Reflecting on the PCSWCD’s Youth and Teen Summer Camps

Contributed Article

    DOVER-FOXCROFT — With these warm days and cool nights upon us, it’s hard to deny that summer is winding down. It’s time now to reflect on some of the great summertime activities, events and fun we have all enjoyed. For the staff and board of supervisors of the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District, our fondest and favorite summertime activity would have to be our summer camps and this year was a great one for both the PCSWCD’s Teen and Youth Summer Camps.

    The new Teen Summer Camp was held from July 7-11 and was made possible by generous funding from the Maine Community Foundation’s Piscataquis County Fund and the John and Anne Urban Fund.
    The teens had many exciting accomplishments, including hiking to the top of Maine Audubon’s Borestone Mountain sanctuary with a guided tour led by Alexandra Bennett, and exploring water quality at wetlands, ponds and rivers in our county with USDA-NRCS Fisheries Biologist Ben Naumann and also Dan Kusnierz, water resources manager of the Penobscot Indian Nation.
    The teens were thrilled to spend part of a day at the PCSWCD demonstration forest with Maine Game Warden Sarah Miller. They also camped, enjoyed kayaking and more fun activities at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Little Lyford Camps with AMC’s Education Coordinator Dawna Blackstone serving as the host for the expedition. While there, they also learned about forestry from the AMC’s Maine Woods Initiatives Land Manager Steve Tatko.
    Our Youth Summer Camp ran for two weeks from July 28-Aug. 8. The first week of camp featured activities and presentations about natural resource conservation and during our second week, we took the campers on guided tours of farms in Piscataquis County.
    During natural resources week, the campers learned about soil from Nick Butler of the USDA-NRCS Soil Science Division, energy from Stephanie Gregoire from the Maine Energy Education Program, ecology from Dawna Blackstone from the Appalachian Mountain Club, water quality from Dan Kusnierz from Penobscot Indian Nation and fisheries from biologist Tim Obrey of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
    The camp activities each presenter had planned ranged from building their own wind mills, to a guided hike at the PCSWCD’s Law Farm property, to tracking a fish with sonar equipment!
    During agriculture week, the campers toured Widdershins Farm in Dover-Foxcroft, Worcester’s Wild Blueberry Farm in Orneville, Rusted Rooster Farm in Parkman, Three Rivers Wingshooting in Milo and Infinity Farm in Dover-Foxcroft. They were able to see and learn about pastured livestock, pick wild blueberries, watch a combine harvest grain, play fetch with trained bird dogs, ride horses and so much more.
    If you are interested in learning more about our Youth Summer Camp or Teen Summer Camp, contact the PCSWCD at 564-2321 ext. 3 or email

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