Summer camp for tomorrow’s waterfowlers

Weekend youth getaway combines waterfowling education with good old-fashioned summer fun

Thirteen youth participants attended the Youth Waterfowling Weekend at Lake Pofianga Camp. ©DUC

“Race you to the dock!”

Summer camp and weekends at the lake are special times. Lifelong friendships are formed. We come home feeling spent, but also, recharged and deeply content, already thinking about next time.

“When one of the kids asked, ‘Can we do this again next year?’ – that was possibly the greatest compliment we could have received,” said Blaine Burns, Waterfowling Heritage Program Coordinator, Alberta.

Burns is part of a group that hosted a weekend camp at the Ponoka Fish and Game Lake Pofianga Camp in Alberta this July. There, an enthusiastic group of 12 to 15 year old participants spent one of those memorable weekends at the lake. But it was a weekend with a twist. They were there to learn about waterfowl hunting.

Summer camp participant
The kids attended hunting skills workshops to learn from expert instructors. ©DUC

The kids attended workshops on shooting, duck and goose calling, decoys, retrievers, cleaning birds, and waterfowl and wetland conservation. Instructors from DUC, Delta Waterfowl and Cabela’s led sessions in a classroom setting, then took the kids outdoors for hands-on experience in the field.

At this camp, “race you to the range” may be heard as commonly as “race you to the dock.”

Between sessions, the kids rounded off their summer getaway with quintessential camp activities, like swimming, canoeing, games of horseshoes and marshmallow roasting.

Summer camp activities
Between lessons, the kids enjoyed camp activities like swimming and canoeing. ©DUC

The Youth Waterfowling Weekend was jointly sponsored and organized by DUC and Delta Waterfowl. Both organizations offer education programs to introduce people to hunting and conservation: Waterfowling Heritage from DUC and First Hunt programs from Delta Waterfowl. Cabela’s staff attended to help throughout the weekend, and provided prizes for the participants.

Summer camp participants
©DUC

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