Cody Huseby (r) of the Ponoka Fish and Game Clubs coaches Mason Senft as he aims at a 3-D target down range.

Cody Huseby (r) of the Ponoka Fish and Game Clubs coaches Mason Senft as he aims at a 3-D target down range.

Conservation is a big part of the annual Ponoka Fish and Game youth camp

Eighteen boys spent last week camping out at the Ponoka Fish and Game club.

By David Thielen

Eighteen boys spent last week camping out at the Ponoka Fish and Game club.

“The weeklong camp, open to both boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 15, uses lots of hands on training to teach the campers about conservation and the outdoors,” said Christina Frandsen, youth chairman for the Ponoka Fish and Game Club.

The camp traditionally held in the third week of July, has been offered just about every year since the club was established in 1957.

“We believe in actual hands on learning, so we bring out specialists to help with different aspects of the training,” said Frandsen.

This year, speakers included an Alberta Fish and Wildlife officer, a fisheries biologist and a spokesman for the Alberta Conservation Association. “We also had a first aid-instructor come out to teach first aid,” said Frandsen.

The Medicine River Wildlife Rehab center sent somebody out to instruct the campers on what to do if they find any injured wildlife, and how the rehab centre cares for the injured until they are ready to return to the wild.

At the end of the week, campers should be ready to take their Hunter Education test, which they need to pass to receive the Alberta WIN (Wildlife Identification Number) card, said Frandsen. The WIN card is required to purchase any fishing or hunting license in Alberta.