Monday, June 14, 2010

Nebraska Youth Range Camp

Early last week I attended part of the Nebraska Youth Range Camp, near Halsey, Nebraska.  The camp had 41 high school students in attendance from around the state.  During the week-long camp, students gain experience and training in rangeland ecology and management through a variety of presentations and lesson plans.  Time is spent both outside and in, as students learn about topics ranging from plant identification, range sites, ecology, and condition, grazing strategies, tips for going to college, and conflict management.  Two take home messages from Monday evening and Tuesday morning were 1) there is much more to rangeland ecosystems than just cows, and 2) get involved!

The Nebraska Youth Range Camp is operating in its 47th year and has trained more than 1,500 students since its inception in 1963.  While all students in attendance had some interest in rangelands, many were unsure how they would apply that interest as they went off to college and on to their careers.  Instructors highlighted the utility of mentors and students were encouraged to get in touch with other professionals (SRM members included) to use as resources for college and beyond.

While visiting the camp, I had the exciting opportunity to experience my first ever tornado warning, when the warning alarm went off shortly after bedtime.  Everyone at camp: all 41 high school students, a group of 4-H campers, and all instructors, crammed into the basement/bomb shelter of one small building to wait out the watch.  I was glad I had my camera on hand to capture some stylish students during the hour plus spent in the basement.  My personal favorite: several folks sporting a pj's and cowboy boots combo.
Thank you to the Nebraska Youth Range Camp for their hospitality!  Stay tuned - I am heading to the Pacific Northwest section meeting in Kelowna, B.C. this week.

1 comment:

leadership development said...

Camp experiences are ground for youth leadership development skills. There are many camp activities that naturally lend themselves to leadership and character building.