Reach Outdoors: Reaching Out to Lakeville Middle School

by Shaun McKeon, MUCC Education Director SDC15178 (2)
One of the goals at MUCC is to create future generations of hunting and fishing sportsmen and women.  Before the holiday break I had a fantastic opportunity to plant the seed of conservation with a group of middle school students from Otisville, Michigan.
I was invited to visit Lakeville Middle School, by science teacher Josh Henley. Mr. Henley has decided to teach a month long curriculum unit on conservation.  His decision to focus a unit on conservation also intertwines nicely with his class participation in the salmon in the classroom program run by the DNR and sponsored by the local Trout Unlimited Chapter.
IMG_0631I was the guest speaker to roughly 30 students most of them 6th graders.  With these students I had the opportunity to talk about the history of conservation in Michigan, and how MUCC was formed. We also talked about what MUCC does to protect hunting and fishing rights for everyone in the state.  We talked about what MUCC is currently doing as far as education and camp go and what was happening on the natural resource policy side here in Lansing during the lame duck session.
The kids asked great questions and wanted to know more about specific animal species MUCC and the DNR have worked to protect, while creating viable hunting seasons like for turkey and elk.  They were also interested in the work we do protecting non game species like the Kirtland’s warbler.  We also spent some time taking suggestions on their favorite Michigan animals and talking about how habitat improvements were an important part of wildlife management.
SDC15164 (2)The hottest topic of the day was by far the use of drones and the implications on drones to hunting ethics. It seemed these students had done their homework and were aware of the then pending bills in the legislature to ban the use of drones in hunting.
To wrap up the lesson I shamelessly plugged the Michigan OutofDoors Youth Camp as well as TRACKS magazine and hopefully we will see some of these students as campers this summer.
I had a great visit to Lakeville Middle School and would like to thank the students and Mr. Henley for hosting me. Hopefully the insights I provided will help to encourage these kids to keep getting outdoors!

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