Camp to give kids a glimpse at volcanoes
February 21, 2013
The University of Idaho’s 2013 Natural Resources
camp for youth 12-14 years old will offer
something new: a look at Idaho’s volcanology.
Campers will learn about Craters of the Moon
National Monument, Snake River Plain geology,
volcanoes and other close to hand examples of
Idaho’s fiery past. The addition expands the
camp’s mission to help youths explore Idaho’s
natural resources including wildlife, rangeland,
forests, water and soil.
The June 24-29 camp near scenic Sun Valley is
sponsored by University of Idaho Extension,
Idaho Association of Soil Conservation Districts
and the JR Simplot Co.
The campers will also repeat a popular feature
added last year, immersing themselves in an
example of an Idaho geothermal resource with a
fieldtrip to Easley Hot Springs for some
swimming and end-of-camp relaxation.
“It’s a little reward for the kids after
spending a week with a lot of activities and
learning,” said Amber Moore, camp director. She
is a soil scientist for University of Idaho
Extension at Kimberly.
Natural Resources Camp can provide up to 90
youths with an up-close-and-personal look at
Idaho and science that has many campers coming
back for more. About half of the campers do
return and some practice future leadership
skills by serving as cabin leaders.
The camp relies on state and federal agencies
for financial and other support. The Butte Soil
and Water Conservation District based at Arco
boasts one of the camp’s most dedicated
recruiters, Frances Perkes, its administrative
In 28 years, Perkes’s efforts have helped steer
158 young people to the camp from Butte County
and southern Custer County near Mackay.
“One of the most important things that has
helped us is the schools have always been very
welcoming and have allowed us to meet with
classes to talk about the camp,” she said.
Businesses help underwrite scholarships that
help pay campers’ registrations.
One reason for her support for the camp was her
son’s positive experience there the first year
she became involved. Now retired after 22 years
in the U.S. Marine Corps, Brian Perkes is
studying wildlife biology at the University of
Other campers developed interests in natural
resources that led them to careers, too.
“It’s wonderful to hear what the kids talk about
and how excited they are when they get back,”
Frances Perkes said, adding many who go to camp
want to go back the next year.
“We’re bringing in a lot more repeat campers,”
Moore said. One reason is the cabin leader
program that trains campers the first year to
manage their cabins the next year.
Applications for the 2013 camp are available
through University of Idaho Extension and
through Soil Conservation District offices
across the state. Information is available at
Registration is $235 by May 21 and $255 after
that. Scholarship information is available by
calling Soil Conservation District offices. More
information is available by contacting Megan
Satterwhite, camp coordinator, at (208) 736-3634
Other agencies that cooperate in running the
camp include USDA Natural Resources Conservation
Service, Idaho Department of Fish and Game,
Idaho Department of Lands, U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management
and USDA Forest Service.
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