Reach Outdoors: Giving Michigan Youth an Outdoors Voice

SDC15309Reach Outdoors is a weekly blog by MUCC Education Director, Shaun McKeon
One of the most common concerns I hear as the educator and camp director is, where are the kids and why the kids aren’t going outside anymore?  My response is often that we can always do a better job of getting kids outdoors.  However, there are lots of kids getting outside currently but it has been hard for them to get their stories heard.  The Michigan Youth Conservation Council is doing something about that.
The Youth Conservation Council was established by the Natural Resources Commission through a resolution in 2012. It provides a forum where a diverse group or conservation-minded teens can talk about and take action to enhance Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities – including everything from hunting, fishing and trapping to hiking, wildlife watching and camping. Its mission is to:
  1. Protect, promote and enhance the state’s outdoor recreation.
  2. Create new opportunities for kids to use Michigan’s unique natural resources.
  3. Share their positive experiences in Michigan’s Great Outdoors.
SDC15310The YCC blog was one of the council’s first projects, initially providing a place where members could share their own outdoor experiences. As the popularity of the blog has grown the council has decided to expand the voice of their peers. The Youth Conservation Council wants to hear from the rest of Michigan’s young outdoor enthusiasts.
“We know there are a lot of kids like us who are having great times in the outdoors,” said Gabrielle Herin, a Youth Conservation Council member from Trenton, Michigan. “Tell us about the experiences you’ve had this year in the outdoors. How do you feel when you spend time outdoors? What interesting discoveries did you make in the outdoors?”
Although the council did not set specific age guidelines for those who submit blog entries, it is seeking entries primarily from youth 12 to 18 years of age. A few other tips:
Blog entries should include the writer’s name, age and hometown.
Blog entries should be between 200 and 400 words.
Send entries by email to
Up to three photos may accompany a blog entry and should be added as attachments to the email, rather than embedded in the message or document.

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