DSU Spring Outdoor Youth Camp

DSU Spring Outdoor Youth Camp

March 11-14, 2019
Delta State University

The second annual Delta State University Spring Outdoor Youth Camp offers children ages 9-11 opportunities to hunt, fish, and pursue related nature activities.

The camp, a partnership with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks, and Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, educates and trains the next generation to appreciate the outdoors while encouraging them to hunt and fish responsibly. Participants practice wildlife and fish identification, nature photography, bird watching, water quality analysis, casting fishing rods, fishing with live bait, cleaning fish, target shooting, tracking animals through radio telemetry, and trekking with compass and GPS. Attendees also learn about ecology, conservation, and ecosystems; hunting and fishing regulations; and personal safety.

Most sessions occur on the Delta State campus. There also will be outings to Bear Pen Park in Cleveland, Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge in Boyle, and Delta State’s Center for Science and Environmental Education in Merigold. Camp founder/director Dr. AHM Ali Reza, associate professor of biology and environmental sciences at Delta State and coordinator of the wildlife management program; and Nathan Aycock, camp assistant director and a fisheries biologist with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, are joined by several experts in the field and Delta State biology professors as guides.

Contact
Camp founder/director Dr. AHM Ali Reza
Email: areza@deltastate.edu; Phone: 662-846-4242

Registration and fees

Register for the camp online through the above link. The $200 course fee must be paid in full before March 4, 2019. Make checks payable to “DSU Spring Outdoor Youth Camp” and mail them to DSU Spring Outdoor Youth Camp, DSU Box C-4, 1003 W. Sunflower Road, Cleveland, MS 38733.

Camp objective

The overall objective of the Outdoor Youth Camp is to educate and train young members of the community to be responsible citizens with a deep love for the outdoors while encouraging them to hunt and fish responsibly.

The overall objective can be broken down to the following short-term objectives:

  1. Introduce camp participants to the ecological aspects and conservation of ecosystems. Basic understanding on how the outdoor system/nature works.
  2. Provide introductory training on personal safety, outdoor navigation, using a compass, GPS, and maps with a very basic training on outdoor photography.
  3. Offer training on the concepts of fish and fishing, including fish identification, types of fish sampling equipment, water quality, types of fishing tackle, fisheries biology and management.
  4. Provide opportunity for the participants to fish in a lake and learn how to properly clean, preserve and utilize fish that they would catch.
  5. Introduce participants to the different common wildlife species in Mississippi Delta, their proper identification, ecology and natural history, study techniques, and conservation management issues.
  6. Discuss the scientific aspects of hunting, hunting and fishing regulations, license requirements, different hunting methods and how to implement it outdoors.

Camp organizer

The DSU Spring Outdoor Youth Camp 2019 is jointly organized by the Division of Math and Sciences of Delta State University, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks, and the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area.

Instructors and resource persons

A team of instructors headed by Dr. AHM Ali Reza from Delta State University will coordinate the outdoor camp. The tentative composition of the team of instructor is:

Camp Director:
Dr. AHM Ali Reza, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Wildlife Management Program at Delta State University.

Assistant Director:
Mr. Nathan Aycock, Fisheries Biologist, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

Volunteer Instructor:
Dr. Ellen Green, Associate Professor of Biology and Chair of the Division of Math and Sciences, Delta State University.

Volunteer Instructor:
Dr. Eric Blackwell, Associate Professor of Biology, Division of Math and Sciences, Delta State University.

DSU Student Volunteers:
More than six experienced Delta State students will be facilitating the youth camp and help the campers.

Camp Volunteer:
Two to three professionals from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks will also help organize the outdoor youth camp.

Scholarships

Two spots for the camp will be reserved for scholarship recipients. Applicants must write two essays as indicated on the online registration form. Scholarship recipients will be notified through email on March 5, 2019.

What the camp provides

Lunch and two snacks every day. All camp-related travel expenses. A camp themed t-shirt, set of fishing gear, pictorial field guide on Mississippi wildlife, pair of binoculars, and a book on Mississippi fish. Numerous other giveaways.

What campers should bring

  • Clothing: any comfortable clothes, but athletic clothes recommended. Additional extra clothes and socks recommended.
  • Shoes: no open-toed shoes. Boots recommended.
  • At least two 20-oz. bottles of water per day
  • Backpack with pen/pencil and a notebook
  • Insect/mosquito repellent
  • Sunscreen

Delta State on-campus sessions

All indoor sessions of the outdoor camp will be held in DSU’s Caylor-Walters building. Some sessions will be held in other locations across campus. Camp participants will tour the science building and different sciences laboratories.

Off-campus sessions

Outdoor youth camp activities also occur in several off-campus locations.

Off-campus map
*Click to view larger

  • Bear Pen Park, Cleveland: The park is located in the west side of the City of Cleveland and is a popular recreational spot. It includes a famous duck pond that has been improved by the city recently. All fishing-related activities happen in Bear Pen Park.
  • DSU’s Center for Science and Environmental Education (CSEE), Merigold: CSEE is located in 7 miles north of Cleveland, close to the City of Merigold. This fenced-in property is owned by Delta State and used mostly for research activities. Hunting weapons display and target practice with pellet gun and tranquilizer gun take place here.
  • Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge, Boyle: The refuge, about 15 miles southwest of Cleveland, is the largest remaining tract of bottomland hardwood forest outside the mainline levee. The camp will use the Happy Hollow Lake portion of this U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-managed refuge for outdoor activities as well as water quality exercises.

