Virginia high school students currently in grades 9-12 who are interested in natural resources may apply to attend the Virginia Academy of Natural Resources, a new virtual camp sponsored by Virginia Department of Forestry and the Virginia Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts.
Students have until April 30 to apply for the academy, which will take place July 12-16, 2021. Each morning will feature live virtual presentations from natural resource professionals with daily themes of aquatics, forestry, soils, or wildlife. Each afternoon, participants will complete field explorations on their own as well as further exploring topics through videos and reading material.
“Since both Camp Woods & Wildlife and Youth Conservation Camp were cancelled due to COVID-19, we wanted to offer an alternative way for teens to explore natural resource topics and careers,” said Bonnie Mahl of the soil and water conservation districts.
“This camp has several unique twists you won’t find in most virtual camps,” said Ellen Powell of the Virginia Department of Forestry. The daily self-directed field studies complete with instructions and materials for campers to use and keep will connect campers with nature in their own backyards, local parks, or woods. In addition, small groups of campers will work together to showcase the natural resources of their region of the state, culminating in group presentations on Friday.
The week will culminate with a natural resources competition modeled after the Virginia Dominion Energy Envirothon program.
Students may apply for the Virginia Academy of Natural Resources at https://forms.gle/9mRUtyoaPRvFQY2N9. Once students are notified of their acceptance, campers will receive a schedule, Zoom link, and materials for completing their daily field studies.
The cost for the week-long academy is $25 to cover materials, and financial aid is available as academy coordinators want all students to experience the academy. Students may contact Ellen Powell at email@example.com to discuss options.