More than 60 Cub Scouts attended the Osage Hills District Day Camp held at Willow Springs Park July 18-20. MDC staff and volunteers assisted the Tigers, Webelos, Wolves and Bears (oh, my!) in working on requirements toward five different merit badges, earning their forestry merit badge and learning some life lessons in teamwork.
Cubs examined a variety of leaves, types of wood and cross sections of trees. After counting the rings of several different trees and discussing the parts of a tree and how weather may affect the width of the rings, the cubs then made tree cookies of their own lives. There was some discussion as to whether the birth of a sister should be a wide ring or not. Forest management, prescribed fire and requirements for a tree to grow were all lessons presented over the three-day camp.
The theme for the day camp was the wild west, and MDC helped kids learn how cowboys might cook when in camp. Boys learned fire safety, the damage wildfires can cause, how to properly build a fire and how to make a mighty tasty dump cake.
Cubs were instructed in the MoNASP (Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program) style of archery by conservation agents Jeff Crites and Chris Ely and MDC Forester Travis Mills. Firearms safety was number one under the instruction of MDC staff and volunteers. The Tiger Cubs were able to practice with cork guns but still were required to follow all the safety rules. You’re never too young to learn to “point the muzzle in a safe direction.”
Longtime conservation supporter Cowboy Rick Hamby and his wife Arkansas Bev Hamby brought Doc the Wonder Horse for a lesson in teamwork. Each pack was given the opportunity to participate in a tug of war with Rick and Doc. If everyone pulls together, you can accomplish some pretty lofty goals, words the Missouri Department of Conservation lives by. Twelve boys from Winona Pack 28 couldn’t stop Doc, but when little Tanner was added it made the difference. He was later heard saying he didn’t realize he was that strong.
The Missouri Department of Conservation works with a variety of organizations to help youth know and appreciate our forest, fish and wildlife resources here in our back yard. From the Xplor magazine for kids to helping out at scout camp, MDC understands that our kids are the future caretakers of our resources. We know that if we pull together, we can reach our goals. Each of us in the Current River District Conservation Team sincerely appreciates the youth groups, volunteers and even horses that all pull together so our kids will have the same opportunity to enjoy Missouri’s forests, fish and wildlife.
If you are interested in learning more about volunteering with the Missouri Department of Conservation, contact Twin Pines Conservation Education Center or your county conservation agent.