Youth Field Days

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Have you ever wanted to teach a child outdoor skills that can thrill them for a lifetime but wondered where and how you could do this? This year, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is sponsoring four Youth Field Days that give children ages 8-15 the chance to learn these outdoor skills in a safe, structured, fun-filled environment.

Fishing, ATV Riding, and shooting skills are just a few of the activities that comprise the Maine Youth Field Days. Space is limited at these events to ensure close, personalized instruction and supervision, so make sure you sign up early.

These Youth Field Days provide an opportunity for boys and girls ages 8-15 to learn various outdoor skills that will last them a lifetime. Rod and gun clubs, sportsman's groups from throughout the state and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife join together to create this unique hands-on outdoor learning opportunity.

At each field day, children will rotate through different activity stations throughout the day and will learn outdoor skills such as fishing, shooting with a .22 caliber rifle, shotgun skills, black powder riflery, archery, ATV riding, and a trapping demonstration. Each station will be staffed by certified instructors, Maine guides and other outdoor professionals.

At some events, children will get to test their luck fishing in a small pond stocked with brook trout, and can take their catch home. At the .22 caliber shooting range, kids will be able to hone target shooting skills on a range with state certified range safety officers. Participants will get three shots to burst a clay target at the shotgun shooting range. Budding archers will have the opportunity to take five shots with a bow and arrow at assorted targets. At the ATV station, children will be taught proper ATV safety, issued safety equipment and get a chance to drive and/or ride an ATV.

For the day, children will be divided into groups of 10 and assigned a group guide to escort them from one activity to another. Each group will spend approximately 45 minutes at each station. An outdoor barbecue with hamburgers and hot dogs is planned for lunch.

There is no fee for this program and spaces are expected to fill up fast. For more information on a youth field day in your area, please call one of these event coordinators:

York County Youth Field Day in Lyman, September 7 -- Bruce Martin, 284-4692.

Penobscot County Youth Field Day in Brewer, September 21 -- Woody Thompson, 876-3497.

Cumberland County Youth Field Day in Scarborough, September 28 - Reg Reed, 442-8421

Washington County Youth Field Day in Princeton, Date TBA - Harland Hitchings, 796-2282.