Outdoor Adventure Camp

Outdoor Adventure Camp

A Summer Treat for  YoungstersOutdoorAdventureCampArcheryGirls

Outdoor  Adventure Camp (OAC) is a six-day summer camp for kids who either enjoy the  outdoors or want to learn more about it. This conservation education program is  co-sponsored by the Kansas Wildlife Federation and KSU Cooperative Extension  Service. This popular camp and educational opportunity has been operating since  1986.

If you are a Kansas  youngster who enjoys the outdoors, now is the time to make plans to attend  Outdoor Adventure Camp from the first Sunday in June through that Friday at the  Camp WaShunGa  area of Rock Springs Ranch, just south of Junction  City. The camp is open to boys and girls ages 10 to 12  that summer.

Mornings will be spent traipsing the  grounds at Camp WaShunGa  with instructors, getting a hands-on feel for how various critters and plants  live together in the ecosystem we call Kansas.  Afternoons are spent learning about several areas of the outdoors, including  mammals, insects, birds, fish and amphibians and reptiles. Ecology, wetlands,  riparian areas and watersheds are some terms you will learn about at this  unique camp.

Since the prairie does not go to  sleep at sundown, neither will you. Depending on the evening, you may be out  and about prowling for owls, stargazing, spotlighting spiders or watching bats  gobble bugs.

Other activities include scavenger  hunts, water sports including swimming and canoeing, fishing, shooting sports  including rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader, archery, and pellet gun. You’ll pick  your choices, or participate in all if you like.

The price of the camp includes all  food, instruction and lodging. A swimsuit, sleeping gear and clothes you’ll  wear for a week are about all you need to bring. Sunscreen, insect repellent, a  cap and water bottle also will come in handy. The price for the entire week is  $300. You may want to bring a little extra money for snacks or maybe souvenirs  at the Milford Hatchery and Nature  Center during a field trip.  Space is limited and the registration deadline is May 31.

Send your application and full fee  to Outdoor Adventure Camp, c/o Theresa Berger, 406 S. New  York Ave., Sylvan Grove, KS  67481. Checks should be  made payable to the Kansas Wildlife Federation. If you need more information or  an application, phone 785-526-7466.   Evenings are best, or leave a message on the machine.

Outdoor Adventure  Camp Application & Brochure

 pdfView Informational Slides

Kansas Wildlife Federation receives Savage Rascal rifles.

These youngsters are shooting the Savage Rascal rifles that the “Kansas Wildlife Federation” recieved from a grant from the Friends of the  N.R.A. at the Lake Afton Hunter Education Clinic in Wichita Kansas.  The Lake Afton Clnic this year enrolled 760 students and tested 720 on Sunday.  The kids really liked the Rascal rifles.  They commented that they liked the peep sight better than the open sights on the other rifles. The instructors said it is easyer to explain a peep sight than it is open sights.  The K.W.F. is making these rifles available for Hunter Education, plus they will be used at the Outdoor Adventure Camp the first week of June. 

2013 NWTF Kansas State JAKES Camp September 14 & 15

The National Wild Turkey Federation will hold their 2013 NWTF Kansas State JAKES Camp September 14th & 15th at White Memorial Camp, located 6 miles north of Council Grove, just off highway 177. Youth 17 years of age and younger get to select 6 activities to participate in on Saturday which includes fishing, arts & crafts, deer hunting 101, trap & still target shooting, archery, canoeing, quail in Kansas presented by the Quail & Upland Game Federation Chapter from Council Grove, the World of Sporting Dogs presented by KVOE radio host Phil Taunton, and Turkey Talk with turkey hunting legend, author, outdoor TV personality, and Grand National turkey calling champion Ray Eye.

Saturday evening JAKES members can participate in the annual NWTF Kansas State JAKES (youth aged 12 and under) and Xtreme JAKES (youth aged 13 to 17) Turkey Calling contest. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 finishers in both divisions. Later, around the campfire, Ray Eye will entertain everyone with his award winning turkey hunting stories and adventures.

            On Sunday, Pastor Gary Cargill will start the day with a sunrise service. Activities on Sunday morning include Predator Calling with Knight & Hale Pro Staff member Mick Bowman, Turkey Biology & Management by NWTF biologist Brandon Houck, and a presentation by the MilfordNature Center.

