Students connect with nature at Conservation Day Camp


GREENVILLE — On June 12 and 13, 200 Darke County students attended Darke County Conservation Day Camp at Chenoweth Trails hosted by the Darke Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). The camp was designed to get kids outdoors and provide a hands-on approach to learning about their environment.

“Our goal was to get kids to unplug for a couple days and experience the environment we live in,” said Jared Coppess, District Administrator for Darke SWCD. “And try to sneak in a couple lessons while they are having fun,” said Elizabeth Farver, Nutrient Management Technician for Darke SWCD. Thanks to generous donations from the Light Foundation and the Darke County Chapter of Pheasants Forever, each camper received a nature journal with reference material to take what they learned at camp and apply it at home.

Camp attendees experienced archery, fishing, making bird feeders, animal habitats, forestry, games, hiking, soils and water quality. The kids left camp with a greater respect for the outdoors and a new perspective about how their actions affect the world around them.

Darke SWCD would like to thank the following sponsors for making this event possible: Light Foundation, Darke County Chapter #675 of Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever, DMF Bait Co., Ansonia Lumber Company, The Andersons Marathon, Buschurs Custom Farm Services Inc., Cy Schwieterman Inc., Darke County Park District, Edison State Community College: Department of Agriculture, Hollinger Excavating, Leis Realty Co, McGlinch Family Farms, NUPCO Plastic Tubing Inc., Ohio Department of Natural Resources- Division of Wildlife, Otte Ag LLC, Sport Fish & Wildlife Restoration.

“We want to thank the nearly 70 instructors and counselors who volunteered at camp, as well as, Greenville FFA and Versailles FFA for their time and labor in precutting the lumber for our bird feeders. Also, thank you to Karri Sherman and Greenville FFA and John Siegrist and Tri-Village Archery Club, along with their students, for volunteering their time to lead activities. Without our sponsors and volunteers, this event wouldn’t be possible,” said Coppess.

“We are fortunate to have the support from our community and a facility like Chenoweth Trails available to us here in Darke County,” added Farver. “This event continues to get better each year and we are excited to see what next year brings!”

To view pictures of the event and to sign up to receive an email when camp registration opens for 2025, please visit

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