Stephanie Rustem, Camp Assistant Director

The days are loAR-15ng, but the weeks are fast.  It’s hard to believe that the last group of campers will leave on Friday and the summer camp season will be over.  Even though we are sad to see the summer coming to a close, we are excited to have the opportunity to learn with and from this last group of campers.
This week, we welcomed a bunch of eager 12-16 year olds and supported leadership and outdoor learning with five different camp programs: Riley Advanced Wilderness Camp, Big Game Hunting, Primitive Skills, Stewards in Training, and Counselors in Training.  Twenty campers received Riley Wilderness Camp scholarships from Safari Club International and, along with Big Game Hunting campers, learned about proper firearms use, how to shoot trap, and even had the opportunity to shoot AR-15s at the Chelsea Rod and Gun Club.
Primitive Skills campers learned about the roles birds and their habitats play in conservation with a presentation from Craig Perdue of Shadow Speak LLC.  They also had the opportunity to meetFalconry and pet a Great Horned Owl and a Harris Hawk during Craig’s presentation.  This presentation, along with other camp activities, helped make the connection between current and primitive hunting and fishing techniques.
The Stewards in Training (SIT) campers climbed steep hills and trekked through tall grasslands over the course of their fourteen-mile backpacking hike to Green Lake.  SIT campers were also given an additional challenge of cooking their food over a fire.  On Thursday, they were pushed to their limits when tasked with crossing the high ropes course at Howell Nature Center.
This week, we also welcomed some of our oldest campers to camp through the Counselors in Training (CIT) program.  CITs are campers who are interested in growing into future staff members by taking on leadership roles throughout the week.  CITs helped lead other campers through Leave No Trace activities, planned and presented skits and songs at campfire, and learned what being a summer camp staff member is really about.AR-15 2  We are extremely grateful for their help throughout the week and hope that some of them will be back as staff members in the future.
Thank you for following us at camp throughout the summer.  We are sad that the season is coming to a close, but extremely happy that we had the chance to expose over 300 kids to the great outdoors.  We hope we have played a role in the development of conservationists.

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