WHITLEY COUNTY — Forty-five children ages 9-13 attended a Conservation Day Camp in August, which was hosted by the Northeastern Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

The Soil and Water Conservation Districts from Steuben, DeKalb, LaGrange and Whitley counties host three different Conservation Day Camps in three different locations in northeast Indiana. The one in early August was located at Camp Whitley, which the SWCDs rent for the day.

The day camp began with the 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 took more than his legal limit of birds.

After the demonstration, the campers were divided into three groups to participate in the morning activities. The campers tried their hand at shooting skeet with a shotgun under the instruction and supervision of conservation officers Darren Reed and Knach. Then, they moved on to practicing their archery skills with the assistance of James Romano and Gabrielle Anglin, Camp Whitley camp counselors. Before lunch, campers built a birdhouse to take home with them at the end of the day.

Staff and board members from area SWCDs helped campers with their birdhouses. The wood for the birdhouses was all pre-cut, and the nail holes were pre-drilled by William Klenke, a member of the Whitley County SWCD.

Wildlife Educator Rick Glassman, from LaPorte, entertained campers with stories and games centered on wildlife in Indiana. Glassman also brought with him some furs and skulls of animals found in Indiana.

In the last hour of the day, campers enjoyed a refreshing swim in Troy-Cedar Lake before their parents or grandparents came to pick them up.

“The campers enjoyed their day at camp and are looking forward to returning next year,” Nadean Lamle, from the Whitley County SWCD, said. Next year’s Conservation Day Camp will be at Camp Whitley on Tuesday, Aug 6, 2019.