Scholarship opportunity for conservation camp

By Dana Kobilinsky

After attending the Advanced Fur Fish and Game Rendezvous camp, Carolina Newline held a river clean-up at the Saxapahaw Island Park and removed trash piles that had accumulated as a result of Hurricane Matthew. Image courtesy of Caroline Newline.

A few years ago, when retired North Carolina state wildlife biologist Terry Sharpe was chatting with friends about why they became interested in wildlife, he realized they all had one thing in common. As children, they enjoyed playing outdoors in creeks and fields.

When Sharpe’s wife Susan, a strong supporter of outdoor recreation and opportunities for children, died of cancer in 2005, Sharpe decided to create a scholarship in her name to get more young students interested in wildlife by attending a conservation camp where they could experience some of the fun Sharpe did as a child.

This year, four students will be selected to receive the Susan Sharpe memorial scholarship to attend the 2017 4H Fur Fish and Game Rendezvous Camps at Camp Millstone in Ellerbe, N.C. The scholarship, which began in 2006 with help from the North Carolina Chapter of The Wildlife Society, will cover $250 of the $440 registration cost.

The week-long camp will offer students ages 11 to 16 the opportunity to experience fishing, hunting and other educational conservation opportunities. A beginner’s camp will be offered July 16 to 21. An advanced camp for students who have already have hunter safety certificates will be July 23 to 28.

As part of the camp, Sharpe will teach what he calls “survival fishing,” giving campers a line, hook and pole, but leaving it to them to find bait and tie their lines. Students will also have opportunities to canoe, kayak and take part in archery sessions. They may visit fish hatcheries, help with prescribed burns and learn about deer herd health checks. They are expected to complete a service project after the camp is over.

“These are the kinds of things that made us wildlifers, and we’re hoping to give that kind of experience to the kids,” said Sharpe, a TWS member who currently provides forestry and wildlife consulting.

Students can apply for the scholarship by contacting him at sharpetl@etinternet.net by May 1.

Dana KobilinskyDana Kobilinsky is an associate science writer at The Wildlife Society. Contact her at dkobilinsky@wildlife.org with any questions or comments about her article. You can follow her on Twitter at @DanaKobi.

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