The Boone and Crockett Club’s Elmer E. Rasmuson Wildlife Conservation Center (RWCC) 10 miles west of Dupuyer on the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch held its second annual Little Critter Summer Day Camp on July 13-15.
Dr. Lisa Flowers, director of conservation education organized and facilitated the outdoor learning experience to 13 area campers ages 4-9 with the assistance of JoAnne Cobb, facilities coordinator and a handful of parents and grandparents.
The youth attending came from Spirit Lake, Idaho and Montana. Campers from Montana communities included Conrad, Dupuyer, Helena, Bynum, and Choteau.
Each day the Little Critter Campers were offered a different Montana theme with associated activities:
Day one was focused on wildlife, day two was fish and day three outdoor camping. Campers engaged in a scavenger hunt during their one mile hike on the ranch’s Watchable Wildlife Trail. On the fishing day, they learned how to use a rod and reel while playing a fish identification game. After lunch everyone went fishing at the beaver ponds located on Dupuyer Creek which flows through the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch. Grasshoppers were caught and worms dug for fishing bait but no fish were caught, but a northern leopard frog was.
Day three focused on outdoor camping and how to set up a tent and how to build and care for a campfire. The campers shared camping stories and roasted their own marshmallows for “s’mores” and played a wildlife identification game called “Who Am I”?
Camper lunches and snacks were included with their registration fee and prepared by Leslie DeVries, the RWCC cook. There was a daily shuttle service to and from the towns of Conrad and Choteau to the education center.
On the final day each camper took home a camp t-shirt that they had traced and colored their favorite critter from Montana on. They also took home animal creations they had shaped from clay and painted.
One camper Eve Cobb, age four from Helena said: “I wish this camp went for at least two weeks. I had a great time”.
This summer day camp will be offered again in 2010, dates once selected will be posted on our website at www.booneandcrockett.org under the conservation education tab.
Editor’s note: This article was submitted by the Boone and Crockett Club staff.