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Youth Conservation Camps

Camps provide positive educational outdoor experiences, foster an appreciation for nature, and introduce a variety of careers in natural resources and conservation. Professionals from various agencies present programs on topics like wildlife, habitat, water quality, fisheries, forestry, orienteering, and canoeing. These professionals, as well as adult volunteers, serve as overnight staff and group leaders for the duration of camp. Campers can make new friends, participate in hands-on activities, practice social & leadership skills, enjoy the outdoors and just have fun!

The two Youth camps that the WI Land+Water Youth Education Committee coordinates are:

2019 Conservation Camps

The Wisconsin Land+Water Conservation Association’s Youth Education Committee is committed to passing on Wisconsin’s rich conservation history to future generations.  

2018 Camp Wrap-Up

Wisconsin Youth Conservation Camp at North Lakeland Discovery Center

This year's WI Land+Water Youth Conservation Camp was held June 18-22, 2018 in Manitowish Waters at the North Lakeland Discovery Center for students entering 9-12th grades. Over 25 students from across the state attended the week long camp and had a wonderful time learning about conservation stewardship and having fun. We also had returning campers and graduates from Sand Lake Camp. 

Campers kicked off the week with a canoe and t-rescue lesson, team building exercises and a hike around the North Lakeland Discovery Center learning about native plants, exploring the bogs and participating in a Wood Turtle survey. Other fun activities included a visit to the Ottawa Forest Visitor Center a hike to The Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains, and free time scouting for rocks on the shores of Lake Superior and Presque Isle State Park. Later that night campers had the opportunity to make jewelry with their rocks from Lake Superior.

Campers got some hands on experience learning about bird banding and the ecology of the Powell Marsh, followed by a tour of a Fish Hatchery and Natural Resource Center in the Lac du Flambeau. The day wrapped up with a tour of the Waaswaaganing Indian Village where campers learned about the history, tradition and culture of the Ojibwe. That evening campers received a hands-on lesson on Odonatas (dragonflies and damselflies), had ended the evening watching the movie Plastic Ocean. The final day of camp wrapped up with a bike trip and canoe trip down the upper Manitowish River, tie dying camp t-shirts, camp songs and conservation chats around the camp fire and early morning fishing for the early risers.

Camp was filled with lots of outdoor activities, learning about conservation stewardship, journaling and making new friends. A special thanks to Iron, Shawano and Langlade County Land+Water Conservation departments that provided scholarships for our campers, all of the resource professionals who spent time talking about their conservation projects and jobs and to our camp counselors from Iron, Shawano and Wood counties who put a lot of time into developing a fun week of conservation activities. Best of luck to our graduates and we hope to see campers back again next year. Thanks for a great week up North! To see more photos from camp please like our Youth Education Facebook page.

 

Sand Lake Conservation Camp at Lake Bird

The 13th annual Sand Lake Conservation Camp held at Camp Bird near Crivitz was a success with 65 campers representing 21 Wisconsin and 2 Upper Michigan Counties and 18 dedicated overnight camp staff. The camp is for youth goiing into 6-8th grade in the fall and is organized by the Marinette County Land & Water Conservation Division (LWCD).

Conservation Camp provides positive educational outdoor experience, fosters an appreciation for nature and introduces a variety of natural resources and conservation career opportunities to youth.

Core topics presented by Marinette County staff included aquatic macroinvertebrates, reptiles and amphibians and water pollution/conservation. Evening presentations were given by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Biologist Chip Long and Conservation Wardens Tim Werner and Dale Romback. Kim Diedrich and staff from the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay brought several native Wisconsin animals and discussed wildlife rehabilitation & conservation issues. All camp cabin competitions included a campfire building contest, a scavenger hunt and "Conservation Joepardy," a culmination activity designed to cover information from the presenters and programs.

Other camper activities included wilderness survival skills, canoeing, archery, t-shirt design, outdoor first aid, spinner making, nature crafts, mammal tracking, and teambuilding/low-ropes challenge course activities. Choice activities were presented by Marinette County camp staff and guest speakers. Timber Wolf information Network volunteers presented a session on wolf ecology, and staff from the Raptor Education Group taught a session on raptor rehabilitation.

Camper scholarships were provided this year by individual donors and organizations, including Glacierland RC&D and the Groundwater Guardians of Calumet County; Marinette County Chapter of Land+Water Conservation Assocation. In addition, Land & Water Conservation Departments from Oconto, Ozaukee, Sauk, and Washington Counties joined Marinette County in providing scholarships. Sponsors' and donors' dedication to youth programs like this camp is much appreciated. Thank you to everyone who helped with Sand Lake Conservation Camp 2018 and for making it another successful event!

