Ohio’s Camp Canopy celebrates 69 years

Carrollton, Ohio — Ninety-eight high schoolers attended the 69th annual Camp Canopy held June 9-14 at Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum near Leesville Lake.

Formerly called the Ohio Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Camp, it is different from traditional summer camps in that participants attend classes throughout the day to learn everything from identifying waterfowl and various tree species to various strategies for woodland management.

“It’s life in the woods (for five days),” said Jeremy Scherf, of the Ohio DNR Forestry division. “Every session is in the woods.”

Scherf is currently co-director of the camp. Ironically, he attended the camp himself as a high school student. He said that he never dreamed that he would one day be engaged in professional forestry or be overseeing an activity like Camp Canopy. But attending the camp furthered his interest in all things outdoors.

Forty-five foresters and wildlife experts led the June sessions. Those classes covered a variety of outdoor-related subjects, including preparing for a tree harvest and how to deal with woodland theft – an increasing problem in Ohio’s forests.

“They learn how to measure and assess a theft and go after actual charges against the thieves,” Scherf said.

Lest it appears the camp was all work and no play, evenings were filled with traditional activities like hanging out around the campfire and participating in talent shows.

Friday, the last camp day, was test day as students vied for $8,250 in scholarships to institutions like Ohio University, Ohio State University, Hocking College, and Zane State College.

They were tested on what they had learned over the previous four days. The top eight scorers each received $1,000 toward their higher education.

Cost of Camp Canopy is $375 per person and sponsorships are available for anyone interested.

“Next year, 89 percent of the kids are sponsored,” Scherf said.

Additional information about Camp Canopy is available at campcanopy.com.

Categories: Ohio – Jane Beathard

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