Outdoor Youth Expo returns


By Mindy Kearns - Special to OVP



Gabe Roush of Pleasant Valley Hospital presented a bike safety course at the Outdoor Youth Expo. He told the students that the proper size of the bicycle they ride is important.

Gabe Roush of Pleasant Valley Hospital presented a bike safety course at the Outdoor Youth Expo. He told the students that the proper size of the bicycle they ride is important.


Jim Fregonara with the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources is pictured with students at the Outdoor Youth Expo, holding material that shows the size of the world’s largest snake.


A petting zoo was featured at the Outdoor Youth Expo, including farm animals.


Prizes that will allow students to enjoy the outdoors were given away during the Outdoor Youth Expo. Pictured is one girl who won a scooter and helmet.


Over 50 bicycles were given away to lucky ticket holders at the Outdoor Youth Expo. Pictured is one of them.


The Point Pleasant High School Band had various musical instruments for the students attending the Outdoor Youth Expo to try out.


Andrea’s Army high school volunteers painted the faces and hands of those who attended the Outdoor Youth Expo last week.


Students had the opportunity to make small first aid kits at the Outdoor Youth Expo, provided by Pleasant Valley Hospital. They also received a lesson in the amount of sugar contained in soft drinks and juices.


Holding snakes is always one of the most popular activities at the Mason County Outdoor Youth Expo, which was held for fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students last week. The two-day event allows all six elementary schools to enjoy half-day sessions, where they learn about fun outdoor activities, as well as safety. Students had the opportunity to try their hand at archery during the Outdoor Youth Expo. While the expo began in 2000, it hasn’t been held the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


POINT PLEASANT — Two days, 50 bicycles, snakes, and hundreds of kids.

Put them all together and you have the Mason County Outdoor Youth Expo, held last week at the county board of education complex.

Fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students from Ashton, Leon, Roosevelt, Beale, New Haven elementary schools, and Point Pleasant Intermediate were afforded the opportunity to attend in four different half-day sessions. The event has been held since 2000, with the exception of the last two years due to COVID-19, and its mission is to promote awareness of positive, safe, and drug-free recreational activities for students and their families.

Presentations were made by Gabe Roush on bicycle safety, as well as Roy Moose and Jim Fregonara on “Snakes Alive.”

Roush told the students to remember their ABC’s while observing bike safety. The letters stand for: A – air pressure in tires; B – brakes that should be in good working order; and, C – a chain that is sturdy, oiled and rust-free. He also emphasized the importance of the proper size bicycle, wearing protective gear like a helmet, and wearing close-toed shoes.

The “Snakes Alive” presentation is always a popular one with the children, as they are shown a variety of live snakes indigenous to West Virginia. The students were told snakes play an important role in the state, and it is against the law to kill one because they are endangered. Those students brave enough were allowed to hold both tiny and large snakes.

Over 50 bicycles were given away over the two days to lucky ticket holders. Other prizes were also given to help children enjoy the outdoors, like sleeping bags, fishing rods, and various sport balls.

The students were then released to visit booths and activities. They enjoyed giveaways like books, snacks, book bags, stress balls, and cow bells. Activities included face painting, making first aid kits, archery, playing musical instruments, and a petting zoo.

Dr. Keith Burdette, superintendent of schools, opened the sessions, with Jack Cullen, former superintendent, serving as emcee. Cullen asked the students to thank those who hosted displays and activities. He praised the corporate sponsor, Pleasant Valley Hospital, which he said has been with the expo since the beginning.

Expo committee members include Jack Cullen, Joann Cullen, Leigh Ann Shepard, Lorrie Wright, Paul Nichols, Randy Searls, Rodney Wallbrown, Tracy Call, Rachel Ayers, Amy Mullins, Howie Mullins, Josh Russell, Shayla Blackshire, and Ed Lowe.

