YOUTH AND TEENS EXPERIENCE
PISCATAQUIS COUNTY SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT SUMMER CAMPS
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The new Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District Teen Summer Camp was held from July 7th through July 11th and was made possible by funding from the Maine Community Foundation’s Piscataquis County Fund and the John and Anne Urban Fund. The teens had many exciting accomplishments, including hiking to the top of Maine Audubon’s Borestone Mountain sanctuary with a guided tour led by Alexandra Bennett, and exploring water quality at wetlands, ponds and rivers in the county with USDA-NRCS Fisheries Biologist Ben Naumann and also Dan Kusnierz, Water Resources Manager of the Penobscot Indian Nation. The teens were thrilled to spend part of a day at the PCSWCD’s Demonstration Forest with the Maine Warden Service’s Game Warden Sarah Miller. They also camped, enjoyed kayaking and more fun activities at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Little Lyford Camps with AMC’s Education Coordinator Dawna Blackstone serving as the host for the expedition. While there, they also learned about forestry from the AMC’s Maine Woods Initiatives Land Manager Steve Tatko.
The Youth Summer Camp ran for two weeks starting July 28th through August 8th. The first week of camp featured activities and presentations about natural resource conservation and during the second week, campers went on guided tours of farms in Piscataquis County. During natural resources week, the campers learned about soil from Nick Butler of the USDA-NRCS Soil Science Division, energy from Stephanie Gregoire from the Maine Energy Education Program, ecology from Dawna Blackstone from the Appalachian Mountain Club, water quality from Dan Kusnierz from Penobscot Indian Nation and fisheries from biologist Tim Obrey of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The camp activities ranged from building their own windmills, to a guided hike at the PCSWCD’s Law Farm property, to tracking a fish with sonar equipment.
During agriculture week, the campers toured Widdershins Farm in Dover-Foxcroft, Worcester’s Wild Blueberry Farm in Orneville, Rusted Rooster Farm in Parkman, Three Rivers Wingshooting in Milo and Infinity Farm in Dover-Foxcroft. They were able to see and learn about pastured livestock, pick wild blueberries, watch a combine harvest grain, play fetch with trained bird dogs, ride horses and so much more.
If you are interested in learning more about the Youth Summer Camp or Teen Summer Camp, please contact the PCSWCD by calling 564-2321 extension 3 or emailing info@piscataquisswcd.org. You can also stop by the office in the USDA Service Center at 42 Engdahl Drive in Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426. Please ask one of their staff members to be added to the email mailing list so you can stay in the loop about the 2015 summer camps.