MDC offers free outdoor skills sessions during June at Burr Oak Woods in Blue Springs for youths ages 8-11

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – Getting outdoors and connecting with nature is a great way for youths to start the summer. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer a series of free outdoor skills sessions in early June for youths ages 8-11 at the Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs. These sessions will help youngsters learn or improve an outdoor skill such as fishing or canoeing.

Burr Oak Woods staff and volunteers will teach the skills in two separate sessions on weekdays starting June 1 and ending on June 16. The sessions are from 8:30 a.m. to noon and from 12:30 to 4 p.m. COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed in all sessions.

Block 1 will include target shooting with air rifles and archery, plus canoeing. Instructors will teach basic gun safety and skills with air rifles at target ranges. Participants will learn about archery equipment, shooting techniques, and try their skills with bow and arrows. The session will move to the Burr Oak Woods education pond for training in canoe paddling and float trip gear. All paddlers will wear personal floatation vests while on the water.

In Block 2, participants will learn about fishing, orienteering, and atlatl. Instructors will teach basic fishing skills. MDC will provide tackle and bait. In orienteering, youths will learn how to use compass and map to find their way through the outdoors. The atlatl is an ancient tool that was used for hunting and protection. A carved wooden stick is used to hurl a long dart at targets. Throwing the atlatl is an ancient skill but has become a modern challenge sport.

Both blocks will be offered in various morning and afternoon sessions. Participants will need to dress for the outdoors. Registration is required. To register, visit the MDC events page for the Kansas City region at Scroll down through the event listings to find the outdoor skills block listings for Burr Oak Woods.

For more information about Burr Oak Woods, visit