            The cost of the event is $20 for JAKES members, $30 for non-JAKES members (which includes a JAKES membership), and $20 for adults. Attendees may chose to tent camp (bring your own tent) Saturday night or may elect to commute both days. New this year, you have the option (for an additional fee) to stay in a resident cabin (bunk beds & shared bath). Boys and girls will have separate cabins. There are also a few RV hookups. The cost includes lunch and supper on Saturday and breakfast and lunch on Sunday. Meals will be prepared by the White Memorial Camp kitchen staff. All youth 17 and younger will receive a commemorative tee shirt and win a prize in a drawing at the end of the event on Sunday.

            The NWTF Kansas State JAKES Camp was awarded the “Best State JAKES Event” in 2012 and the “Best Special JAKES Event” in 2013 at the NWTF National Convention in NashvilleTN.

            For more information or a registration form, contact Gib Rhodes at 620-437-2012.

Turn the Family Cookout into a Campout for this Year’s Great American Backyard Campout

As the summer season kicks off, what better way to enjoy the great outdoors and family time than cooking and camping out in the backyard? As part of National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There movement, the 9th annual Great American Backyard Campout on June 22, 2013 is the perfect opportunity to head outside for some great food and family fun this summer.

From cookout recipes to campfire songs to games to wildlife watching tips, NWF gives families the resources they need to take the summer cookout to the next level by making it a summer campout. No yard or grill? No problem. NWF has everything to have a memorable night. Check out these sample recipe ideas for inspiration:

Camp Cuisine

It’s no secret that camping and s’mores go together like baseball and hotdogs (another excellent campfire food), but there is so much more to camp cuisine.

Here are just a couple examples of what you can serve up at your Campout.

• Pigs in a Sleeping Blanket: For an easy twist on the classic campfire hotdog take an 11 ounce can of breadstick dough, slice each dough strip in half and wrap each strip around a hotdog leaving a small area uncovered for the face. Roast over the fire until the hotdog and bread are cooked, let cool, then use ketchup and mustard to make fun faces.

• Silver Turtles: This hearty option is a simple way to fill your campers’ stomachs. Simply place a hamburger patty in a piece of aluminum foil and top it with potatoes, carrots, onions, salt, pepper and a pad of butter. Fold the foil tightly around the turtle and cook over the coals for 20 minutes or until cooked thoroughly, then let cool and enjoy. For a side dish, try wrapping corn on the cob or whole potatoes in foil for delicious grilled corn or baked potatoes. Remember to let them cool then add your favorite toppings.

• Gourmet Lasagna: If you’re up for some Italian, try this easy Dutch oven recipe for lasagna. Start by pouring a thin layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the Dutch oven and add a little water. Then cover with lasagna noodles and a layer of ricotta or cottage cheese and chopped spinach and add another layer of sauce to top it off and repeat the layering until you reach the top of your pot. Top your lasagna off with sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, cover and let bake for 30 minutes. If you are looking for a more meaty dish try adding pepperoni or ground beef between the layers.

There’s always room for dessert…

• Dipped Strawberries: Dip strawberries in Marshmallow Fluff and roast over the fire.

• Orange-Chocolate Cake: Hollow out oranges, fill (about half way) with chocolate cake mix, wrap in foil and heat in the hot coals for about 20 minutes.

• Singing Apples: Place an apple on a cooking stick and roast over hot coals until the peel starts to split and “sing.” Carefully remove the peel and roll apple in cinnamon-sugar.

Register Today

Whether it’s in the backyard, together with neighbors, with friends at a local park, or at a large community event, NWF encourages parents and kids alike to trade screen time for green time by spending a night under the stars.

Studies show that outdoor time helps children grow lean and strong, enhances creativity and attention spans, decreases aggression, and boosts classroom performance. Through NWF’s Be Out There movement with special events like Campout and practical resources, tips and tools, NWF is helping parents turn inside kids out.

So gather the family and friends and bring an appetite for a great night under the stars June 22, 2013. Fun and adventure are only as far as the backyard, so go camping!

Visit www.backyardcampout.org for more information, to register or to find a public event around the country.

Be Out There™ is NWF’s movement to reconnect families with the outdoors. NWF’s practical tools and information help make being outside a fun, healthy and automatic part of everyday life.. For other helpful resources and to learn more about NWF’s goal to get 10 million more kids spending regular time in the great outdoors, visit: www.BeOutThere.org.

