October 4, 2000 | By: Laura Skillman

Environmental camp offers youth experiences in the outdoors while learning about their surroundings.

Fifth-graders from Longest Elementary School in Muhlenberg County participated recently in a two-day adventure, and other students across the state take part in similar events, generally in the fall.

The events are coordinated by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service's 4-H agents. Some schools have one-day programs while others opt for a two-day adventure.

"The purpose of the camp is to get children out of the house and from in front of the TV and get them to see something different and maybe develop an appreciation for the outdoors," said Tommy Harrison, Muhlenberg County 4-H Extension agent.

"A lot of these kids have never fished and they are learning here today," he said. "It's an opportunity to give them experience in group living. A lot of them have never been away from home for an overnight without mom and dad."

Harrison said he first had a request from a classroom teacher several years ago, but because of time constraints was not able to do a camp until this year.

The 4-H camp at Dawson Springs with its lake and nature trails offered a perfect location for Camp Nature Quest.

4-H members who attended camp this summer acted as youth leaders for the various group activities throughout the two days giving them a chance to gain some leadership skills, Harrison said.

Classes on bugs, forestry, water quality, fishing, wildlife and nature were taught on the first day. The day was also filled with songs, skits, field olympics and a dance. The second day included canoeing, T-shirt leaf printing, tracking and charades.

Helping conduct the classes at camp where Extension Specialists from UK and Kentucky State University, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Kentucky Division of Forestry as well as 4-H camp staff. A number of volunteers and school staff also assisted.

For more information on environmental camps contact your local Extension office.


Tommy Harrison, (270) 338-3124