Centerburg Conservation Club History
In 1944 local sportsmen met to organize into what would eventually become the Centerburg Conservation Club (CCCC). These new clubs activities would center on conserving, protecting and enhancing Central Ohio s natural resources and outdoor heritage. In January of 1944 they met and elected George Ritchey as president. Other members included Claude Bostic, Jake Brown, Harley Buxton, Lawrence Conway, Judge Charles Hayden, H. Huffman, Estel Jackson, Verner Mitchell, Doyle Moreland, Bob Myers, Tom Reed, Milo Walton, Ray White, Ernest White, Kenneth Yough.
Their first organized club function was a foxhunt that yielded three foxes. The foxes earned the club $175. A photograph of an early fox hunt still hangs in the clubhouse.
In 1945 they joined with the Centerburg Lions Club to create a community park along State Route 314. Part of the 14 acres was home to the CCCC. There was a small pond on the property that was fed by the North Fork of the Licking River and was used for fishing. This park now is known as the Centerburg Memorial Park. In the 1950 s trap shooting was a regular activity of the club. These shoots were held at the Cowman farm on State Route 3 at the Delaware County line.
CCCC saw the need to acquire property for the clubs activities and fulfill its conservation agenda. Twenty-five acres of land were acquired on Sycamore road in 1948. Members worked together to shape the property to meet the clubs objectives. A lake with an island was planned in 1957 and constructed in 1959 on more than four camping areas, recreation equipment, and trap shooting facilities.
One of the groups that worked with the club to improve the grounds is the Second Ohio Volunteer Infantry (2nd OVI), the 2nd OVI is a group of Civil War skirmishers who belong to the North- South Skirmish Association (N-SSA). The CCCC is currently the home range of the N-SSA Midwest Division and the 2nd OVI. Skirmishes are currently held three times a year at the CCCC.
To make additional improvements the club mortgaged the club in premises 1970. The funds were used to build a new clubhouse and three modern trap fields for shooting. The clubhouse not only serves for club meetings but for many other activities but for many other activities and gatherings by community members. It includes a large meeting room, restrooms and a kitchen. Over the years the clubhouse has doubled in size. 2004 a fourth trap field was added in addition to other upgrades to the trap ranges made since 1970.
As the needs of the CCCC have grown, so has the acreage. In addition to the original 25 acres purchased in 1984, another 25 acres was added to the north side of the club in the early 1990 s. In 2009, another 110 acres were purchased west of the club to bring the total acreage to 160, ensuring plenty of room for conservation activities.
The club has always striven to pass its values to the next generation. Training youth to wisely manage natural resources and become responsible citizens is central to its mission. Young people have assimilated these values through learning gun safety and hunting skills in youth hunts and shoots. These efforts culminated in 2000 with the creation of Centerburg Youth Shooting Sports, Inc (CYSS). Since its creation, CYSS has introduced more than 1000 youth so the shooting sports. In addition, many of these young people compete in state and national competitions, bringing national recognition to the Centerburg Community. A sister organization, Buckeye International Junior Shooting Sports, Inc (Buckeye) was formed to foster youth in international competition. Since it s foundation several local youth have earned positions on prestigious national shooting teams and shot for the USA and Germany, Cypress, and Sylvania. In 2008, Buckeye partnered with Cardinal Center Campground in Marengo to build and International Bunker. Youth from around the Midwest train on this $100,000 facility.
Through the years the club has not only worked hard to meet its conservation and outdoor heritage goals, it has worked with like minded organizations to help achieve their goals. In addition to those previously mentioned, the following are but a few of the organizations that use the clubs facilities: American Legion Post 460, Boy Scout Troop 382, Ohio Valley Muzzle Loading Gun Club, Local police, Sheriff s Departments, and the Highway Patrol, FFA, National wild Turkey Federation, Step outside, Woman in the Outdoors, and church groups.
The club currently has 829 members from all around the country. Many members are active in the day to day affairs of the club, some participate in one activity or another, and others are members as a matter of family history. Over the years members and guests have participated in coon hound races, archery tournaments, black powder target shooting, American and Olympic style trapshooting, fishing derbies, Easter egg hunts, Civil War skirmishes, various other war reenactments, shooting coach training, American Legion flag retirement ceremonies, youth groundhog hunting derbies, just to name a few. The club currently holds a pancake supper in the early spring, a club picnic in June, and a theme dinner in the fall. The club keeps a regular calendar to update members on upcoming events. Trapshooting is open to the public in Thursdays, and Protection trapshooting takes place on odd Sunday nights. A Family Membership in the club affords members access to the stocked fishing pond, rifle range, campground, trapshooting range, in addition to other club events. Regular club meetings are held at the clubhouse on the first Monday of every month at 8:00pm. The club also maintains a website: http://centerburgconservationclub.org. Individuals or families interested in membership can attend a regular club meeting or access the website for further details.