Fun camp inspires interest in forestry

Michigan 4-H youth spent two days exploring ideas and taking part in hands-on activities related to forestry at the Michigan 4-H Forestry Fun Day Camp held July 6-7 at the Ogemaw County Fairgrounds in West Branch, Michigan.

The camp was open to young people ages 10‒15 interested in learning about all aspects of forestry. Ten participants attended representing Iosco, Ogemaw and Roscommon counties.

Besides providing hands-on experiences in forestry, the camp taught participants science and math skills related to forest management and even gave them the opportunity to explore forestry-related careers. Campers learned to identify trees, insects and diseases as well as mastered how to take forest measurements and operate a compass. Participants worked in teams to create a mini-forest management plan to present to the Michigan State University Extension District 4 Council members.

MSU Extension, the MSU Department of Forestry, Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, the Marlane and Tim Searfoss family, and the Ogemaw County Fair Board collaborated to make the camp possible.

The leadership team involved included Extension educators Nicholas Baumgart, Julie Crick, Tracy D’Augustino, Tom Long and Dorothy Munn; MSU Extension 4-H program coordinator Peggy Zettle; Iosco Conservation District forester Andrew Beebe and Ogemaw Conservation District forester Lora Freer.

Each camper participating in the Forestry Fun Day Camp will be awarded a Silver Forestry Digital Badge. The badge will be linked to Michigan Educational Standards and can be used by youth when applying for summer jobs and scholarships, and on college applications indicating their areas of interest and willingness to continue to learn, grow and develop when not in school. Read more about digital badges in this MSU Extension news article: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/digital_badging_a_bright_new_way_for_students_to_showcase_their_skills_andl

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