After being on hold for two pandemic summers, kids’ program is on for 2022
The Alberta Fish and Game Association is happy to once again host its popular Narrow Lake Conservation Camp this summer, says camp director Samantha Wulff. After putting things on hold the last two summers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s all systems go for this year, she says.
Held during the first and third weeks of July at the Narrow Lake Conservation Centre, a 25-minute drive south of Athabasca, the camp is open to all youths aged 12 to 17. This year, interest was bigger than ever—all the spots were filled two months before the mid-May registration deadline. “We are extremely full and have many kids ready to get back to the outdoors,” Wulff says.
Each of the two one-week camps will host 70 youths, including 40 first-year campers and 30 returning participants. The first-year campers will take hunter education, firearms safety and boating safety courses, as well as learn about shooting, archery, canoeing and kayaking. The returning campers, meanwhile, will be taught restricted firearms safety, more advanced canoeing, kayaking and archery skills, bushcraft, outdoor survival and leadership skills.
Archery is among the skills taught at AFGA’s summer youth campsOne of the benefits for the participants is the opportunity to spend time with like-minded people, Wulff points out. “If you’re a young hunter, there may not be many other kids in your whole grade or school you can share your stories with,” she says. “Now you go to a camp where there’s 70 other students who understand your passion for things. It’s really cool to watch them open up and share their stories.”
And since the young participants must surrender their phones and other digital devices at the outset, there’s more opportunity for them to make new connections while at camp. “Because they don’t have something that can be a distraction, they’re forced to socialize, make new friends and communicate with other like-minded people,” Wulff says. “It can bring quiet kids out of their shells.”
Learn more about the AFGA’s programs and positions at www.afga.org.