This month’s W2 Profile features our youngest subject yet. Annie Adamson at the ripe old age of 16 is full of passion for the outdoors and has an incredible drive to share it with others (sounds familiar!).
She’s a junior at St. Gertrude High School and resides on the family farm in Goochland, Virginia. She’s also an ambassador for Green Top.
We caught up with her after the Green Top Outoor Expo to find out more about her American Jake group.
“American Jake is a hunting and fishing program for teenagers based out of Virginia. We have events throughout the state focusing on a variety of outdoor sports such as dove hunting, rifle shooting, skeet shooting, trout fishing, controlled burning, and more. We welcome teenagers of all previous skill levels.
This program is not only about improving teenagers skills/knowledge in the outdoors, but building a community of the next generation who will support and inspire each other to pursue these sports for the rest of their lives,” Adamson told us via an email interview.
As the name implies American Jake is intended for young anglers and hunters, but why did Adamson feel the need to form such a group? We asked her and her answer follows.
“Ever since I was young, I have thoroughly enjoyed being outdoors hunting and fishing. The majority of my weekends consisted of tree stands and pheasant fields. Some of my favorite memories with my Dad have been forged on a turkey hunt. However, until the past couple of years, the majority of my friends did not know I enjoy hunting. Early in my high school career, I began to wonder why more people, especially teenagers, did not hunt nor fish. I began to bring up the conversation if they would be interested in going with me, to my surprise, most of the time they were excited by the idea and interested in going! “After discussing hunting more extensively with my friends, I discovered people have an interest in these outdoor sports, but not the resources nor opportunities. I started American Jake to give teenagers opportunities to experience the great outdoors and to build a community of the next generation who will inspire each other to pursue these sports for the rest of their lives.”
So what are the goals of a 16-year-old high school student that has started a youth-in-the- outdoors movement?
“By the time I graduate high school, my goal is to become a larger outdoor influencer to teenagers via social media.
“By next year, I am working towards teaming up with more Green Top brands to promote all aspects of hunting: the setup, harvest, clean, and cook.
“Even though I will not be a teenager forever, I am working towards building a foundation which the program can be stable on for many years to come.”
Adamson told W2 that American Jake has been successful with the help of many teenagers who have a passion for the outdoors.
“It has been neat to see people who have come to our events and later become part of our team out of the desire to be in the community of teenagers who inspire each other to pursue hunting and fishing.
We are also fortunate to be the youth ambassador for Burly USA as well as Green Top Shooting Range.”
Past American Jake events include deer season preparation, a trout fishing competition, youth nights at the Green Top Shooting Range, Old Forge Sporting Clays shoot, fishing at Rassawek’s spring Jubilee and a dove hunt still being planned.
“Recently, we held a dove hunt in Buckingham, which was sponsored by the Virginia Wildlife Foundation and free to participating teenagers. Following the hunt, there was a live band and dinner. Mike Botehlo, who is a member of Green Top’s shooting team, made sure safety was a top priority among young adults as well as helping us get on more doves. He helped in the beginning during the warm-up skeet shoot as well as in the field.”
Adamson noted during all American events with guns NRA certified gun safety specialists are present.
We asked Adamson to relate a story about American Jake that highlighted its goals.
“Last spring, we had a trout fishing competition in Buckingham. Teenagers competed in teams of two for a guided fishing trip down the James River. A couple weeks after the competition, two girls who had never been fishing before the American Jake event, sent me a picture of them holding up a bass along with another one of their friends. It was neat to see the ripple effect American Jake culture has on people.”
In another scenario, Adamson recalled a deer hunt adventure.
“I was gearing up for an evening hunt which included full camo including my face which I had rubbed with the burnt end of a cork. My sister and Dad are also preparing to hunt together, however my sister
Ella is wearing a neon pink sweatshirt and has a bag full of snacks tucked under her arm as she walks out of the door.
“For this hunt I had strategically planned where I wanted to be. Calculating with the wind ideally where the deer should enter from and exactly how I can get the best possible angle on them without them noticing me. Eventually, I came back to the house with a good size doe. Adrenaline still running through my veins, I excitedly announce my harvest to my family.
“About five minutes later, my Dad and sister, who is still wearing the neon pink sweatshirt, come back with a substantial eight-point buck. They were in a box stand therefore the deer did not see nor smell them.
“Even though I had been shown up by my sister, I was proud of her and happy she was becoming more interested in hunting.
“The next night, I go out hunting, full camo, and yet again my sister goes with my Dad in her neon pink sweatshirt. I harvested another doe. Yet again, I brought it home, excited to give out venison to my friends and family for Christmas. Yet again my sister and Dad walk in with yet another eight-point buck! What are the odds?
“Even though her ego was through the roof and she showed me up once again, it was cool to see the excitement in her eyes of accomplishment and pride.”
Adamson credits friends and family for the support to move forward with her American Jake plan.
“I am fortunate to have the opportunities to go hunting and fishing frequently however, starting American Jake was not a fairy tale. My friends and family helped me stay focused on my goal which resulted in a partnership with Green Top. If you told me a year ago I would have this partnership, I’m not quite sure what I would have done besides being ecstatic.”
We asked Anne what makes her so passionate about American Jake and sharing the outdoor experience?
“During the week, people are pulled in many directions making life seem stressful and complicated. However a treestand has miraculous ways to make those issues I worried about not seem so significant.
It allows me to spend time with only nature and God. I begin to notice the little things such as how squirrels can sound like 220-pound bucks if your mind lets them, the way a fawn acts around its mother, and the strength of a black bear.
“The pride I experience when I place dinner on the table which I have harvested, cleaned and cooked is a feeling of accomplishment similar to no other. The time my dad has spent teaching me this process of field to table, I will cherish forever.”
So what does Adamson do in her spare time?
“This summer, when I was not working in construction, I loved taking my friends to different lakes near my house to go fishing. Oftentimes we went after work which ended up being a great time for bass feeding. I also enjoy dirt bike riding and hiking with my family.”
After high school Adamson says her dream is to attend the United States Naval Academy. She cites the leadership opportunities in addition to the comradery amongst the corps as major draws.
“A year ago, I had no idea I would be where I am today, and now I have no idea where I will be in two years. Even though the future is unseen I will work hard for whatever God’s plan might be.”