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Successful 14th Year for Sand Lake Conservation Camp in Marinette County  

Marinette, WI – The 14th annual Sand Lake Conservation Camp held at Camp Bird near Crivitz was again a success this year, with 77 campers - representing 25 Wisconsin and 1 Upper Michigan Counties - and 22 dedicated overnight camp staff.  This event is for youth going into 6-8th grade in the fall and is organized by the Marinette County Land & Water Conservation Division (LWCD). Conservation Camp provides positive educational outdoor experiences, fosters an appreciation for nature, and introduces a variety of natural resources and conservation career opportunities to youth.

Core topics presented by Marinette County staff included aquatic macroinvertebrates, reptiles & amphibians, and water pollution/conservation.  Evening presentations were given by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Biologist Chip Long and Conservation Wardens Tim Werner and Dale Romback. They spoke about their careers, educational backgrounds, and tools they use in their jobs.  Kim Diedrich, Jody Sperduto and staff from the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay brought several native Wisconsin animals and discussed wildlife rehabilitation & conservation issues.  All-camp cabin competitions included a campfire building contest, a scavenger hunt, and “Conservation Jeopardy”, a culmination activity designed to cover information from the presenters and programs.  Campers also enjoyed plenty of free time for fishing, swimming, boating, and socializing. 

Other available ‘camper’s choice’ activities included wilderness survival skills, canoeing & kayaking, archery, tee-shirt design, outdoor first aid, spinner making, and teambuilding/low-ropes challenge course activities.  New choice session options this year were nature journaling, nature photography, and monarch butterflies. Choice activities were presented by Marinette County camp staff and guest speakers.  Timber Wolf Information Network volunteers presented two sessions on wolf ecology, and staff from the Raptor Education Group, Inc. taught sessions on raptor rehabilitation.  The Bay Area Mounted Search & Rescue (BAMSAR) returned for sessions about how they help local law enforcement with wilderness searches, event crowd control and security.  

Camper scholarships were provided this year by several organizations and counties.  Sponsors included the Marinette County Chapter of Trout Unlimited; Phoenix Falls Chapter of the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association; the Fond du Lac Audubon Society; and the Wisconsin Land + Water Conservation Association.  In addition, Land & Water Conservation Departments in Douglas, Oneida, Columbia and Forest Counties joined Marinette County in providing scholarships.  Thank you to everyone who helped with Sand Lake Conservation Camp 2019 and for making it another successful event!

For more information about Sand Lake Conservation Camp, please visit or contact Anne Bartels, Information & Education Specialist, at 715-732-7784 or  Tentative dates for 2020 are June 17-19.