Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A scenic setting for Natural Resources Camp

Kids 12-14 enjoy the outdoors

The 53rd annual Natural Resources Camp has found a winning formula.

Organizers have found a way to increase the fun of five nights of camping, outdoor activities and scientific explorations in Idaho's scenic Sawtooth Mountains.

They've added an afternoon's swim at Easley Hot Springs.

This year's camp is June 25-30 at the 7,100-foot Central Idaho 4-H Camp 18 miles north of Ketchum. The summer program dates back to 1960 and only the kids have changed since that time.

Boys and girls sleep in log bunkhouses and take field trips in the area to learn about Idaho's natural resources.

Sponsored by University of Idaho Extension and the Idaho Association of Soil Conservation Districts, the camp allows campers ages 12-14 to learn about natural resources from wildlife and rangeland to forests, water and soil.

Camp instructors from University of Idaho Extension and other agencies help campers develop a new understanding of Idaho's natural resources through experiments and outdoor projects.

Activities include hiking, fishing, volleyball, firearms safety and target shooting and other camp activities.

The trip to swim at nearby Easley Hot Springs, which is part of the Cathedral Pines Camp, is a new addition that camp director Amber Moore expects to be popular. "We decided to add it as a little reward for campers at the end of the week," said Moore, a University of Idaho Extension soils specialist at Twin Falls.

The camp typically attracts about 70 boys and girls, Moore said, although it can take as many as 90.

Goal of the camp is to give campers basic facts about Idaho's natural resources and to encourage them to think about whether Idaho will still have them in abundance in 20 years. Campers discuss and debate natural resources issues while learning their responsibilities as citizens.

The camp registration fee, which includes bed, board and all activities, is $235 until May 21. The fee goes up $20 for registrations after that date. Scholarships are available through soil conservation districts throughout Idaho.

More information about scholarships is available from Nancy Weatherstone at 208-888-1890, ext. 102, at the Idaho Association of Soil Conservation Districts office in Boise.

Other agencies cooperating in the camp's operation include the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Idaho Department of Lands, Idaho Soil Conservation Commission and USDA Forest Service.

More information about the camp is available by calling Megan Satterwhite, camp coordinator for University of Idaho Extension, at 208-736-3634 at the Twin Falls Research and Extension Center or online at

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