Final preparations are under way for the fourth annual Cade Bullins Memorial Youth Conservation Day. Teresa Wilkins, 4-H Youth Development extension agent, is pleased with public response to the event.
“We’ve had an overwhelming response,” said Wilkins. “There have been 100 participants register for the event so far.” She said that registration for the event closed at noon Wednesday. This is the first year the conservation day will be held at the Raven Knob Boy Scout Camp in Mount Airy. Since at least one parent or guardian is required to accompany participants, attendance could meet or exceed 200 persons.
The conservation day is a floating event where participants are given directions and a map. Participants can have a special registration card punched as they participate in activities. This card may be turned in later for door prize drawings. Wilkins said numerous door prizes were provided by Walmart in Elkin and W-4 Farms of Dobson.
“The staff of Raven Knob Boy Scout Camp has been really helpful to us as well,” said Wilkins.
The event is staged annually to honor Cade Bullins, who was killed in an ATV accident. He was the son of Wildlife Resources Officer Steve Bullins.
“Steve Bullins has been very gracious to allow us to honor his son in this way,” said Wilkins. “We appreciate all he’s done to make this possible.
“We are stressing safety in all our activities,” added Wilkins. “Knowing and taking smart precautions is the main lesson we want participants to take home with them. We really want to show kids that there is something besides TV and computers. Many think they know the safety rules and have good intentions, but we are giving them an opportunity to learn more things from the professionals in those areas.”
ATV safety will be taught by Dr. Jimo Ibraham from North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro. Ibraham is a specialist in this field with the university and will cover topics including proper equipment and how to fit a child to an ATV. Participants will not be riding ATVs at the event.
The Boy Scouts will be offering classes on outdoor cooking and will be demonstrating at least three different methods to prepare food, including Dutch and solar oven cooking. The scouts also will teach fire safety and how to interact with fire. Rock climbing and a low rope course also will be offered by the scouts. A rock climbing wall for young adventurers as well as a more challenging wall for older climbers will be provided.
“The best part is that you get to taste the food they’ve cooked,” explained Wilkins. “It is so good.” She also said the group plans to open the Raven Knob Museum that will include natural history exhibits.
Another important lesson the scouts will teach is to leave no trace behind on outdoor activities. The goal with this program is to teach good stewardship when enjoying the wilderness but leave no trash and make a minimal impact on the ecosystem.
Raven Knob staff also will be involved with the Surry Long Spurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Foundation in Black Powder and hunter safety, and archery and a shooting range for BB guns will be provided thanks to the foundation’s mobile, enclosed shooting range. North Carolina Park Ranger Keith Martin will be on hand to help participants in this area as well.
Kin Hodges of the NC Resources Commission will offer fishing opportunities for participants. Wilkins said that Hodges will have fishing gear and bait on hand and would especially like to reach out to children who have never fished. Hodges also can discuss fishing regulations with participants.
The Surry Baptist Men’s Association will be helping with safety education throughout the day especially chainsaw safety. The group will bring their disaster relief trailer to showcase projects they have completed and explain how they construct ramps for disabled access.
“There are so many projects this group works on,” said Wilkins. “Helping after natural disasters is just one activity they are involved with.”
The Rev. Jacob Norman and his family will be on hand to teach a survival skills class for participants. The Normans will show how to construct shelters using readily available items.
“Kids really enjoyed it last year and will get a chance to know about what the National Wild Turkey Federation does,” continued Wilkins.
Sponsors for the conservation day include Walmart, Surry County 4-H, National Wild Turkey Federation, N.C. State Parks, Surry Baptist’s Men Association, The Norman Way Life School, N.C. Cooperative Extension, Raven Knob Scout Reservation, N.C. A&T University and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952