Kansas State Parks Offer Multitude of Events this June

Visiting a local state park this summer can be fun and easy on the wallet

It’s summertime and Kansas state parks are gearing up with events for everybody under the sun. From fishing tournaments to music festivals, and Kids Days galore, Kansans are sure to find something fun and exciting to do this June at a Kansas state park.

Listed below are a variety of events being held this June at Kansas state parks. For more information on a specific event, please contact the respective state park. State park contact information can be found atwww.ksoutdoors.com by clicking “State Parks / Locations.”

June 1

National Trail Day

Free Fishing Day – Statewide

Kids Free Fishing Derby – Pomona State Park (Boat Ramp #2)

Hillsdale Music Festival (May 31 and June 1) ­– Hillsdale State Park

USD 365 Endowment Association Annual 5K Fun Run/Walk – Prairie Spirit Trail State Park

OK Kids Day – Prairie Dog State Park (Keith Sebelius Reservoir)

OK Kids Day – Meade State Park

Trail Clean Up – Clinton State Park

9th Annual Youth Fishing Tournament – Glen Elder State Park

Governor’s Flint Hills Freedom Ride and Motorcycle Show – Starts at Capital in Topeka, Ends at Council Grove

Catfish Chasers Fishing Tournament – Eisenhower State Park (Melvern Reservoir)

Youth Archery Day – Eisenhower State Park

June 2

Free Fishing Day – Statewide

Kids Fishing Derby – Lovewell State Park


National “Get Outdoors” Day

OK Kids Day – Lake Scott State Park (South of Beach House)

Kids Ironman (Kids triathlon) – Clinton State Park

Kansas Draft Horse & Mule Association Driving Clinic – Boulder Bluff Arena, El Dorado State Park. (Open to public).

Field Coursing Dog Run –?Clinton State Park


Ironman Triathlon – Clinton State Park

Fishstix Bowfishing Tournament – Eisenhower State Park (Arrow Rock Boat Ramp)


Fishstix Bowfishing Tournament – Eisenhower State Park (Arrow Rock Boat Ramp)


Youth Fishing Derby – Cedar Bluff State Park

Youth Scavenger Hunt – Cedar Bluff State Park

Kansas Bass Nation Fishing Tournament –?Wilson State Park (Hell Creek Boat Ramp)

Kids Outdoor Adventure and Free Park Entrance Day – Cedar Bluff State Park. (Camping and utility permits still apply).

Vango Fundraiser – Clinton State Park

OK Kids Day/Free Park Entrance – Wilson State Park


Kansas Bass Nation Fishing Tournament –?Wilson State Park (Hell Creek Boat Ramp)

Kansas Walleye Association Fishing Tournament – Eisenhower State Park

Wild Within You 5K and 15K Hell Creek on Heels Trail Run?– Wilson State Park (Switchgrass Trail)

June 23

Triathlon Race?– El Dorado State Park (Walnut River Area)

June 27

Country Stampede Music Festival – Tuttle Creek State Park

June 28

Country Stampede Music Festival – Tuttle Creek State Park

June 29

Rocky Mountain Team Series Fishing Tournament?– Wilson State Park (Hell Creek Boat Ramp)

Country Stampede Music Festival – Tuttle Creek State Park

Water Safety Event/Jet ski Simulator – Kanopolis State Park

June 30

Rocky Mountain Team Series Fishing Tournament?– Wilson State Park (Hell Creek Boat Ramp)

Country Stampede Music Festival – Tuttle Creek State Park

Outdoor Writers Auction Benefits Youth Outdoor Education

Public auction of outdoor gear to raise money for youth programs

Looking for some good deals on hunting, fishing and other outdoor equipment? If so, plan on attending the Outdoor Writers of Kansas (OWK) auction on May 6 at 7 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, 

410 S. 3rd St.Manhattan


The event will auction off a variety of outdoor gear to raise money for youth outdoor education programs. Feature items include tickets for the Symphony in the Flint Hills, float trip gift certificate from the Friends of the Kaw, Remington 30-06 rifle, Crossman Pumpmaster pellet gun, tent and foldable cooking station from Coleman Co., Bushnell laser range finder, Bass Pro Shops fly fishing outfit, Brinkman smoker, high-quality rods and reels, hundreds of fishing lures, tackle boxes, waterfowl art prints, books and more.

Proceeds from the event will go to OWK’s annual mission of sending underprivileged children to the Kansas Wildlife Federation’s week-long Outdoor Adventure Camp.

