Chilhowee, Mo. – They caught fish, paddled canoes, zinged arrows into targets and cheered when fellow campers plinked the bullseye with a pellet gun. Thirty campers sampled recreation and nature in the great outdoors at Discover Nature Girls Camp June 16-18 at Camp Palestine in Johnson County, Mo. The camp was hosted by the Missouri Department of Conservation's Protection Division staff in the Kansas City Region.
"It's been great, said Emily Robertson, 15, of Kansas City. "I really liked everything, but especially the pellet gun shooting. I felt like I was good at it. Once people learn how, it's fun."
The camp was free and open to girls ages 11 to 15. Campers were introduced to outdoor skills in a supportive environment. They also went home with prizes and gear donated by sponsors. Campers received canoe paddles, fishing tackle and other gear.
Conservation agents and MDC staff members conducted the camp. They provided instruction in outdoor skills as campers rotated activity sites such as fishing, canoeing, archery range or pellet gun shooting. Campers had good success catching fish at the camp's lake. Eight adult chaperones also stayed in the camp cabins and helped lead activities. Campers also learned about furbearer mammals, how biologists sample fish populations in lakes, water safety and how to conduct water rescues.
"Everything went fabulous," said Conservation Agent Brian Bartlett. "The girls have had a ball. We'll probably do it again next year."
MDC connects people with nature. For more information on Discover Nature programs in your area, visit http://mdc.mo.gov/node/3115.