Spotlight on Youth: Fish & Game camp teaches kids about outdoor safety

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - In this week's Spotlight on Youth, we headed to Rabbit Creek Rifle Range to check out how kids are learning to be more aware of what's outside.

Kids taking part in a rope exercise to learn about the ecosystem at the Department of Fish and Game's Camps & Skills Clinic.

The camps and skills clinic is offered by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The whole idea behind it is to encourage youth to be outside and feel more confident when they are. All of the kids during this camp were between the ages of 10 and 14 and it was their first time.

One group started off by doing a rope exercise to learn about the ecosystem, and then it was off to learn how to make and track animal footprints. They learned how to make their own tracks by using tin foil sheets and stepping on them to make an imprint.

"Using the tin foil is a way to kind of wake up their thinking about tracks in that it's really kind of a CSI moment and they can factor out what the mystery might be between whose track is whom and what that track is doing," said Project Wild & Youth Education Coordinator, Brenda Duty.

Meanwhile, a separate group of kids was creating their own tracks in the wilderness with map and compass training. The task was to navigate to and through the woods to find the base camp. A few kids said they've used a compass before, but most had not and said that learning the new skill was helpful.

"if you get lost, like if you're playing in the woods and you get lost and you need help, your friend needs help, you have to use a compass to get back home," said 11-year-old Levi Dolgonos.

The last group took place in a classroom setting. That's because they were learning about firearm safety.

"I've never actually like shot or held a gun before, so I'm just here, you know, we're in Alaska and everyone has a gun. I'm here so that in case I get an encounter with a gun or something I'll know what to do," said 12-year-old Reid Predeger.

The camp was split into two sessions. The Department of Fish and Game holds another one in the fall.

Email spotlight on youth ideas to soy@ktuu.com.

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