2018 Camp Photos

Camp Schedule

11 March 2019 [Day 1: Introductions, navigation skills, and photography]

Time Activity Location
8 – 8:30 AM Camper arrival DSU Biology
8:30 – 8:45 AM Welcome, icebreaking, and housekeeping Caylor #101
8:45 – 9 AM Introduction to the youth camp Caylor #101
9 – 9:30 AM “Get to know you” game Caylor front yard
9:30 – 10 AM Basic ecology refresher Caylor #101
10 – 10:15 AM Break/snack DSU Biology
10:15 – 10:45 AM Ecology/food chain game Caylor #101
10:45 – 11:45 AM Tour of science building/
Meet math and sciences professors
DSU Biology
DSU Planetarium
11:45 AM – 1 PM Lunch on-site Caylor Hall
1 – 1:30 PM Nature photography basic training Caylor #101
1:30 – 3:45 PM Navigation skill and scavenger hunt DSU Campus
3:45 – 4 PM Break/snack DSU Biology
4 – 4:30 PM Review and wrap-up DSU Biology

12 March 2019 [Day 2: Fisheries and fishing]

Time Activity Location
8 – 8:30 AM Camper arrival DSU Biology
8:30 – 9 AM Fishing diversity and identification Caylor #101
9 – 9:30 AM Fishing gear: rods/reels, hook/corks, line/knots, commercial gear, live bait, artificial lures Caylor Hallway
Caylor Front yard
9:30 – 10 AM Fishing and boating safety Caylor #101
10 – 10:15 AM Break/snack DSU Biology
10:15 – 10:45 AM Introduction to fish management, regulations Caylor #101
10:45 – 11:15 AM Invasive fish species Caylor #101
11:15 – 11:45 AM Hands-on fish identification DSU Biology
11:45 AM – 12:45 PM Lunch in DSU Café/food court DSU Campus
12:45 – 1 PM Commute to Bear Pen Park Bear Pen Park
1 PM – 1:30 PM Casting practice Bear Pen Park
1:30 – 3:45 PM* Active fishing/fish cleaning Bear Pen Park
3:45 – 4 PM Commute to Delta State DSU Biology
4 PM – 4:15 PM Break/snack DSU Biology
4:15 – 4:30 PM Review and wrap-up DSU Biology

Note: *Campers can leave from Bear Pen Park with their parents after this activity. Must report to the camp staff before doing so.

13 March 2019 [Day 3: Hunting and wildlife]

Time Activity Location
8 – 8:30 AM Camper arrival DSU Biology
8:30 – 8:45 AM Introduction to native Mississippi wildlife Caylor #101
8:45 – 9:30 AM Common and native Mississippi wildlife identification exercise DSU Campus
9:30 – 10 AM Waterfowl Caylor #101
10 – 10:15 AM Wildlife management and hunting
Hunting techniques, regulations, license
Caylor #101
10:15 – 10:30 AM Break/snack DSU Biology
10:30 – 11:45 AM Wildlife radio telemetry DSU Campus
11:45 AM – 12:45 PM Lunch on-site Caylor Hall
12:45 – 1:15 PM Wildlife ID quiz Caylor #138
1:15 – 1:30 PM Commute to CSEE CSEE (DSU)
1:30 – 3:45 PM Gun safety, hunting weapon display, and target practice with pellet gun and tranquilizer gun CSEE (DSU)
3:45 – 4 PM Commute to Delta State DSU Biology
4 PM – 4:15 PM Break/snack DSU Biology
4:15 – 4:30 PM Review and wrap-up DSU Biology

14 March 2019 [Day 4: Habitat, water quality and nature]

Time Activity Location
8 – 8:30 AM Camper arrival DSU Biology
8:30 – 9 AM Introduction to habitat ecology, wildlife refuge and national park systems Caylor #101
9 – 9:30 AM Travel to Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge Dahomey NWR
9:30 – 10 AM Introduction to the Dahomey NWR Dahomey NWR
10 – 10:15 AM Break/snack Dahomey NWR
10:15 – 11:15 AM Birding at Dahomey NWR Dahomey NWR
11:15 – 11:45 AM Common tree identification at Dahomey NWR Dahomey NWR
11:45 AM – 12:30 PM Cookout at Dahomey NWR Dahomey NWR
12:30 – 1 PM Water quality at Dahomey NWR Dahomey NWR
1 – 2:30 PM Hiking and habitat survey at Dahomey NWR
Mammal signs, herp and invertebrate sampling
Dahomey NWR
2:30 – 3 PM Commute to DSU Campus DSU Biology
3 – 3:30 PM Break/snack DSU Biology
3:30 – 4 PM Evaluation, closing remarks, certificates
(Parents are invited and can take photos.)
Caylor #101

Note: Schedule subject to change.