Campers learn about conservation, nature and more at local day camp

Press Release

On Tuesday, August 6, 37 children between the ages of 9 – 13 attended Whitley County’s Conservation Day Camp, which was hosted by the Northeastern Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts. The Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) from Steuben, DeKalb, LaGrange and Whitley hold three different Conservation Day Camps in three locations in northeast Indiana during the summer. The one that was August 6 was located at Camp Whitley, which the SWCDs rent for the day for the event.
The day camp began with campers watching Levi Knach, Conservation Officer, demonstrate his dog Kenobi’s abilities in locating hidden items. In his daily work life, the dog can locate game birds that a hunter might have hidden somewhere in his vehicle because he had taken more than his legal limit while he was out hunting. Levi also explained how the dog was located and how Kenobi was trained.

After the demonstration the campers were divided into three groups to participate in the morning activities. The campers got to try their hand at shooting skeet with a shot gun with the instruction and supervision of Conservation Officers Darren Reed and Levi Knach. Then they moved on to practicing their archery skills with the assistance of Mady Wood, camp counselor, and Martin Frank, LaGrange County SWCD. And the last thing before lunch, campers got to build a bird house to take home with them at the end of the day. The campers were helped with building of their bird houses by the staff from LaGrange and Whitley Counties SWCDs and two members of the Whitley County SWCD board. The wood for the bird houses were all pre-cut, and the nail holes were pre-drilled by William Klenke, a member of the Whitley County SWCD.
After the morning activities the campers all got back together to take some time to site down and eat lunch before their afternoon activities began.

Mark’s Ark shared numerous animals with the campers. He began with a pair of doves, much like the ones that are used at weddings. He demonstrated how magicians use these types of doves in their acts because the birds are so relaxed about being hidden in pockets, hats or sleeves. The campers also got to see and touch a Ball python, a red and white corn snake, Flower the cutest little hedgehog, a breaded dragon, a Red footed tortoise, Giant Madagascar Hissing Roaches, a chocolate colored tree frog, and an American Alligator. All the animals were gentle and people friendly, and well supervised by Mark. Mark was also a wealth of information about each animal that he shared with the campers.

And the last hour of the day, the campers all enjoyed a refreshing swim in the Troy-Cedar Lake before their parents or grandparents came to take them home.

The campers all enjoyed their day at camp and are looking forward to returning next year. The Conservation Day Camp will be held at Camp Whitley on Tuesday, August 4, 2020.

See more photos from the day by grabbing a copy of Wednesday's edition of The Post & Mail, available at newsstands and convenience stores throughout Whitley County.