Thursday, June 27, 2019

1st Annual Darke County Conservation Day Camp

150 campers attend the First Annual Conservation Day Camp at Chenoweth Trails on June 12 & 13. 
On June 12th and 13th, 150 Darke County students attended the 1st Annual Darke County Conservation Day Camp at Chenoweth Trails hosted by the Darke Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). The camp was designed to get kids outdoors and provide a hands-on approach to learning about their environment.

“Our goal was to get kids to unplug for a couple days and experience the environment we live in,” said Jared Coppess, District Administrator for Darke SWCD. “And try to sneak in a couple lessons while they are having fun.” Thanks to generous donations from the Darke County Foundation, Light Foundation and the Darke County Chapter of Pheasants Forever, each camper received a nature journal with reference material to take what they learned at camp and apply it at home.

Camp attendees experienced archery, fishing, crafts, bird feeder building, watersheds, pollinators, soils, trees and survival skills. The kids left camp with a greater respect for the outdoors and a new perspective about how their actions affect the world around them. A grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), ODNR-Division of Wildlife and the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Fund provided each camper with a brand new fishing rod and reel to take home.

“Watching these kids fish and shoot a bow and arrow for the first time was worth all the time spent organizing this event,” said Elizabeth Farver, Nutrient Management Technician at Darke SWCD. “Once you see them smiling and excitedly moving from station to station, you realize it was worth all the effort,” Farver added.

Darke SWCD would like to thank the following sponsors for making this event possible: The Darke County Foundation, Light Foundation, Greenville Ace Hardware, Ansonia Lumber Company, Greenville Lowe’s, Darke County Chapter of Pheasants Forever, Aultman Farm and Livestock, Farm Credit-Mid America, Darke County Solid Waste District, Dollar General, Greenville National Bank, Harrod and Harrod Farms LLC, Helen’s Flowers and Gifts, Kevin Jones, Kuntz Ag Products and Services LLC, Leis Realty Company, Nationwide Insurance-Jordan Agency, Ohio Soybean Farmers, Greenville Rural King, Second National Bank, Suncrest Ag LLC and Greenville Walmart.

“We want to thank the 40 instructors and counselors who volunteered at camp, as well as Franklin Monroe FFA for their time and labor in precutting the lumber for our bird feeders. Without our sponsors and volunteers, this event wouldn’t have been possible,” said Coppess.

“We are fortunate to have the support from our community and a facility like Chenoweth Trails available to us here in Darke County,” added Farver. “This has been a great two day event, we are excited for what next year will bring.”

To view pictures of the event, please visit

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