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Cornell Cooperative Extension partners with FishCap for Adirondack Guide Series summer camps

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Fishing, shooting and wilderness wandering are on this summer’s schedule for St. Lawrence County’s middle and high school students.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County and FishCap collaborated to organize summer classes and outings for children and teens ages 12 to 18 as part of the organizations’ Adirondack Guide Series.

Weeklong sessions themed “Top Shot: 4-H Day Camp,” “Wilderness Backpacking” and “Fishing with the Pros” will be offered.

FishCap Executive Director Donald R. Meissner said the two groups wanted to help families and children rediscover the north county.

“It gives kids an opportunity to be a part of something they wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate in,” he said. “This can stand as a benchmark for other areas to bring kids back to being involved in the environment around them.”

The “Top Shot: 4-H Day Camp” at the Extension Learning Farm, Canton, will be held July 7 to 11 and July 28 to Aug. 1, and will teach rifle, shotgun and archery skills, safety and survival. It also will include a camping experience at the Norfolk Rod and Gun Club.

The Wilderness Backpacking sessions will be held July 14 to 18 and July 21 to 25. Mr. Meissner said students will backpack the Dog Pond Loop in the Cranberry Lake Wild Forest, a 20-mile wilderness trail.

“Fishing with the Pros,” held Aug. 4 to 8 and Aug. 11 to 15 at the Extension Learning Farm, will have fishing classes and outings at three locations.

“We’ll have at least five teachers to cover all aspects of fishing, not just the mechanics,” Mr. Meissner said.

Fishing outings will include trips to NYSARC’s Dodge Pond, 521 County Route 27, Oswegatchie, Hosmer’s Marina, Ogdensburg, and the St. Regis River in Brasher Falls. Two overnight camping trips during the fishing programs will be held.

Mr. Meissner said the Extension will provide some of the gear participants will need for the camps, but most of the tackle and other gear will be donated by local businesses.

It’s not the first time FishCap has partnered with the Extension, Mr. Meissner said. Last year FishCap had a weeklong fishing course for children in fourth through seventh grades. He said the success of last year’s program helped the organization decide to branch out to high school students. “It was extraordinarily successful,” he said.

Aside from classroom learning, the children got to go fishing at a pond off Park Street in Canton, he said.

Anita M. Morrill, senior administrative assistant with Cornell Cooperative Extension, said last year’s program was funded by a grant for at-risk children, so the programs couldn’t be opened to all students.

“But the Adirondack Guide Series is open to all children ages 12 to 18,” she said. “We’re hoping to fill it, which would be 20 children for each session.”

Students interested in registering for any of the weeklong camps can fill out the form on the back of the Adirondack Guide Series 2014 brochure and mail it with a $100 nonrefundable deposit to Cornell Cooperative Extension, 2043B Route 68, Canton.

Ms. Morrill said the Extension will be distributing brochures to all area school districts, but materials also can be downloaded from the agency’s website, www.cceslc.com.

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