MISSOULA – Youths ages 14-18 are invited to spend a week this summer learning about natural resources through a series of hands-on experiences in Montana’s outdoors. For more than 25 years, the Montana Natural Resources Youth Camp has provided an opportunity for high school age students to study the scientific principles, economic realities, historical heritage and social perspectives of natural resource management.
“The future decisions of how our natural resources are managed will be made by the youth of today,” says Camp Director Martin Twer. “The camp aims to provide an experience that inspires a personal and professional desire to learn about conservation and management of Montana’s natural resources.”
That is why Twer and others are inviting youth ages 14-18 to spend one week (July 13-18) learning about Montana’s natural resources in the rustic setting of the Lubrecht Experimental Forest east of Missoula.
“The accommodations are comfortable, the food is great, and the instruction and friendships are the best,” Twer says.
Enrollment is open now and qualified campers are accepted on a first-come basis. The fee for camp is $200, which includes meals, supplies, and lodging. Campers are encouraged to contact their local Conservation District for sponsorship, which could cover much of the camp fee.
A limited number of need-based travel assistance grants (up to $100) are available upon request.
An optional program, the Conservation Leadership School will also be offered for returning campers (fee: $250). It provides advanced curriculum modules offered concurrently with the class sessions of the core program, and is focused on working landscapes in Montana.
The school will visit active logging operations, a working ranch, tour a sawmill, study fisheries, and learn about stream and landscape restoration work following the Milltown Dam removal. The school includes an overnight camping trip into the mountains.
Campers in both programs learn about wildlife, forests, streams, soils, geology, range lands, and multiple land-use and the challenges of applying these disciplines in on-the-ground management. In between the field sessions, taught largely by natural resource agency and industry professionals, campers will spend a half-day rafting the Alberton Gorge, participate in special evening programs, interact with guest speakers, and experience hands-on learning-through-discovery.