Fishing, shooting and wilderness wandering are on this summers schedule for St. Lawrence Countys middle and high school students.
The Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County and FishCap collaborated to organize summer classes and outings for children ages 12 to 18 as part of the organizations Adirondack Guide Series.
Week-long sessions themed Top Shot: 4-H Day Camp, Wilderness Backpacking and Fishing with the Pros are seeking participants.
FishCap Executive Director Donald R. Meissner said the two groups wanted to help families and children rediscover the north country environment.
It gives kids an opportunity to be a part of something they wouldnt 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 in Canton will be held July 7-11 and July 28 to Aug. 1, and will teach rifle, shotgun and archery skills, safety and survival. It will also include a camping experience at the Norfolk Rod and Gun Club.
The Wilderness Backpacking sessions will be held July 14-18 and 21-25. Mr. Meissner said students will backpack the Dog Pond Loop in the Cranberry Lake Wild Forest, a 20-mile wilderness trail.
The Fishing with the Pros, held Aug. 4-8 and 11-15 at the Extension Learning Farm, will have fishing classes and outings at three locations in the county.
Well have at least five teachers to cover all aspects of fishing, not just the mechanics, Mr. Meissner said.
Fishing outings will include trips to NYSARCs Dodge Pond, 521 County Route 27, Oswegatchie, Hosmers Marina in Ogdensburg and to the St. Regis River in Brasher Falls. There will also be two overnight camping trips during the fishing programs.
Mr. Meissner said some of the gear participants will need for the camps will be provided by Cornell Cooperative Extension, but most of the tackle, gear and other equipment will be donated by local businesses.
Its not the first time FishCap has partnered with the Extension, according to Mr. Meissner. Last year FishCap had a week-long fishing course for children in fourth through seventh grade. He said the success of last years program helped the organization decide to branch out to high school students.
It was extraordinarily successful, he said. The schools were happy, the families were happy and the kids were happy.
Mr. Meissner said aside from classroom learning, the children got to go fishing at a pond off Park Street in Canton.
Anita M. Morrill, senior administrative assistant with Cornell Cooperative Extension, said last years program funded by a grant for at-risk children, so the programs couldnt open it up to all students.
But the Adirondack Guide Series is open to all children ages 12 to 18, she said. Were hoping to fill it, which would be 20 children for each session.
Students interested in registering for any of the week-long camps need to fill out the form on the back of the Adirondack Guide Series 2014 brochure and mail it with a $100 non-refundable deposit to Cornell Cooperative Extension, 2043B Route 68, Canton.
Ms. Morrill said Cooperative Extension will be distributing brochures to all area school districts, but materials can also be downloaded from the agencys website, www.cceslc.com.