MDC hosted Rich Hill students on May 15 for outdoor skills field day

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Kansas City
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Rich Hill, Mo. – A sunny day and a chance to enjoy the outdoors brought 55 students in fifth and sixth grades at Rich Hill Elementary School to the McGennis Youth Center on May 15. Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) staff hosted the field day in northwestern Vernon County and helped the students try out skills such as fishing, archery, target shooting with pellet guns, and throwing the atlatl.

“So many kids don’t get the opportunity to get outdoors and take part in these related outdoor events, especially the kids who live in town,” said Mendy Bridgewater, the school’s principal. “It’s a neat exercise for them.”

Muggy weather and high water slowed the fishing, though some bluegill were caught. The atlatl, an ancient hunting tool where a stick is used to propel a long dart with an arm motion, was likely new to most students. MDC staff helped students learn how to properly hold, aim, and shoot archery bows and pellet guns at targets.

“This is nice for them and a fun thing to do before the last day of school,” Bridgewater said.

MDC provides educational programs in a variety of ways. Besides outdoor skills, MDC also offers a Discover Nature Schools program with academic options for all grade levels. This program lets teachers incorporate nature into learning curriculums and often includes a field day with a focus on nature study. For more information about Discover Nature Schools, visit

To learn about conservation in Missouri, visit