Monday, July 18, 2016

Lacawac Sanctuary Student Leadership Academy Encourages STEM Careers

The Conservation Leadership Academy, hosted by Lacawac Sanctuary & Biological Field Station, was held on June 26 to July 1.  Sixteen campers from Wayne, Pike and surrounding counties were treated to an exciting week of outdoor adventures.  
Many professional volunteered their time to give the students outstanding experiences in the conservation field.   
Various conservation partners helped  coordinate the week long residential camp: Nick Spinelli from LWWMD; Emily Rinaldi from the Pike Conservation District, and Garret Beers and Tim Latz from DCNR Bureau of Forestry.
The highlight of the week was a day kayaking on the Delaware River with 10 Bald Eagle sightings.  
Other favorites include but are not limited to cheese tasting at Calkins Creamery, Water Sampling on Lake Wallenpaupack, learning to fly fish, bird banding with Dr. Meg Hatch (Penn State Worthington) and Dr. Rob Smith (University of Scranton), and a high ropes course.  
This diverse group of campers lived and worked together for 6 days, laughing, singing, exploring, learning, and having the time of their lives.  
Francesca Samony, a participant camper described her experience: “CLA has taught me many things about science, leadership and myself.  Before attending this camp, I was unsure of my interests, but now my love for biology has been solidified and I plan to study that in college.”  “Thanks to volunteers like you (Dr. Meg Hatch), I have had an amazing on of a kind experience that I will never forget.”
“I learned many virtues about leadership and conservation that I will have for probably the rest of my life,” wrote Chris Wallace, another camper, “and have 16 new best friends that I will know for a very long time.  My week at camp was truly an amazing adventure, and I hope the next generation of campers can have the same experience next year.”
(Photo Of This Year’s Participants: First Row L-R: Wilson Davis, Logan Gravina; Second Row L-R – Gabe Lott, Reese Newbern, Thomas Renner, Graceanne Olver, Sabrina Lewis, Chris Wallace; Third Row L-R – Francesca Samony, Beau Winchester, RJ Clemens, Brianna Metschulat, Garrett Kost, Edward Renner, Nicholas Ureffer, Henry Gravina.)
Conservation and Leadership Academy was sponsored and supported by the following sponsors who made this camp possible with their generous donations: Kate Svitek Foundation; Professional Forest Industry Association; Pike-Wayne Trout Unlimited; Bohemia Sportsman's Assoc Inc.; National Wild Turkey Federation; Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management District; Pike County Conservation District; Pike County Federation of Sportsmen's Club; Wayne County Conservation District; Northern Tier Hardwood Association; Northeast PA Audubon Society; Wagner Lumber; Wayne County Community Foundation; and the PA Junior Academy of Science Region 2.
Since its inception in 1966, the mission of Lacawac Sanctuary has been to preserve Lake Lacawac, its watershed, the surrounding forest and historic structures; provide a venue for ecological research, scholarly interaction and the training of scientists; provide public education on environmental and conservation issues; and conserve open space in Pennsylvania.
For over 40 years, Lacawac has accomplished this mission by offering a diverse set of natural areas, facilities, and programs for K-16 and post-secondary educators and students, area residents, scientific researchers, and summer visitors to the region.
Lacawac is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Wallenpaupack in Lake Ariel.  
For more information on Lacawac or its YES Afterschool Program, visit the Lacawac Sanctuary website or call 570-689-9494.

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