Area children are learning a number of skills for the world outdoors at the Irma Lewis Seguin Outdoor Learning Center.

The children were enrolled in the center’s On Target Camp where they learned trapping, knives carving, target sports and fishing.

The week-long camp is part of the center’s overall larger Summer Camp, which offered six weeks of summer fun and learning, like outdoor survival skills to habitat studies.

“This is a program that the outdoor and learning center does every summer,” Camp Facilitator Luis Leal said. “It’s a method of getting the kids out and getting them active. I’m sure a lot of families are busy and getting their kids out can be difficult so this is a good way of doing that.”

While at the camp the children have access to more than 115 acres of land that hosts a number of different types of entertainment for them to enjoy.

“The kids have been going crazy,” Education Coordinator Beth Trapp said. “They love the camp and have a lot more energy than we do but they’re definitely taking it all in they’re like little sponges.”

This week’s theme is titled On Target and focuses on all things hunting and fishing.

“We’ve had hunters ed which we have been doing the past couple days and we did archery at the beginning of the week,” Leal said. “So anything that has to do with aiming any type of hunting apparatus and being accurate with equipment will be covered.”

Early Thursday morning, campers grinned from ear to ear as they participated in various different activities that all revolved around building the children’s knowledge of fishing ranging from fishing ethics to basic rod skills.

“Today we’re doing anglers education it’s a Texas Parks and Wildlife program so all of these kiddos get to go through seven stations to hone their skills,” Trapp said. “This morning the kids will all get their certification in basic anglers ed so they’ll leave with a packet with some information, some pens, and certificates, all that type of stuff.”

Although the camp is cheerful smiles and excitement, there is an emphasis on learning as well as safety first amongst the children.

“It’s not necessarily classroom learning but more so applied knowledge,” Leal said. “So yesterday we had a class on boats and how they float and how they move, we also taught the kids how to make a mast. It’s for ages 5 and up so we also do some very basic scientific method and stuff like that.”

When the kids aren’t out learning how to fish or taking part in various types of outdoors activities during On Target week, older camp goers had the opportunity to take part in different types of firearm exercises.

“The past two days we’ve had the older kids doing hunters ed so there’s a lot of hunting and shotgun shooting and we did some gun safety,” Trapp said.

The summer camp is more than just creating a distraction for the young outdoorsmen and girls, its about sharing new experiences and bringing families together, Trapp said.

“We live in a community that is somewhat rural and so a lot of people are involved in hunting and fishing,” she said. “We see a lot of kids here who have never caught a fish before or who have never been hunting, so my passion is introducing kids who have not been previously introduced to the wild and getting them outdoors so they can bring it to their household and say ‘hey lets go fishing or lets go for a hike.’”

There are two more weeks of camp available at the Seguin Outdoor Learning Center — Texas Rocks! and Drawn to Nature. For more information, visit www.seguinolc.org.

 

Joe Martin is a staff writer for the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at joe.martin@seguingazette.com .

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