It’s true … just ask anyone who attended the 2017 Conservation Day Camp … the messier things in life are usually the most fun! Conservation Day Camp was held at the Shelby County Fish and Game, June 20-22. Campers had a lot of fun from day one, learning an agricultural lesson from SK Worm, tie-dying their camp T-shirts, learning important information about archery. Along with making egg catchers with the help of the Ohio Soybean Council. This fun filled day kept 135 young conservationists and budding artists actively engaged.
Day two provided an opportunity for the children to explore glaciers with the Jackson Center FFA members. Campers also got to go underground with Soil & Water Conservation District Soils Trailer. Archery was continued on day two, along with cookie mining with the Solid Waste District. The campers became mineral detectives with the Boonshoft Museum. Lastly, leadership skills were built with the help of the Farm Bureau.
Day three was a whirlwind of activities including; all the campers favorite activity fishing! The children made their own fossils with OSU Educator Annie Mead. The Shelby County Library provided fun activities for the campers, along with the Logan County Soil and Water Conservation District taught the children how to paint using soil. Another fun activity was with the North Central Ohio Solid Waste District sharing the story of the leaky landfill.
Conservation Day Camp is sponsored jointly by the Shelby County Farm Bureau and Shelby Soil and Water Conservation District. The camp is directed by Jill Smith, organization director for the Shelby County Farm Bureau and Lynda Adams, education coordinator for the Soil and Water Conservation District. Joy Aufderhaar from Farm Bureau also assisted with conducting the camp.
A big “thank you” for our presenters for making the “The World Beneath Our Feet” great which were; Joy Aufderhaar, Rhonda Farley, Allison Knief, Ohio Soybean Council, Annie Mead – Logan County OSUE, Rikki Unterbrink – Amos Library, Susan Helterbran – NCO, Deb Roberts – Logan County Soil and Water, Boonshoft Museum, Lindsey Whetstone, Master Gardner’s: Doug Benson, Dave Slagle, Teresa Freisthler. Jackson Center FFA chapter also provided valuable assistance with the camp.
Twenty-one counselors and counselors in training; Samantha Gaerke, Derek Wolters, Reilly Sommers, Badin Brewer, Kasey Copeland, Aubrey Hoying, Kelsey Line, Shyanna Easton, Lauren Stephens, Jordan Manuel, Ethan Aufderhaar, Brendan Bowman, Helena Shoukri, Ari Bolin, Lydia Brewer, Landon Howell, Hallie Truesdale, Emma Michael, Samantha Gratz, Katie Chandler and Colby Koenig were the backbone of making Conservation Day Camp a positive experience for the children. These volunteers ensured the camp was a fun, educational, happy and safe event.
We are often asked how we are able to offer this amazing experience with warm lunches each day, a camp T-shirt and numerous craft activities for the nominal fee of just thirty dollars per camper. The answer is simple. There are many generous hearts in Shelby County and Conservation Day Camp is offered to the children at this amazing bargain price through the generosity of the following groups; The North Central Ohio Solid Waste District, Shelby County 4-H Foundation, Jason Fogt at Design-N-Wood, Shelby County Pork Producers, Shelby County Cattlemen’s Association, Shelby County Farm Bureau P & E Committee, Modern Minds Farm Bureau Council, City of Sidney-Parks & Recreation Department, Tatical Solutions, Firearms and Accessories and the Botkins FFA. We received additional support through grants provided by Cargill and Healthy Soils Ohio.
Stay tuned for details of Conservation Day Camp 2018. Camp will be open to children who have finished grades two through five at the end of the 2017-18 school year. We will also be seeking enthusiastic counselors. Watch the Shelby County Farm Bureau and Shelby Soil and Water Conservation District’s Facebook pages and websites or feel free to call Jill at 877-775-7642 or Lynda at 937-492-6520, ext. 2589.
The writer is a summer intern for the Ohio Farm Bureau of Auglaize, Logan, Mercer and Shelby counties. Lynda Adams, education coordinator for the Shelby Soil & Water Conservation District, also contributed to the column.