For more information, contact OWK president Brent Frazee at (816) 587-2774 or email[email protected].

Tom Meek, Clay Center, wins KWF Water Conservationist Award

Tom Meek, left, from Clay Center receives the 2012 Water Conservationist of the Year award from Troy Schroeder, Kansas Wildlife Federation President. The Kansas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society sponsored the Water Conservationist award.

The Kansas Wildlife Federation (KWF) proudly announces winners of the 2012 Conservation Achievement Program Awards (CAP). KWF honored thirteen recipients on February 23rd at a reception and banquet in their honor in Emporia.

For 49 years, the Federation has recognized Kansans who have devoted exceptional efforts for wildlife conservation in the state. Kansans, who wished to recognize the awardees for their contributions, supplied the nominations. 

The CAP awards are given in several categories including youth, land, water, wildlife, forest, education, farming and ranching. For 2012, 12 awards were given, along with the President’s special award for meritorious service to the KWF.

These are the most prestigious conservation-related awards given in Kansas and are patterned after similar awards in most other states through respective state affiliates of the National Wildlife Federation. Long-time professor of biology at Kansas State University, Robert Robel of Manhattan won the overall award, Conservationist of the Year. Dr. Robel passed away last month so his wife, Anise, accepted the award in his place. 

Award sponsors for these awards included Westar, Inc., Kansas State Chapters of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Kansas Chapter of the Wildlife Society, Kansas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, Geary County Fish and Game Association, the Watershed Institute, the Jim Ruder family of WaKeeney, Kansas Farmers Union and the Emporia Area Chapter of the Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation.

The 2012 Water Conservationist Award was presented to Tom Meek of Clay CenterTom is the District Manager for the Clay County Conservation District in Clay Center. He administers the conservation district’s Water Resources and Nonpoint Source cost share programs. Tom assists the Clay County Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS) staff with federal conservation programs such as the Environmental Quality Improvement Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

Tom actively participates in Milford and Smoky Hill Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) groups. He has administered $83,000 in cost share funds approved in Clay County for projects in Milford WRAPS targeted areas. Tom assisted with development of the district’s 5-year plan which includes new initiatives that will focus on water quality through nutrient management and flood mitigation.

Tom was instrumental in starting the Clay County Water Festival in 2004, with a grant from the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE). The first Water Festival was a community-wide event associated with the Piotique Fall Festival in Clay Center. Water Festivals since then have been for allClay County 4th Graders. He has continued the annual 6th Grade Environmental Education Day.

The Kansas Wildlife Federation has relied on Tom to provide presentations on water quality with the district’s stream trailer at our Outdoor Adventure Camp for 10-12 year-old students at Camp Washunga. He gives other educational presentations on request throughout Clay County. Tom coordinates the Conservation District’s poster contest for elementary students – this year’s theme is “Where Does Your Water Shed?”.

This year Tom serves as Vice-Chair of the Kansas Envirothon Committee. He attended the Canon National Envirothon with the Kansas Team in 2012. Tom has served as a facilitator and/or presenter at many regional Environthons. He has helped with fund-raising for numerous local Envirothon teams and has served as a judge for the scavenger hunt for the Milford Eco-meet many times.

Tom serves on the Kansas Crossroads Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D) and has helped that group coordinate water quality events for agriculture producers.

As a farm operator, Tom has implemented many water quality improvement practices including no-till crop production, filter strips and conservation buffers, and riparian forest improvement. He is conducting an on-farm research project on the use of cover crops for soil and water quality improvement in cooperation with the Kansas State University Extension and NRCS.

The Kansas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society sponsored the Water Conservationist of the Year award.

For all he does for water conservation, Tom Meek is the Kansas Wildlife Federation Water Conservationist of the Year for 2012.

Tom Meek, left, from Clay Center receives the 2012 Water Conservationist of the Year award from Troy Schroeder, Kansas Wildlife Federation President. The Kansas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society sponsored the Water Conservationist award.