Those hosting display booths and other features were Aetna Better Health, Andrea’s Army, Branches Domestic Violence Shelter, DARE Program, ICL, Mason County Animal Shelter, Mason County Bus Drivers, Mason County CEOS, Mason County Convention and Visitor Bureau, Mason County EMS, Mason County Health Department, Mason County SADD – Wahama, Mason County Schools Curriculum Department, Mason County Schools Food Service, Mason County Solid Waste Authority, Mason County Teen Community Leaders, Mason County Career Center FFA,

Ohio Valley Bank, Pleasant Valley Hospital, Pleasant Valley Hospital Wellness Center, Point Pleasant Bike Trail, Point Pleasant High School Marching Band, PPJSHS Cheerleaders, Snakes of WV U.S. Forest Service Cranberry Mountain Nature Center, Thomas Do It Center, UniCare Health Plan of WV, U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit, Western Conservation District – Soil Conservation, West Virginia Department of Agriculture Animal Health Division, WV National Guard, WV State Police, WVDNR Operations Center/Wildlife Diversity Program, and WVU Extension Mason and Wayne counties.

© 2022 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

Gabe Roush of Pleasant Valley Hospital presented a bike safety course at the Outdoor Youth Expo. He told the students that the proper size of the bicycle they ride is important.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2022/05/web1_expo-1.jpgGabe Roush of Pleasant Valley Hospital presented a bike safety course at the Outdoor Youth Expo. He told the students that the proper size of the bicycle they ride is important.

Jim Fregonara with the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources is pictured with students at the Outdoor Youth Expo, holding material that shows the size of the world’s largest snake.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2022/05/web1_expo-2.jpgJim Fregonara with the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources is pictured with students at the Outdoor Youth Expo, holding material that shows the size of the world’s largest snake.

A petting zoo was featured at the Outdoor Youth Expo, including farm animals.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2022/05/web1_expo-3.jpgA petting zoo was featured at the Outdoor Youth Expo, including farm animals.

Prizes that will allow students to enjoy the outdoors were given away during the Outdoor Youth Expo. Pictured is one girl who won a scooter and helmet.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2022/05/web1_expo-4.jpgPrizes that will allow students to enjoy the outdoors were given away during the Outdoor Youth Expo. Pictured is one girl who won a scooter and helmet.

Over 50 bicycles were given away to lucky ticket holders at the Outdoor Youth Expo. Pictured is one of them.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2022/05/web1_expo-5.jpgOver 50 bicycles were given away to lucky ticket holders at the Outdoor Youth Expo. Pictured is one of them.

The Point Pleasant High School Band had various musical instruments for the students attending the Outdoor Youth Expo to try out.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2022/05/web1_expo-6.jpgThe Point Pleasant High School Band had various musical instruments for the students attending the Outdoor Youth Expo to try out.

Andrea’s Army high school volunteers painted the faces and hands of those who attended the Outdoor Youth Expo last week.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2022/05/web1_expo-7.jpgAndrea’s Army high school volunteers painted the faces and hands of those who attended the Outdoor Youth Expo last week.

Students had the opportunity to make small first aid kits at the Outdoor Youth Expo, provided by Pleasant Valley Hospital. They also received a lesson in the amount of sugar contained in soft drinks and juices.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2022/05/web1_expo-8.jpgStudents had the opportunity to make small first aid kits at the Outdoor Youth Expo, provided by Pleasant Valley Hospital. They also received a lesson in the amount of sugar contained in soft drinks and juices.

Holding snakes is always one of the most popular activities at the Mason County Outdoor Youth Expo, which was held for fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students last week. The two-day event allows all six elementary schools to enjoy half-day sessions, where they learn about fun outdoor activities, as well as safety. Students had the opportunity to try their hand at archery during the Outdoor Youth Expo. While the expo began in 2000, it hasn’t been held the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2022/05/web1_expo-9.jpgHolding snakes is always one of the most popular activities at the Mason County Outdoor Youth Expo, which was held for fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students last week. The two-day event allows all six elementary schools to enjoy half-day sessions, where they learn about fun outdoor activities, as well as safety. Students had the opportunity to try their hand at archery during the Outdoor Youth Expo. While the expo began in 2000, it hasn’t been held the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2022/05/web1_expo-10.jpg

By Mindy Kearns

Special to OVP

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at [email protected]

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at [email protected]