Youth Activities Update

WITU Summer Camp Attendee

Beyond Green Bay Trout Unlimited’s (GBTU) always successful Kid’s Fishing Day, we were able to help a large number of area youth learn about fishing, our coldwater resources and much more. Much of this was done through summer school classes and summer conservation camps.

The summer school class was an Outdoor Skills Class crafted and taught by GBTU Education Chair, Dave Ostanek. Below is what Dave had to say regarding this learning opportunity

Edison Summer School & Outdoor Skills

On July 19 and 20th during the Outdoor Skills class at Edison Middle School, Jack Koivisto came in to assist teacher Dave Ostanek (also GBTU member) with fly tying and fly casting. The students learned out to tie Mickey Finns and Wooly Buggers.

On the second day, they learned and practiced the basics of fly casting. The students used the chapter’s fly rods (including four new rod and reel sets from LL Bean) as we worked out in the open space and warm sun. Thanks to Jack for volunteering his time and expertise of the fly fishing skills.

GBTU partially sponsored 5 different kids to 3 separate Wisconsin conservation camps. Below are a little about the camps and kids we partnered with.

Sand Lake Conservation Camp

The following is from the Wisconsin Land and Water website, http://wisconsinlandwater.org/events/youth-conservation-camps. GBTU helped send 2 individuals, Reece Meyers and Hailey Meseberg.

Sand Lake Camp participants

Sand Lake Camp participants

The 11th annual Sand Lake Conservation Camp was held at Camp Bird near Crivitz, WI hosted 72 campers representing 25 Wisconsin and 2 Upper Michigan counties and 24 dedicated camp staff. The camp is for youth entering 6-8th grade in the fall and is organized by the Marinette County Land & Water Conservation Division (LWCD).

Core topics, presented by Marinette County staff, included aquatic marroninvertebrates, herptiles, and water pollution/conservation. Other presentations were given by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Biologist Chip Long and Conservation Wardens Tim Werner and Dale Romback.

Camp youth gathering nature's info

Camp youth gathering nature’s info

Naturalists from the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay brought several native Wisconsin animals and discussed wildlife rehabilitation and conservation issues. Other choice activities included, wilderness survival skills, canoeing, wolf ecology, outdoor recreation safety, trapping, raptor rehabilitation, archery, mammal tracking and much more.

The camp is supported by many conservation partners and organizations, the Wisconsin Land+Water Conservation Assoc., and Land & Water Conservation departments from across the state along with private donations. Support from sponsors and donors who believe in youth education like camp is greatly appreciated and helped make the 2016 Sand Lake Camp a huge success!

Wisconsin Land and Water Camps

WI Youth Conservation Camp

WI Youth Conservation Camp

The summary below is also from the Wisconsin Land and Water website, http://wisconsinlandwater.org/events/youth-conservation-camps. GBTU helped sponsor 1 individual to this particular camp, Ryan Flynn.

The Wisconsin Land+Water Conservation Association’s Youth Education Committee is committed to passing on Wisconsin’s rich conservation history to future generations.

The WI Land+Water Youth Conservation Camp was held in Manitowish Waters on June 20-24, 2016 for students entering 9-12th grades. Over 25 campers from across the state and from the Upper Peninsula attended with some returning campers from last year and a few new campers who had graduated last summer from the Sand Lake camp.

Campers spent a week participating in educational conservation activities such as wolves and wolf howling, a fisheries project, river ecology and fresh water mussels, bat ecology survey, a dairy farm tour, understanding black bears and a shoreland habitat restoration project. Other fun activities included a trip to Lake Superior and Superior Falls, making fishing lures, a fishing tournment, tie dying camp t-shirts and a canoe trip. The last evening wrapped up with journaling about the week and songs and s’mores around a camp fire.

WI TU State Camp participants

WI TU State Camp participants

It was a wonderful week filled with making new friends, learning to appreciate our natural resources and gaining new skills. A special thank you to our county land and water conservation departments and conservation partners for their support as well as individual donors who believe in our youth and conservation. Also a big thank you to our camp counselors for putting together an incredible week of fun activities.

Wisconsin State TU Camp

The Wisconsin State TU Camp has been at the Pine Lake Bible camp, between Wild Rose and Waupaca, for the past three years. This year’s dates were Thursday July 14th thru Sunday July 17th. This year GBTU helped sponsor 2 individuals, Patrick Heil Jr and William Follett.

Here are what a couple area youth had to say about their experience:

Camp Bird Youth Center

Camp Bird Youth Center

Hi this is William Follett I want to thank you for sponsoring me and giving me the opportunity to go to this camp. I learned a lot about spin fishing and fly fishing the experience was awesome and I learned most importantly how to contribute to my local TU chapter and how conserve our trout streams. I had the time of my life thank you again.” -William Follett


Thank you for giving me the opportunity to go to Camp Bird this year. I made new friends, learned more about mother nature, learned how to survive in the wilderness, learned new activities and had great meals! I had a really great time in this camp because of you guys. Thank you ! -Hailey Meseberg

A huge thanks goes out to GBTU Education Chair Dave Ostanek and all our volunteers, friends, parents, kids, camps and more.

THANK YOU !