Natural Resources Camp Connects Youth to the Environment for 53rd Year

Monday, May 16 2011

Written by Bill Loftus

KETCHUM, Idaho – Young people ages 12 to 14 who want to learn about the environment first hand at the Idaho Natural Resources Camp this summer need to act fast to make the May 21 early registration deadline and save some money.

So far 30 campers have registered, about half of the normal turnout. "We usually get a lot of applications just before the early registration deadline," said Amber Moore, a University of Idaho Extension soil scientist at Twin Falls, who directs the camp.

Registration for the camp will cost $205 until May 21. Late registration will cost $225. Scholarships may be available through local Soil Conservation Districts statewide. More information about the districts is available from Nancy Weatherstone at (208) 888-1890, ext. 102, at the USDA Service Center in Meridian.

Complete details about the camp are available online at

The camp occupies some of the state's most scenic surroundings near Highway 21 north of Ketchum. Sponsored by University of Idaho Extension and the Idaho Association of Soil Conservation Districts, camp begins at 12:30 p.m. on June 27 and ends at 10:30 a.m. on July 2.

Now in its 53rd year, the camp offers young people the chance to learn hands-on about wildlife, rangeland, forests, water and soil during the camp. Teachers also participate in the camp to learn more about incorporating natural resources education into lessons.

Moore directs the summer camp, which drew 63 young people last year. "We hope the kids connect a little bit better to the natural resources of Idaho," she said. "We hope that they don't just see them on the side of the road, but that they also understand what they mean to their daily lives.

"And we hope we inspire a passion in them about their natural resources and that they want to know more about them," Moore said.

The camp will begin its second year of a popular new cabin leader-in-training program to help groom participants for leadership roles, she added.

The campers will learn how to protect the environment and use it wisely through activities in camp and in nearby rangelands, forests and streams.

Activities during the camp encourage participants to think about and debate natural resource issues and help Idaho protect its abundant natural resources for the future by better understanding the trade-offs in environmental management.

University of Idaho Extension faculty in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the College of Natural Resources lead the camp and serve as instructors. Extension Forestry Specialist Randy Brooks will serve as on-site camp director this summer.

Other agencies that cooperate with Natural Resources Camp activities include the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Idaho Department of Lands, Soil Conservation Commission and USDA Forest Service.

Applications for the camp are available from soil conservation district or University of Idaho Extension offices. More information or applications are available by calling Megan Satterwhite, camp coordinator, at the university's Twin Falls Research and Extension Center at (208) 736-3634.
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s land-grant institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year. The University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to be classified by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation as high research activity. The student population of 12,000 includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars, who select from more than 130 degree options in the colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Art and Architecture; Business and Economics; Education; Engineering; Law; Letters, Arts and Social Sciences; Natural Resources; and Science. The university also is charged with the statewide mission for medical education through the WWAMI program. The university combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities and focuses on helping students to succeed and become leaders. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. For more information, visit