By Dave Keane
The Natural Resources Careers Camp (NRCC), was held on July 22nd to 28th at the Hickory Environmental Education Center in Garrett County, MD. Forty-two students attended, representing 17 Maryland counties. Both Frederick and Washington counties each sent five students. This was the first year in many that the camp enjoyed full enrollment!
Throughout the week, students learned about forestry, wildlife management, fisheries, ecology, arboriculture and watershed management. Activities included measuring trees, sampling plots, visiting saw mills, electro-shocking fish, climbing trees and using GPS and GIS.
I traveled to camp on Thursday to assist with the Urban Forestry and Arboriculture panel discussion and led the tree planting activities throughout the afternoon. I have been assisting with camp for fourteen years volunteering in all sorts of aspects.
On college night, students interacted and learned about Natural Resource Programs from Allegany College of Maryland, Garrett College, Pennsylvania State University, University of Maryland, West Virginia University and the University of MD Center for Environmental Science Appalachian Lab.
As the week progresses, students work on a Forest Management Plan that is presented to the staff, parents and landowners on the last day prior to graduation.
NRCC is sponsored by Maryland’s Forest Conservancy District Boards, Allegany College of Maryland, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources – Forest Service and the Maryland Forestry Foundation. The camp has been held annually for over 45 years.
Students who will be entering grades 9 through 12 next year and are interested in Natural Resources careers are eligible to apply. Applications will be available for 2019 beginning in January at: www.marylandforestryboards.org. Local Forest Conservancy District Boards interview, recommend and offer scholarships for students to attend the camp. Space is limited so interested participants are encouraged to apply online today!