Happy campers

Julie Geiser, Nebraska Game and Parks public information officer, teaches Kids Klub participants fire safety practices at the Lake Maloney campground on Monday. The students are from Lincoln Elementary School in North Platte.

Kids Klub gets students into great outdoors

Packing out what you bring in is good camping etiquette, Kids Klub participants learned Monday at the Lake Maloney campground.

Fourth- and fifth-grade students from Lincoln Elementary learned how to set up a tent and how to keep safe around a campfire. They then took some time to clean up the campground near the outlet of the lake.

“Not all kids get the chance to get outdoors,

and this is a baby step on getting outside and learning some camping etiquette,” said Julie Geiser, public information officer for Nebraska Game and Parks. “How do we camp, how do we set up a tent, how do we maintain a fire, how do we keep safe around a fire?”

The students were divided into three groups and each participated in three stations. The first station was the campfire, where the kids roasted marshmallows and made s’mores. Geiser directed the kids in various aspects of safety around the fire.

Alison Bleich, naturalist at Lake McConaughy, talked the students through the process of setting up a tent.

“The students will learn about tent placement,” Geiser said. “Do we want to put our tent on a slope, do we want a flat surface, and do we need to be aware of trees that we’re under.”

Kids Klub director Carrie Lienemann said the funding for the program was part of a grant from the Nebraska Department of Education.

“Today was a culmination of a lot of hard work between Kids Klub and the Department of Education,” Lienemann said. “North Platte was lucky enough to submit their proposal for funding and to have it accepted. We were given $10,000 to expose kids to possible career choices.”

The program introduces children to various jobs within the state.

“We decided that working with the Game and Parks would expose them to some natural Nebraska opportunities for employment,” Lienemann said. “Perhaps they might decide to work in Nebraska in a technical trade in the future.”

The culmination of the program funded by the grant will take place in October, when the Kids Klub students will take a field trip to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo.

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