2017 Camp Wrap-up

Wisconsin Youth Conservation Camp at North Lakeland Discovery Center

This year's WI Land+Water Youth Conservation Camp was held June 19-23, 2017 in Manitowish Waters at North Lakeland Discovery Center for students entering 9-12th grades. Over 25 students from across the state and Upper Peninsula attended the week long camp and had a wonderful time learning about conservation stewardship and having fun. We also had returning campers and graduates from Sand Lake Camp.

Campers kicked off the week with a canoe lesson, team building exercises and a hike around the North Lakeland Discovery Center learning about native plants and walking through the bogs. Other fun activities included a hike to Corrigan's Look-out, a tour of Saxton Harbor and free time scouting for rocks on the shores of Lake Superior. Some campers and counselors braved the chilly waters of Lake Superior and went for a swim. Campers visited a logging operation and learned about the history of logging and conservation in the North Woods. Later that night campers had the opportunity to learn how to tie a fly or make jewelry with their rocks from Lake Superior.

Campers got hands on experience learning about native plants and macroinvetebrates and Loon Ecology. Campers had the opportunity to canoe out to see a Loon Project, a nest platform made by the Iron County Conservation department. Other fun activities included tie dying camp t-shirts, roasting marshmellows and conservation chats around the camp fire and early morning fishing for the early risers. The last day involved a conservation round robin learning about healthy soils, making a pollinator box and a pollinator garden project. Camp wrapped up with an afternoon canoe trip down the Little Turtle Flowage where campers navigated a few rapids.

Camp was filled with lots of outdoor activities, learning about conservation stewardship, journaling and making new friends. A special thanks to the County Land+Water Conservation departments that provided scholarships for our campers, all of the resource professionals who spent time talking about their conservation projects and jobs and to our camp counselors who put a lot of time into developing a fun week of conservation activities. Best of luck to our graduates and we hope to see many of you back again next year. Thanks for a great week up North! Please like our new Facebook page where you can view more camp photos. WI Land+Water Youth Education

Sand Lake Conservation Camp at Lake Bird

The 12th annual Sand Lake Conservation Camp held at Camp Bird near Crivitz was a success with 78 campers-representing 24 Wisconsin and 1  Upper Michigan Counties and 21 dedicated overnight camp staff. The camp is for youth going into 6-8th grade in the fall and is organized by the Marinette County Land & Water Conservation Division (LWCD).

Conservation Camp provides positive educational outdoor experiences, fosters an appreciation for nature and introduces a variety of natural resources and conservation career opportunities to youth. 

Core topics presented by Marinette County staff included aquatic macroinvertebrates, reptiles and amphibians and water pollution/conservation. Evening presentations were given by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Biologist Chip Long and Conservation Wardens Tim Werner and Dale Romback. Naturalists from the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay brought several native Wisconsin animals and discussed wildlife rehabilitation & conservation issues. All camp cabin competitions included a campfire building contest and "Conservation Jeopardy".

Other camper acitivies included wilderness survival skills, canoeing, archery, t-shirt design, outdoor first aid, birdhouse building, leathercraft, nature crafts, mammal tracking, and teambuilding/low-ropes challenge course activities, Choice activities were presented by Marinette County camp staff and guest speakers. New this year were presentations by the Bay Area Mounted Search & Rescue (BAMSAR), a local volunteer organization that helps local law enforcement with "missing persons" searches, event crowd control and security.

The camp is supported by many conservation partners and organizations, the Wisconsin Land+Water Conservation Assoc., and Land & Water Conservation Departments. Sponsors' and donors' dedication to youth programs, like Sand Lake Conservation Camp is much appreciated. Thank you to everyone who helped with Sand Lake Conservation Camp 2017 and for making it a successful event!

 

 

2016 Camp Wrap-up

Wisconsin Youth Conservation Camp at North Lakeland Discovery Center

The WI Land+Water Youth Conservation Camp was held in Manitowish Waters on June 20-24, 2016 for students entering 9-12th grades. Over 25 campers from across the state and from the Upper Peninsula attended with some returning campers from last year and a few new campers who had graduated last summer from the Sand Lake camp.

Campers spent a week participating in educational conservation activities such as wolves and wolf howling, a fisheries project, river ecology and fresh water mussels, bat ecology survey, a dairy farm tour, understanding black bears and a shoreland habitat restoration project. Other fun activities included a trip to Lake Superior and Superior Falls, making fishing lures, a fishing tournment, tie dying camp t-shirts and a canoe trip. The last evening wrapped up with journaling about the week and songs and s'mores around a camp fire. 

It was a wonderful week filled with making new friends, learning to appreciate our natural resources and gaining new skills. A  special thank you to our county land and water conservation departments and conservation partners for their support as well as individual donors who believe in our youth and conservation.  Also a big thank you to our camp counselors for putting together an incredible week of fun activities.   Fun was had by all- see you next summer!

