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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Sign up for Vermont Fish & Wildlife's Teen Conservation Weekend

Posted By on Tue, Jul 27, 2021 at 4:01 PM

click to enlarge Teen Conservation Weekend - COURTESY OF VERMONT FISH & WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
  • Courtesy of Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
  • Teen Conservation Weekend
For high school students looking to get into the great outdoors this summer, space is still available in the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s Teen Conservation Weekend on August 14-15. Up to 25 participants, ages 14-17, will spend the weekend backpacking and camping at a remote pond at the Edward F. Kehoe Green Mountain Conservation Camp in Castleton.

Biologists, local game wardens and staff with lead activities like archery in the woods and teach about topics including local food systems. Campers will learn orienteering through map and compass activities and there will be a K9 demonstration with a warden dog trained in search and rescue. Fish and Wildlife educational specialist Corey Hart will take campers fishing and teach them about the ecology of the pond.

“The pond is beautiful. It’s very remote. You can’t drive to it. There are all kinds of lilies and lily pads. The lack of development is really what I love about it. It seems like we’re in the middle of nowhere,” said camp coordinator Hannah Phelps.
click to enlarge COURTESY OF VERMONT FISH & WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
  • Courtesy of Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

Campers of all skill levels are welcome, and you don’t need to own high-tech gear to participate. In fact, cell phones aren’t allowed.

In years past, Vermont Fish & Wildlife has primarily run camps for 12- to 14-year-olds but they are piloting a session for older teens this summer. It’s an age group Phelps said needs to unplug now more than ever.

“Kids this past year have had it rough,” said Phelps. “They were completely plugged in all the time to virtual school. They didn’t have a choice about that. To be able to actually get them outside is really crucial.”

Phelps herself attended the Fish & Wildlife camp when she was a young teen. She spent her high school years working as a volunteer, then as a counselor for the program. Those experiences led to positions as assistant director, director and her current role as camp coordinator.

“I loved it then, and I have kept coming back because I can’t get enough,” said Phelps. “I’ve heard kids say this time and time again: It’s a place where you can actually be yourself and not feel judged.”

The cost for the program is $100 and scholarships are available. Rain date is August 21-22. Find more information here.

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