25th Anniversary of the KWF Outdoor Adventure Camp

This summer the Kansas Wildlife Federation will host the 25th anniversary of the Outdoor Adventure Camp along with co-sponsor KSU Cooperative Extension Service. It is designed for boys & girls (10-12 years old). It is held at the WaShunGa area of Rock Springs Ranch, just south of Junction City. For more information click on the Outdoor Adventure Camp in the side menu of the KWF Homepage for the brochure and application materials <http://www.kswildlife.org/OutdoorAdventureCamp.php>

Nature Writers: Worthy of Our Thanks

by Andy and Tami McDaniels

Through the passionate wilderness writings of authors like Jaeger, Roosevelt, and Leopold, we have understood and felt the need to connect with the natural world. These writers, and many more like them, have inspired us to spend time in the great outdoors, become stewards of our environment, and contemplate our relationship with nature. They have taught us new outdoor techniques and provided us with information to improve upon tried and true methods. They have opened our minds to the possibility that the outdoors can motivate us to live better lives.

Given that November is a month of giving thanks, I thought it appropriate to take time to give thanks to a few of the writers who have given us books about the wild which have been inspirational and enlightening to all who have read them. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of reading a book by one of these authors, I hope what you read here will encourage you to do so.

Ellsworth Jaeger (1897-1962)

Perhaps not the most well-known of this category of writers, Ellsworth Jaeger was an editor, an author, and a curator of education at the Buffalo Science Museum. He wrote and illustrated seven books includingWildwood WisdomNature CraftsTracks and TrailcraftCouncil Fires, and Easy Crafts.

Jaeger traveled extensively throughout the wilderness areas of Canada, the United States and Mexico and dedicated his life to researching various Native American tribes, such as the Iroquois, Blackfoot, Apache,Pueblo, and Navajo. He was considered an authority on American Indian lore and camping.

The book jacket cover of Wildwood Wisdom includes a warning, “…the author’s enthusiasm for wildwood is so infectious that you will be lured away from suburb or city.” Indeed, you will be lured. It’s impossible to read this book without wanting to test some of the ideas and techniques in his 197 detailed illustrations. The comprehensive 491-page book, mainly addressed to campers, was originally published in 1945, and is not only a guide to every imaginable aspect of wilderness life, but also an enjoyable read and historical account of life in America in the 1800s.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

Our twenty-sixth president was a historian, an author, a statesman, a hunter, an orator, a rancher, and a naturalist. Reading and writing were two of his favorite pastimes. He often read an entire book in one day, and he authored over 35 books on many different subjects including hunting and wilderness pursuits. One such book, A Book Lover’s Holiday in the Open, gives Roosevelt’s advice about how man can get in touch with the natural world. Crack open the cover of the 1916 edition, and you will read:

The beauty and charm of the wilderness are his for the asking, for the edges of the wilderness lie close beside the beaten roads of present travel. He can see the red splendor of desert sunsets and the unearthly glory of the afterglow on the battlements of desolate mountains. In sapphire gulfs of ocean he can visit islets, above which the wings of myriads of sea-fowl make a kind of shifting cuneiform script in the air. He can ride along the brink of the stupendous cliff-walled canyon, where eagles soar below him, and cougars make their lairs on the ledges and harry the big-horned sheep. He can journey through the northern forests, the home of the giant moose, the forests of fragrant and murmuring life in summer, the iron-bound and melancholy forests of winter.

-Theodore Roosevelt, A Book Lover’s Holiday in the Open

This autobiographical collection of stories encourages us to step outside our comfort zone and discover the majesty of the outdoors. Each chapter describes a unique wilderness adventure, such as a cougar hunt, crossing the Navajo Desert, and a “curious experience” at a private game reserve in Quebec.

Aldo Leopold (1887-1948)

Aldo Leopold was an author, an ecologist, a forester, a scientist, and an environmentalist. He is acknowledged by many as the father of wildlife ecology. His book A Sand County Almanac is a classic of nature writing, cited as one of the most influential nature books ever published.

Leopold utilizes A Sand County Almanac and its call for a Land Ethic, a seminal work of the modern environmentalist movement, to articulate the true connection between people and the natural world, with the hope that the readers will begin to treat the land with the love and respect it deserves. (The Aldo Leopold Foundation)

There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot.

-Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

Each of the authors gave us a gift when they took time to share their love and knowledge of nature with us. Not just those that I’ve highlighted, but all the men and women that dedicate their lives to writing about the natural world are truly worthy of thanks.

You can find the above mentioned books at retailers that sell new, used, and collectible books, likeAbeBooks. The holiday season is a perfect time to catch up on reading and share your favorite books with others. What could be a better gift to give someone special than a gift that sparks a passion for the outdoors?