A Scholarship That Takes You Outdoors

A Scholarship That Takes You Outdoors

Posted by Jim Mize on December 29, 2023

Learn how to put your children's or grandchildren's passion for the outdoors into action by applying for the annual Outdoor Journalist Education Foundation of America (OJEFA) Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award. Outdoorsman and award-winning writer Jim Mize shares all the details plus application deadlines here.

When I was growing up, every spare minute was spent outdoors.

To quote Havilah Babcock in his story “The Deacon’s Grandpa,” “Time is not something to be saved. It’s something to be spent.”

So, in Babcock fashion, I was spending mine outdoors.

The idea that it would be possible to make a living in outdoor pursuits didn’t occur to me until years later. But now, there is a scholarship that offers students the opportunity to be immersed in outdoor media or outdoor education to better understand the opportunities that exist.

The Outdoor Journalist Education Foundation of America

The Outdoor Journalist Education Foundation of America (OJEFA) is an organization “dedicated to the education and support of outdoor communicators and their efforts to promote the wise and ethical use of our wildlife and natural resources.”

One of their tools in fulfilling this mission is the Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award.


Starting back in 2011, the Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award was created to provide aspiring young communicators between the ages of 12-25 the opportunity to attend professional outdoor media conferences and other educational events. Up to $1000 is reimbursed through the scholarship for expenses related to attending these events.

The list of events that winners can attend offers a wide variety of experiences.

Outdoor Media Experience

One of the popular events winners can choose is an outdoor media conference.

These conferences include state, regional and national outdoor media groups, so in many cases, the winner can find one close by.

Winners often choose to join these associations afterward to continue their networking, as most of these organizations offer student memberships.

Also, winners may choose to attend the Bassmaster Classic, the Kayak Fishing Championship, or select national shooting events.

Certain classes are also considered qualified for the scholarship, including social media, video editing or wildlife photography. The weekend seminar, Becoming an Outdoorswoman, is also among the qualified events.

Outdoor scholarship

The application process requires:

  • Two letters of recommendation,
  • An essay of 200-500 words describing the applicant’s reason for interest in the scholarship and aspirations relative to outdoor communications,
  • And a 200-800 word story. This outdoor story can be on one of four topics:
    1. Fishing,
    2. Hunting,
    3. Non-consumptive outdoor experiences (such as hiking, birding or camping)
    4. Or experiences from attending one of the South Carolina Waterfowl Association outdoor camps.

Scholarship Opportunities

Lisa Snuggs, CEO of OJEFA, talks about the special opportunities this scholarship offers. 

“The hands-on opportunity for kids to get enmeshed in the lifestyle,” says Lisa, “is unique. The ways and methods a story is told have changed over the decades, but as long as the stories are there, they need to be told.”

Also, the 2024 winners have the opportunity to shape the experience, says Lisa, as there are so many alternatives to choose from. 

“People who have made careers in the outdoors industry are so willing to give of their time,” she adds.

Those who have the opportunity through this scholarship to learn from them will find their enthusiasm contagious. Regarding what makes the entries stand out in the competition, Lisa explains, “You don’t have to be the most grammatically correct, and you don’t have to be published.” 

Lisa emphasizes that applicants are not expected to be great writers already since learning these skills is the objective of the scholarship. What the judges will notice, she says, is whether you can convey your passion for the outdoors in writing.

Since this scholarship started, I’ve had the opportunity to meet several of the winners at outdoor media conferences. Many of them are still active in the industry as writers, photographers, guides and social media content providers.

Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award Winner

Most recently, I met Lindsey Lucas, the 2022 Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award winner. She was attending the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association conference as her trip and was 16 years old at the time.

She immersed herself in the conference, met experienced communicators and made valuable relationships in the industry. At this conference, she met the editor of an online fishing magazine and now writes a column for them. The scholarship provided the opportunity for this to happen.

How to Apply for the 2024 Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award Scholarship

Applications for 2024 awards will be accepted through January 31, 2024

This link to the Outdoor Journalist Education Foundation of America provides all the information you’ll need to apply. If you have questions, contact Lisa Snuggs through the contact information provided on the website.

Whether your interest is to make a living in the outdoor industries or simply to have an enjoyable part-time business, this scholarship can help you see what is available. 

After all, as Babcock noted years ago, time is not something to be saved but to be well spent. For many of us, pursuing an outdoor living fits that description.

Free Download: How Country Life Makes Children Strong and Resilient

Jim Mize

Jim Mize has written humor and nostalgia for magazines including Gray's Sporting Journal, Fly Fisherman Magazine, Field & Stream, and a number of conservation magazines, picking up over fifty Excellence In Craft awards along the way. His most recent book, a collection of humor for fly fisherman entitled A Creek Trickles Through It, was awarded best outdoor book in 2014 by the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association. More on Jim and his writing activities can be found at acreektricklesthroughit.com

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