Young people ages 12-14 learn about nature and enjoy summer fun at the 55th annual Natural Resources Camp in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area north of Ketchum.
Expert instructors challenge the kids and keep them occupied in a scenic setting. There are five nights of camping, outdoor activities and scientific explorations.
This year’s hands-on camp is June 23-28 at the 7,100-foot-elevation Central Idaho 4-H Camp 18 miles north of Ketchum. The program dates all the way back to 1959. Reveille is at 6:30 a.m. each day and breakfast at 7 a.m. Lights out is at 10:30 p.m.
Sponsored by University of Idaho Extension and the Idaho Association of Soil Conservation Districts, the camp focuses on natural resources from wildlife and rangeland to forests, water and soil.
Boys and girls sleep in rustic, unheated bunkhouses and take field trips to learn about Idaho’s natural resources. They enjoy fireside sing-a-longs during nightly campfires.
Popular recreational activities include archery, target shooting, hiking, fishing, cabin competition games, a pie-eating contest and the toilet paper Statue of Liberty contest.
Knowledgeable instructors help campers develop new understandings of Idaho’s resources through experiments and outdoor projects. Campers discuss and debate natural resources issues while learning responsibilities as citizens.
One learning activity is a Wood River Valley land use simulation game where students assume the roles of special interest groups that outline different ways of developing and conserving the area.
What a camper learns about water, soils, wildlife, forestry and range at the NRC week helps them understand the reasons for a particular group’s position—and shows them how citizens can play an effective role in land use discussions if they are properly informed.
Camp registration fee, which includes bed and board, is $235 per person by May 20. Fees increase $20 for registrations made after May 20. Transportation to and from the camp is the parents’ responsibility.
Agencies cooperating in the camp operation include USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
Get information by calling Megan Satterwhite, the fourth-year NRC camp coordinator and mother of three who lives on a ranch south of Twin Falls. Fifth-year camp director/soils instructor is Amber Moore.
Call University of Idaho Extension, at 208-736-3634 or online at extension.uidaho.edu/nrc.
You can also meet the staff members on the site. Be sure to see where you’re going, too. On the site you can find coordinates that, when plugged into Google Earth, will zero in on the camp and its surroundings.