“Building a Better Tomorrow”
Area youth gathered once again at Mallo Camp north of Newcastle, WY to participate in the Black Hills Natural Resources Youth Camp June 17-19th. The purpose of this camp is to give youth the opportunity to experience a wide variety of activities and educational sessions teaching them about the natural world and its resources. Other activities included fishing, the Wildman Hike teaches kids about predators and prey relationships, a talent show, a presentation on bats and their benefit to the world, and various games.
Each child participated in six educational sessions: “Fire Away”, “Cast Away”, “Shutter Bug”, “Quick Frozen Critters”, “Habitat Invaders”, and “Track It up”. “Fire Away”, presented by Glen Terry and Everett Bishop, Campbell County 4-H Shooting Sports Leaders, taught campers the importance of firearm safety and how to safely shoot firearms. Dustin Shorma with the WY Game and Fish Department presented “Cast Away” where campers learned the how to properly cast, tie knots, and fishing techniques. “Shutter Bug” with Bob Johnson, a rancher and former photographer for the Lusk Herald taught the kids different photography techniques and gave them the opportunity to take pictures around the camp.
Brook Gerke with the Wyoming Ag in the Classroom spoke to the kids about how animals adapt to their environment to avoid predators, during her session of “Quick Frozen Critters”. “Habitat Invaders” took over camp when Tanya Daniels from Campbell County Weed & Pest demonstrated how invasive plant species spread and invade the habitat of native/natural plant species. They also identified common invasive plant species in the area. Finally, Christina Schmidt (Weston County Natural Resource District) and Erika Peckham’s (Wyoming Game and Fish/NRCS) “Track it Up” showed campers how to identify the different track and signs animals leave behind when they move through an area. As well, they had a variety of furs there that taught the group how to identify animals by their hides.
Sponsors for the Black Hills Natural Resource Youth Camp were Weston County Natural Resource Districts, Niobrara Conservation District, Campbell County Conservation Districts, the Powder River Conservation District, Wyoming Department of Agriculture, Powder River Energy Corporation, and the Wyoming Community Foundation. Many thanks go out to all the people who make this camp possible.