth Championship Event Series, to the Youth National Championship, etc. I don’t think it can be debated that any other registry does as much for their youth as United Kennel Club.

Are you ready to go to the next level?

    • Are you interested in reaching out to instruct and positively influence those who are not currently involved in the sport of coon hunting?
    • Are you interested in preserving the future of your club and the future of the sport?
    • Are you interested in providing family activity at the club level?

If your club is founded on the same principles as United Kennel Club, then we already know your answers to the above questions. Now you have a decision to make. Are you willing to go the extra mile in an effort to provide the above? We hope the answer to that question is YEP!

The positives for committing to a program of this nature cannot be overstated. UKC has implemented some changes with the hope of improving the Youth Education Program. At UKC, we are committed to excellence and are eager to implement positive changes for our future Coonhunters. Please share your ideas / suggestions so that together, we can build a fun, interesting and educational program that will keep our kids involved and perpetuate the sport. Below for your review, are the New Event Guidelines and Course Topic Suggestions.

United Kennel Club, Inc.


I learned a lot. So I would say it's a good thing!
-Reed Barto of Indiana


UKC Youth Education Program (YEP) Event Guidelines

The Basic Course Objectives – The YEP program parameters effective 1-1-09 permit a club to do a one day YEP event culminating with a licensed bench show and nite hunt. It is expected however that only those clubs with the intent of sponsoring a quality, day time educational and activities program for the youth apply for a YEP event. One of our basic objectives is to give our kids the spotlight for the day. A club should not go into this as a revenue making project or for the championship points availability for members dogs. The long term goal is to keep our kids participating in the sport and encourage them to introduce others to our coonhunting heritage. As a way of accomplishing that, our short term goal is to provide them with a fun, educational outing where they are made to feel special and appreciated.

Setting Your Program Date – Standard scheduling arrangements for UKC licensed events apply. A YEP event will not be counted against your club’s current allotment of seven licensed event dates per year. The 100 mile conflict radius does apply but we will work with clubs and their neighboring clubs in any way that we can to see that event dates can get scheduled. There are no license or recording fees applied to YEP events. YEP events will be advertised in Coonhound Bloodlines magazine and on the UKC website. They are open to all youth between the ages of 5 and 17. See Club Application Form for more details.

Planning YEP Activities – It is required that interested clubs appoint a committee and/or chairperson to plan and oversee the event. A chairperson’s name and contact information must be submitted to UKC at the time of event scheduling. The UKC staff will assist the committee chair in any way possible in helping to plan a successful YEP event. A chairperson need not feel as though they are personally responsible for doing all the instructional duties during the YEP event. A list of potential educational activities will follow.
Ready to get started?
For more information on how to become a UKC approved YEP club, simply call the Hunting Programs Department!

Once you've become approved,
we will send you all the supplies you need!

YEP! Rules


YEP Exit Survey


Course Completion Evaluation



It’s Not About Pass or Fail – A current YEP card in the pocket of a youth hunter or show enthusiast means something because it has to be earned. If they were just handed out, there would be neither pride nor sense of accomplishment. That being said, it is not our objective to formally test and potentially fail any of the youth in attendance. They key is participation and the youth in attendance should be made aware of this at the start of the event. They must participate and pay attention. A youth that plays on the clubhouse swing set all day should not be granted course completion and given a YEP card.
Course Completion – Each child that participates will receive a YEP card at the conclusion of the presentation. That card is good for one year from date of issue. It will allow kids to participate in other club’s YEP hunts without attending the class. Please return all YEP cards not issued.

Helpful Hints – We will close out the instructor guidelines with a few additional helpful hints. Remember, to be creative and put some thought and effort into what will make this program the most successful that it can be at your individual club. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact United Kennel Club for assistance.

Try to remain aware of the fact that you are apt to have a wide age range of kids to address. Typically your program should target those kids in the 10-12 year old range. You may want to adjust your meeting discussions / activities one way or the other if you have a vast majority of kids in either the older or younger group.

Please keep good notes as you progress through the YEP course. Though not required, a closing report offering suggestions and ideas would be a very useful tool for UKC in making program changes as well as all other clubs considering offering a YEP course.

YEP Course Topic Suggestions

Listed below are some ideas for topics that you may wish to cover during your YEP instruction. The idea is to go into these topics deep enough so that the kids really learn something from the program but not so deep that you lose them. Make the session long enough that it requires some effort but not so long that you lose their attention span. Remember, our intent is to teach our kids something about our sport. This is not just a gathering to pass out YEP cards. The kids will take more pride in their possession of a YEP card if it requires some effort.

Try to combine some class room type discussion and some activity that goes along with your topic. Try to think of some visual aids to help the kids have a better understanding of what you are discussing. For your activities, break the kids out into groups for some activities. Have older kids help the younger kids with some activities.

Think about dividing your class room session and your activity session with a break. Maybe this would be a good time for lunch?

The ideas below are just to get you started. Take the ball and run with it! You should be able to build a meaningful program around any one of the ideas below. Choose one and stick to that theme. Alternate between some of these for upcoming years. The idea is to teach kids something about the sport. Use your imagination and put some effort into coming up with a program that the kids will enjoy and learn from. If you feel you’re YEP program turns out really well, please share your ideas and suggestions with neighboring clubs and UKC.

Registration Basics
Discussion - Talk about the differences between grade dogs and registered dogs. Discuss the wide variety of forms in use by United Kennel Club that they may someday need including single registration forms, duplicate applications, affidavits, litter applications, etc.
This is a good refresher course for parents as well!
Visual Aid – Samples of different registration forms (available from UKC)
Activity: Have the kids complete a three generation pedigree of themselves.
Activity: Have each kid buy and sell a dog using sample registration certificates.

Nite Hunt Rules and Handling Basics
Discussion – Talk about the differences between pleasure hunting and competition hunting. Talk about the history of the nite hunts. Spend a good deal of time on the sportsmanship issues of the nite hunts. Discuss the hunt test program as well.
Visual Aid – Nite hunt terminology poster (sample available for use in The Advisor and the old YEP work book)
Guest speaker – Bring in a successful nite hunt handler from the area.
Activity – Give each kid a scorecard and walk through a mock cast.
Activity – Break into groups and see which group can come up with the most examples of good sportsmanship on a cast.

Bench Show Rules and Handling Basics
Discussion – Discuss conformation basics. Discuss the breed standards. Discuss disqualifying faults. Discuss the different classes. Again, spend some time on sportsmanship. Discuss handling techniques and getting a dog ready to show.
Visual Aid – Dog anatomy and proper gait poster(s).
Guest Speaker – A successful bench show participant from the area.
Activity – Break into groups and prep a dog to show by giving it a bath, etc.
Activity – Do a “teaching your dog to lead” training session for the kids.

Dog Health and Care Basics
Discussion – Discuss the many areas of dog care including feeding, a worming program, shots that are necessary. Discuss heart worm programs. Discuss emergency field care for dogs in regards to heat stroke, cuts, etc.
Visual Aid – Request speaker to bring visual that compliments topic.
Guest Speaker – Local vet or vet assistant. Local feed representative.
Activity – Break into groups and treat mock wounds on a good natured dog.

Sportsmanship, Hunter Ethics, Gun Safety
Discuss – Discuss the wide variety of topics that we hunters are responsible for including safety, the resource, the laws and good sportsmanship.
Visual Aid – Many visual aids of this type available from NRA and IHEA (International Hunter Education Assn)
Guest Speaker – Conservation Officer, Hunter Ed Instructor
Activity – Break into groups to see which group can list the most examples of good sportsmanship in regards to hunting in general.
Activity – Adult supervised target shoot


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