Monday, 19 June 2017 08:00

Southern Alberta Range Days return this summer

Written by  Demi Knight
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Southern Alberta Youth Range Days are back for its 10th time. The annual three-day camp is held every year in hopes to prepare and educate youth about working in agricultural landscapes.

People aged between 13 and 18 are open to attend the event, which this year, is being held at the Gold Springs Park in Milk River July 18-20.
The camp aims to educate young people in the agricultural fields, allowing them to gain more knowledge about local wildlife, working within ranches, plant identification and range health sessions.
Tim Romanow, executive director of Milk River Watershed Council and original committee member of the Youth Range Days, says these days are a great opportunity for future career paths for the youths of Alberta
 “It’s a really great opportunity to get out and learn about working range lands, how everything interacts,” says Romanow. “We’re not trying to make farmers, we just want the kids to see things in a different way and all the agriculture options that are available to them if they wanted a career that would keep them close to home.”
This interactive three-day camp allows youth to learn what it takes to maintain environment sustainability within agricultural landscapes.
They are working outdoors in a number of different circumstances with several hands-on activities to give them the best experience of what the farming and agriculture job descriptions really look like. 
Romanow says this camp has been a stepping stone in shaping many youths’ futures within its 10 years of being active.
“A lot of our participants are only one or two years away from graduating high school so it’s good for them to have these options presented to them. Quite a few have actually gone on to agriculture and environmental studies in university and college.”
In fact, some people want to have the experience of these Youth Range Camp Days more than once, with several participants returning for a second year to outdo their competitors in the mini challenges as well as forging relationships with other members throughout the experience.
“A lot of organizers have actually stayed in touch. We’ve given job references, recommendations. Because this is the 10th year, some alumni are getting together the night before these Range Days start and a few might stick around to talk to the new kids this year,” adds Romanow.
Over the past several years, the camp has gained more popularity among the public and has consistently reached its maximum limit of 30 participants.
However, Romanow says none of this would be possible without the help of the sponsors, municipal partners and agriculture societies that step up to make this experience as great as it is.
“All the partners we have to do these range days make the whole experience possible. They all step up and want to see local kids being involved with agriculture in Alberta, and they’re the reason that we are able to keep the price so low and make this experience what it is.”
 The registration fee for this camp is $75 per person and is open until July 1.
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