It’s YOLO and yellowhammers. It’s on fleek and on the lake. It’s FOMO and ammo. It’s throwing shade and casting lines. It’s GOAT and goats.
For those older than 25, YOLO is “you only live once,” FOMO is “fear of missing out” and GOAT is “greatest of all time.”
Alabama Black Belt Adventures (ALBBA) hopes no translations are needed as it combines millennials with the Black Belt. A new initiative seeks to take the younger generations’ love for the outdoors with the hunting, fishing and recreational opportunities that can be found in the mostly rural region.
Pam Swanner, ALBBA project manager, travels around the country letting people know that they can experience any type of outdoor adventure in Alabama’s Black Belt. ALBBA is a nonprofit created to harness such opportunities and serve as resource along with tourism partners to bring people to the 23-county region.
“We created an advisory council made up of millennials who have Black Belt ties,” Swanner said. “From meeting and discussing we found out that there are people right here in our state that don’t know the adventures they can experience just down the road. We decided to partner with some of the lodges listed on our website to invite these people down. We want them to go back and tell their friends about their experience.”
Soggy Bottom Lodge, just south of Linden in Marengo County, played host to a few of these guests recently. They got the chance to learn gun safety from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources before taking part in a charity skeet shoot put on by the Demopolis Rotary Club.
After spending a night in the lodge, they took part in a duck hunt of flight-conditioned birds — those that are raised to ensure an active hunt.
“We offer a lot of hunting opportunities here at Soggy Bottom. We are unique because we will tailor a package and work with anyone to achieve their goals,” said Brandon Smith, property manager at Soggy Bottom Lodge. “The flight-conditioned duck hunts are unique and provide an opportunity to get a lot of shooting in and watch some retrieving dogs work. I think it is perfect for a first-time hunter or people that aren’t used to doing a lot of shooting.”
For more information about Alabama Black Belt Adventures, Soggy Bottom Lodge or many other outdoor activities, visit www.alabamablackbeltadventures.org.