 

Sand Lake Conservation Camp at Lake Bird

The 11th annual Sand Lake Conservation Camp was held at Camp Bird near Crivitz, WI hosted 72 campers representing 25 Wisconsin and 2 Upper Michigan counties and 24 dedicated camp staff.  The camp is for youth entering 6-8th grade in the fall and is organized by the Marinette County Land & Water Conservation Division (LWCD). 

Core topics, presented by Marinette County staff, included aquatic marroninvertebrates, herptiles, and water pollution/conservation. Other presentations were given by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Biologist Chip Long and Conservation Wardens Tim Werner and Dale Romback. Naturalists from the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay brought several native Wisconsin animals and discussed wildlife rehabilitation and conservation issues. Other choice activities included, wilderness survival skills, canoeing, wolf ecology, outdoor recreation safety, trapping, raptor rehabilitation, archery, mammel tracking and much more.

The camp is supported by many conservation partners and organizations, the Wisconsin Land+Water Conservation Assoc., and Land & Water Conservation departments from across the state along with private donations. Support from sponsors and donors who believe in youth education like camp is greatly appreciated and helped make the 2016 Sand Lake Camp a huge success!

 

2015 Camps

Wisconsin Youth Conservation Camp at Trees for Tomorrow

The WI Land+Water Conservation Camp was held in Eagle River on June 22-26, 2015 for students entering 9-12th grades. Over 22 high school students from across the state and the Upper Peninsula attended with some returning campers from last year and a few new campers who had graduated from the Sand Lake camp.

Campers spent a week participating in educational conservation activities such as bird banding and bird ecology, pontoon classroom-aquatic studies, toad & frogs, an organic cranberry farm tour, wetland ecology, a hike in a bog and working with the National Forest Service on a trout stream restoration project. Campers also had fun with a canoe trip, beaver egology, birdhouse building, archery/logging games and much more.

Campers also had free time to socialize, play volley ball, fish and swim. The last night campers enjoyed putting on skits around the campfire while enjoying s'mores. It was a great mix of campers and counselors, fun outdoor activities and conservation education. Thank you to our supporters and volunteer camp counselors for a great week of conservation camp. 

Sand Lake Conservation Camp at Camp Bird

The 10th annual Sand Lake Conservation Camp held June 24-26 near Crivitz was a huge success with over 95 campers representing 28 Wisconsin and 3 Upper Michigan counties attending. The event organized by the Marinette County Land & Water Conservation Division (LWCD) is for youth going into 6-8th grade in the fall.

Core topics presented by Marinette County staff, included aquatic macroninvertebrates, herptiles, and water pollution/conservation. The fourth topic, wetland habitat, was presented by Peter Ziegler of the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association. Campers also participated in other activities such as wilderness survival, kayaking & canoeing, wolf ecology, outdoor recreation safety, trapping, plant identification, raptor rehabilitation, archery and much more.

The camp is supported by the Wisconsin Land+Water Conservation Association, and many other organizations who provided financial support and camper scholarships for many of the campers who attended. The Sand Lake Camp is made possible by over 22 dedicated staff and volunteers who put together a positive educational outdoor experience for youth.

 

2014 Camps

Wisconsin Youth Conservation Camp at Trees for Tomorrow

The WI Land+Water Youth Conservation Camp was held on June 23-27, 2014 in Eagle River with 27 high school students from across the state and the Upper Peninsula attending. Campers participated in hands on activities such as tree identification; trout stream habitat/macro-inverts identification, radio telemetry and identifying skulls, skins and bones among other fun activities. Campers also participated in a bat presentation that included a night hike with a bat specialist, built bat houses and participated in a half day canoe trip.  Camper’s also had free time to socialize, play volleyball, swim, fish and of course hang out at the nightly campfire where songs were sung and lots of s ‘mores were consumed.  It was a great mix of conservation education and fun for the campers and counselors.

Sand Lake Conservation Camp at Camp Bird

The ninth annual Sand Lake Conservation Camp was held June 25-27, 2014 near Crivitz, WI with 88 middle school campers representing 27 Wisconsin and Upper Michigan counties. This camp provided an opportunity for campers to have hands on experiences and learn about aquatic macroinvertebrates, herptiles and water pollution/conservation as well as wetland habitat. Campers also participated in a scavenger hunt, a campfire building contest and ate lots of s ‘mores.  Camper’s choice activities included outdoor recreation safety, trapping, geology/archeology, raptor rehabilitation, archery, canoeing among many other teambuilding activities.  Many experts from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and other experts in their field were on hand to present and lead sessions.