Much of the SCI’s budget is dedicated toward assistance for those who are less fortunate. Internationally, SCI is increasingly recognized not only for its support of hunting and conservation but also for its humanitarian efforts. The Blue Bag program assists in continuing this positive regard for SCI.
The Blue Bag program extends healthcare, educational and/or recreational supplies to needy areas of the world. This program is a rewarding activity (just ask some of our fellow members who have been involved) in which every chapter member can participate even though they may not be traveling to a remote area to hunt. Donation of items or monies toward defrayment of expenses allows all members to be involved.
Keep in mind: You must consider you may be traveling to a location where there may or may not be trained medical personnel. Also, they may or may not be able to read or understand the labeled instructions.
One of the most valuable resources may be your professional hunter (PH). They should be able to tell you what is appropriate for the people in the area you will be visiting. They also should be able to update you concerning any recent customs issues.
Airlines may charge additional fees for extra luggage. Our Chapter has money allocated and available to defray some of the expense for the bag-toting members. For more information, please contact a board member. This also provides an opportunity for others to participate in an important way. On some trips it is possible to condense gear or limit "nice but not necessary items" thus remaining within the allowable luggage guidelines. If asked, your travel agent may intercede with the airlines and have the “extra” luggage fee waived due to the humanitarian nature of your mission. Another option is to pack the Blue Bag in your luggage and purchase supplies, if possible, after arriving in your destination country. A third option is to buy a cheap suitcase, fill it with materials you want to take, pack the bag in your suitcase and then fill the bag with your materials once you have reached the destination where you will be distributing the goods. (You can make someone happy by giving the suitcase away if you wish.) This will prevent someone from usurping the bag at the airport. There are countries who do not allow used clothing to be brought in (as an example South Africa). They, on occasion, have confiscated the contents right then and there, bag and all. Each country’s customs is different so please contact me and I will try to assist you in determining the proper items and method of delivery.
Any medicine used inappropriately could be very dangerous. Medicinal supplies should be dispensed only under the supervision of trained medical personnel. As an example: something as common as toothpaste could be dangerous. Its taste may cause a child to think it is candy. Non-medical supplies such as educational, recreational, and basic personal care items are also welcomed. See attached list for some possibilities.
Our Chapter has several Blue Bags which you are welcome to take. Please contact our Humanitarian Chair, Denny Sprick, to reserve your bag.
Businesses that are often willing to make donations include Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Meijer. They will usually give you a gift certificate that can be used on any store items.
Positive public relations for SCI and hunters in general, and the Michigan Chapter in particular, is another desirable outcome of this program. We should strive to receive as much beneficial press as we can. In this regard, feedback should be noted. Members should take photos and keep notes resulting from their Blue Bag experiences. From this, articles can be developed for news stories in local communities, Safari Times, Safari magazine, as well as our own Tracker publication. We would love to upload your blue bag photos to our website.
Let’s help generate a positive attitude toward hunters while helping those who are less fortunate!
|Medically Supervised Items *||Non-Supervised Items **|
|Acetominophen (reg/children’s)||eyeglasses||school supplies|
|Aspirin||hats||pens, pencils, paper|
|Fungal infection creams||shirts||sports equipment|
|Upset stomach medicine||trash bags||mosquito netting|
|Anti-diarrhea medicine (tabs/liquid)||portable water filters||mosquito repellant|
|Vitamins (adult/children’s)||needle and thread||cloth/fabric|
|Skin rash creams||fish hooks and line||coloring books|
|Water purification tablets||antibacterial soaps||scissors|
|Burn ointments||adhesive bandages/gauze||pins – straight/safety|
|Triple antibiotic cream||plastic bottles||shampoo|
|Rice powder (anti-diarrhea)||disposable gloves||glue sticks|
|A&D or zinc ointment||dental floss||colored paper|
|Powdered formula||tote bags||camera|
|Anti-histamine (anaphylactic)||rulers||SD cards|
|Antacids||sanitary napkins||batteries or charger and adapter
(should be included with the camera)
* Generic brands are much less expensive.
** Keeping in mind the possible necessary medical supervision, feel free to add other items to the list. Contact Craig Bade, MD at (616) 405-3800 (C)
Creating more harmony in the world through knowledge and understanding can only promote goodwill.
Remember, that the hunting fraternity is shrinking worldwide while the number of anti-hunters is increasing in organizational sophistication and funding which is dedicated to the demise of hunting. When you are in a remote area, you are an ambassador of the United States, a member of SCI, and a representative of hunting. We need to leave positive impressions. The Blue Bag is one way to make a lasting and endearing impact. You won’t believe how good this will make you feel!
Denny Sprick, Humanitarian Services Chair
11155 Bennett Street, SE
Lowell, MI 49331