CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Thirty-eight girls from across southeast Missouri took part in the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Discover Nature Girls Camp this week at Camp SEMO at Wappapello Lake. According to the camp organizer, Conservation Agent Christa Cox, the camp was a free, three-day, two-night experience aimed at introducing girls ages 11 to 15 to outdoor skills in a supportive learning environment.
Cox said girls attended from across the region, coming from Jackson, Doniphan, Bernie, Caruthersville, Wyatt, Charleston, Fairdealing, Poplar Bluff, St. Robert, Fenton, and Cape Girardeau.
“We led the girls in outdoor activities such as canoeing, fishing and hunter education so when they leave they’ll have the skills and confidence to explore our diverse landscape on their own and with their families,” Cox said.
Campers spent three fun-filled days learning by participating in hands-on outdoor skills, led by conservation professionals. Activities included hunter education, firearms safety and target shooting, tree stand safety, archery, walking through a safety trail, canoeing, orienteering, duck decoy and fishing lure crafting.
“They also had the opportunity to sample wild game at supper time,” Cox said. “They ate buffalo, venison, wild turkey, snow goose, squirrel, crawfish, and catfish.”
Cox said a squirrel stew recipe the girls sampled was from MDC’s own cookbook, Cooking Wild in Missouri.
“The stew was really good, they loved it,” Cox said.
Cox said the Discover Nature Girls Camp is right in line with the Department’s goal to help people discover nature. Hands on training, sampling wild game and fun in the outdoors are a combination that makes memories and leads to a lifelong love of nature, she said.
“Now these campers are equipped to discover nature on their own for years to come,” Cox said.
Each year these camps are limited to 40 girls, who are selected through a first come, first served application process. For more on other opportunities to discover nature, go online to mdc.mo.gov.