We invite high school youth to enjoy a week of fun, camping, and learning about rangelands and natural resource management. This year the camp headquarters will be located at the Smith Creek Ranch (located 40 minutes southwest of Austin, NV), providing a splendid setting for learning and recreation.
The camp has a long and successful history. Since 1961, hundreds of Nevada's youth have participated in the program. Today, many former campers manage natural resources for their families, communities, or agencies.
Nevada Youth Range Camp focuses on relationships between people and rangeland. Campers learn about plants, wildlife, water, and soil in order to make good decisions about rangeland management and use. They learn skills and explore careers in rangeland and related resource management. The camp challenges youth to explore resource problems and to create logical solutions.
The week is filled with many learning opportunities. Instructors teach various subjects through group investigations. Camp instructors and counselors are trained specialists from the University of Nevada, Reno; Natural Resources Conservation Service; Bureau of Land Management; Forest Service; Nevada Division of Forestry; Nevada Division of Conservation Districts; Nevada Division of Wildlife; and others.
During the week, campers learn the importance of range plants, how to identify them, and their usefulness to livestock, wildlife, and watersheds. They focus on the connections between range soils and vegetation. Campers study wildlife and learn about wildlife habitat conservation. A local rancher takes campers on a ranch tour and discusses range management as a business. Campers also use teamwork to develop and present a rangeland management plan and implement a conservation project.
Campers arrive by noon on Sunday and break camp the following Saturday morning. Campers register and form groups with an adult counselor and assistant youth counselor. The weeklong program runs from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and includes instruction, projects, rest, meals, and recreation. Adult supervision occurs throughout the entire week. Parents and sponsors are welcome to visit the camp any time and are especially invited for the Friday night awards program. The evening programs are geared more for enjoyment and personal interest and include map and compass orientation, conservation skill workshops, wildlife presentations, and campfires. At mid-week, a shower and swim at the Austin pool precedes the BBQ and special evening program.
While the camp is educational, it also offers an enjoyable outdoor experience shared with youth from around Nevada. Activities include swimming, fishing, hiking, volleyball, horseshoes, campfires, and entertainment, along with ample opportunities for photography. Campers must bring along their own tackle and valid Nevada fishing license if they plan to fish.
How to Apply
- Download and save the application packet to your
- Using Adobe Acrobat, complete the entire application packet by filling out, signing, and saving
- Ask an adult other than a parent, relative, or sibling to write a letter of recommendation for
- Please email your application packet and letter of recommendation to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also print the application packet and mail it and your letter of recommendation to:
NV Youth Range Camp
c/o Bureau of Land Management Attn: Kathryn Dyer
1340 Financial Blvd.
Reno, NV 89502
Please note that if you submit your application and letter of recommendation by email, the letter of recommendation must be a scanned copy of the adult’s signed letter or be formatted on the adult’s official letterhead. Applications must be postmarked or emailed by designated due date. You will receive an acceptance letter by email. Please submit payment by designated due date. The payment should be sent to:
Nevada Society for Range Management Attn: Treasurer, Erica Freese
3900 Warren Way, Reno, NV 89509
If you have any questions regarding the application process, feel free to contact Kathryn Dyer at email@example.com or (775)861-6647
Map to Range Camp
Help Support the Nevada Youth Range Camp
Since 1961 NEVADA YOUTH RANGE CAMP has been educating Nevada youth from 14-18 years old. Each June, 20-50 youth and 15 plus adults come to Big Creek Campground in the Toiyabe Mountains south of Austin for a week of learning and fun.
The curriculum, designed by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) and taught by practicing professionals from various state and federal agencies, investigates rangelands, soils, pinyonjuniper woodlands, water and riparian habitats, and wildlife. Campers visit a working ranch and work on a conservation project, learn to use a GPS and compass, visit a Snotel site, and participate in a Coordinated Resource Management simulation to put together all they have learned that week. Campers work in groups led by a professional in natural resources; even the cooks are experienced rangeland personnel.
Campers compile a notebook of what they have been taught and learn and test on 50 locally growing plants. Group counselors use the scores from these and observed participation to pick the best students, the Trailboss and runner-up. These campers are sent to the international meeting of the Society for Range Management (SRM) by the Nevada Section of SRM where they participate in the High School Youth Forum with other students from all over the United States. They present an eight-minute talk on a natural resource topic of their choice.
It’s not all work but lots of fun at Range Camp too. Volley ball, fishing, swimming, making new friends, camping and lots of great food as well as elective talks on such topics as primitive archery, fly fishing and mist netting bats are available.
The program is supported by Nevada Section of Society for Range Management (NV SRM), Nevada Bighorns Unlimited, Nevada’s Conservation Districts, UNCE, Boss Tanks, and the federal and state agencies that send the adults to lead and educate. These are many: NRCS, USFS, BLM, UNR, NDF, Nevada State Parks, NDEP, DCNR, NDOW, and USFWS among others. Further information is available at: http://nevada.rangelands.org/index.html.
Your donation will allow this camp to continue for another 50+ years, training Nevada youth for natural resource careers and helping create a better-informed public. Money will be used for equipment, food, maintenance of the kitchen and commissary trailers, supplies and sponsorships for campers.
Please send checks made out to “NV SRM,” preferably with “Range Camp Donation” written in the memo, to the Section treasurer: Erica Freese, 3900 Warren Way, Reno, NV 89509. Thank you!