For 20 years the Dallas County Conservation Board has trekked with county high school students into the wilds. This year, for the first time, they are extending the invitation to seventh and eighth graders in Dallas County in a program called Wild Trek Iowa 2015.
Applications for the program are due Friday, May 15.
“Dallas County Conservation Board’s Wild Iowa Trek 2015 will trek you to some of Iowa’s wildest places, teach you the skills to experience their wildness and challenge you to examine the role of wildness in your life,” said Chris Adkins, environmental education coordinator with the county conservation board and the trek program’s director.
The three-day program starts June 16 at the Kuehn Nature Area near Earlham, where young people will receive training in Leave No Trace camping skills from conservation department naturalists. Basic kayak skills will also be taught, with paddling on the Middle Raccoon River and overnight camping at Kuehn rounding out the first day.
Day two includes a trip to Charles City’s WhiteWater Park for a whitewater kayaking experience presented by Crawdaddy’s Outdoors. The Dallas County trekkers will then travel to Backbone State Park in Delaware County for a Leave No Trace camping challenge and overnight camping and star gazing.
A rock climbing and rappelling clinic on the rock faces of Backbone will begin the third day, with time for young people to hike the trails of Backbone before returning home.
Adkins said the application process for Wild Trek Iowa requires young people to compose a letter explaining why they want to join the trek and what they hope to get out of the experience. Each applicants also need a letter of recommendation from an adult non-family member in support of his or her application.
Applications for Wild Trek Iowa 2015 are due May 15 and should be sent to Dallas County Conservation, 14581 K Ave., Perry, IA 50220. The cost of the Wild Iowa Trek program is $175 and is due at the time of acceptance.
For more information or to apply, call the Dallas County Conservation Board at 515-465-3577.