by Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Oklahoma Forestry Services is looking for girls and boys ages 13 to 15 to apply for its 61st annual Oklahoma Forestry Camp. This educational and fun adventure will be held June 5 – 10 at Beavers Bend State Park in southeast Oklahoma.
Forestry camp includes outdoor activities such as canoeing, hiking, fishing and swimming in a beautiful forest area.
“For 61 years, Oklahoma Forestry Services has enjoyed providing teens with a unique opportunity to put down their phones and experience the forest,” said George Geissler, Oklahoma State Forester.
“They have fun adventures and make new friends, while learning about the environment from professional foresters.”
One of Oklahoma’s most popular state parks, Beavers Bend’s 1,300 acres are located in the mountainous region of southeast Oklahoma near Broken Bow Lake and the Mountain Fork River
In addition to regular camping activities, campers will also participate in hands-on forestry management and stream ecology learning activities with natural resource professionals.
Participating in these special learning activities will be representatives from organizations such as Oklahoma Forestry Services, Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife Conservation, Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, Oklahoma State University Research Extension, Lower Mountain Fork River Foundation, US Forest Service and Weyerhaeuser Company. They will also discuss career opportunities with the participating teens.
Campers will have the opportunity to take field trips to the Oklahoma Forest Heritage Center, also known as the “Wood Art Capitol of Oklahoma,” and Carter Mountain Fire Tower.
The fee for campers is $250, which covers all costs, including lodging, meals, transportation at camp, field trips and workshops. A limited number of partial scholarships are available, with new campers receiving scholarship priority.
Camp staff applications are being accepted for positions such as counselors and adult volunteers. Counselors receive a stipend of $250 and adult volunteers get to have one camper fee waived. If interested, check out the application for more information.
To participate in Oklahoma Forestry Camp, teens are encouraged to register now to be included in this immersive camp experience. Space is limited and registration closes on May 12.
“Our camp experience has a lasting effect on kids, whether it’s a new appreciation for the forest or even choosing natural resources careers,” said Geissler.
Oklahoma Forestry Services is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry committed to conserving, enhancing and protecting Oklahoma’s 12.5 million acres of forests and woodlands.
Since 1925 Oklahoma Forestry Services has worked with individuals and communities throughout the state to create resilient landscapes, fire-adaptive communities and provide wildfire response.
Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Forestry Services also has regional offices in Goldsby, Broken Bow, Wilburton and Tahlequah.
For more information, visit www.forestry.ok.gov.