Teenagers may not realize the rewards offered by a career in wildlife conservation – be it as a game warden, fish and wildlife biologist or even a communications or education specialist. But the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation spends a week each summer making sure a group of youths learns just how fun and important the field of conservation is for professionals who spend their lives benefiting wildlife.

The weeklong event is the Wildlife Department’s annual Wildlife Youth Camp, slated this year for June 22-27 at Oklahoma University Biological Station at Lake Texoma.

The free camp increases awareness of conserving and managing Oklahoma’s wildlife  resources through courses on wildlife-related career opportunities, rifle and shotgun training, archery, wildlife identification, wildlife law enforcement, fishing, fisheries management, ropes, swimming, turkey and waterfowl hunting, management and law enforcement.

“We urge anybody between the ages of 14 and 16 that’s interested in hunting or fishing or a career with the Department to apply,” said Jay Harvey, game warden stationed in Choctaw and Bryan counties and coordinator for the Wildlife Youth Camp.

To attend youth camp, applicants must be Oklahoma residents and must turn 14 prior to June 22, 2014, and be no older than 16. To attend, prospective campers must fill out an application form and write a 75-word essay describing why they want to attend the camp, why they should be selected and what they expect to learn. Additionally, they must provide a letter of recommendation by someone other than a family member and a recent photograph showing the applicant participating in an outdoor-related event or activity. Application forms are available online at http://www.wildlifedepartment.com/education/youthcamp.htm

Logo courtesy Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

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