CURTIS, Neb. – Pastures and grazing lands around a college campus in Curtis will serve as headquarters for the Nebraska Youth Range Camp on June 7-10.
Facilities at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture will provide youth, ages 14-18, with lodging, dining, classrooms, and outdoor lab settings for the 2021 camp.
“The grasses and forbs are a little behind this year due to a cold spring, but we’re still excited to get students outside learning how to identify them and to manage natural resources,” said Shelly Kelly, Range Camp co-director with Sara Wahl of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Range camp originated at the college, then for decades was held at the State 4-H Camp near Halsey. It returned to NCTA in 2019 but was cancelled in 2020.
“We hope to have 25-50 campers this year with a dynamic curriculum that appeals to students with a wide array of interests,” said Kelly, a Broken Bow-area rancher and executive director of the Sandhills Task Force.
Camp topics include rangeland management, conservation, ecology, animal science, and wildlife habitat. Students in 4-H and FFA are encouraged to attend.
“With over 57 years to perfect and evolve this curriculum, every student, no matter what prior experience they have, will learn substantial information,” Kelly said. “Range camp will help youth become more aware of Nebraska’s most prevalent land use - rangelands.”
Nearly 20 professionals from education, state and federal agencies will serve as camp instructors. Each student receives an educational binder. The camp ends with a range judging contest.
Registration of $75 is due by May 28. Scholarships are available through the students’ Natural Resource District office. For details or to download a PDF of the 2021 Ranch Camp brochure, see https://nesrm.org
Sponsors for the camp are: The Nebraska Section Society for Range Management, Nebraska ranches, Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition, Sandhills Task Force, Corteva Agriscience, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Nebraska Environmental Trust, University of Nebraska, Chadron State College, local NRDs, and NRCS.