MOUNT GILEAD — A total of 110 youth recently attended the Environmental Focused Youth Camp that was held at Headwaters Outdoor Educational Center, 151 Home Road.

Students participating in the camp represented Mt. Gilead Exempted Village, Gilead Christian School, Cardington, Highland, Northmor, Big Walnut, Pleasant, and Colonel Crawford local schools. Youth were recruited as MEEC members completed educational programs at the local schools the end of May to help celebrate Earth Day, Every Day. The youth camp was sponsored by Morrow County Environmental Education Committee (MEEC).

Altogether, six learning groups were formed. Campers learned about Bee Keeping, Soil and Water, Recycling, Fossils, Weather, Ecosystems, Wildlife, Habitats and how to be Morrow County Green Crusaders all year long. The camp experience was held June 14-18.

A camp highlight was the building and racing of recycled material “derby” cars. Campers spent two days learning about STEM techniques of car building and then designed and assembled their race cars out of water bottles, bottle caps, straws, skewers and tape. Campers then had the opportunity to race their cars at the second annual Environmental Fair that was held on Saturday, June 19.

This event drew over 50 local residents, who helped cheer on the derby racers and interacted with local agency representatives. Top derby cars were engineered by: Ava Blaszyk, Eric Nolting, and Kenadee Paykoff (Grades 3-5) and Garrett Reeve, Bob Somogye, and Kylie Nash (Grades K-2).

A special thank you to the following local businesses for their donations and extra support: Tidy Tim’s Inc., Mary K’s Flowers and Gifts and Bill Schmidt Custom Concrete. The camp would have not been possible without the many guest speakers, educators form local agencies and surrounding county agencies and members of the Morrow County Environmental Education Committee (MEEC) who shared their time and efforts to help expand the camper’s experience.

Nichole Schmidt and campers Aleah Miller and Nichole Schmidt. Schmidt and campers Aleah Miller and Nichole Schmidt. Courtesy photos

Caleb Ruhl with his recycle art at Environmental Focused Youth Camp. Ruhl with his recycle art at Environmental Focused Youth Camp. Courtesy photos

By Lindsey Grimm

For The Sentinel

Grimm is the Director of Morrow County Recycling/Keep Morrow County Beautiful.