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Sunday, July 21, 2024 at 1:33 PM

Grange Youth Attend Range Camp

Grange Youth Attend Range Camp
Richard Gomez and Garrett Gardner reported on their camping experience at a recent Grange meeting.

Author: Courtesy High Desert Grange

High Desert Grangers Richard (Rich) Gomez and Garrett Gardner had the unique opportunity to attend this year’s Range Camp held from June 19 to June 24. Sponsored by the Nevada Rangeland Resources Commission, Range Camp is designed to disconnect high school students who live in Nevada from their familiar world and immerse them into a world they don’t know, the Northern Nevada range. Urban dwellers, young ranchers, and budding farmers are all invited to participate in this hands-on opportunity. Instructors come from a variety of range land management groups. Decades-old, the Range Camp exposes youth to the realities and needs of the flora and fauna of a given area. This year’s camp was held at Timber Creek Campground northeast of Ely and supported twenty students. Rich and Garrett were personally sponsored by the Conservation District.

Seventeen-year-old Rich has attended before. This year’s Range Camp differed from his past experience in that the Timber Creek Campground had not been explored as extensively. This campground is quite scenic, and that peaked his two favorite activities hiking and camping. When asked what is the most important thing he learned this year Rich replied, “I learned that every single occupant of the area has their own need.”  Many, if not all, Grangers raise their own livestock. New animal maintenance methods, both in the wild and in the barnyard, are of great interest to Grange members. “I learned what is more nutritional for my animals,” said Rich when he spoke about what this year’s camp experience could bring to his fellow Grange members. 

Garrett, fifteen years old and a six-year Granger, attended camp for the first time this year. He decided to go because it sounded like fun. What did he like best about camp? “The activities like catching the fish in the river and learning about their populations,” he said. The thing he liked least was the six-thirty wake-up call with banging pots. What was the most important thing he learned? Replying enthusiastically, he said, “The compass course. We used a compass to measure the degrees for the direction and then counted our steps for the distance to find the caution tape that had been put out.” Garrett’s awareness of the Northern Nevada ecosystem grew in many ways. Most importantly, he learned that rangers set fire in specific areas to allow certain plants to grow.

Activities are both solitary and communal, all created to expand understanding of the meaning of stewardship of the range. Both Rich and Garrett would like to attend again. If you are interested in joining next year’s Range Camp, please contact [email protected] or call (775) 726-3564.