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CONTACT:
Judy Silverberg, 603-271-3211
Mike Normandin, 603-455-5435
August 6, 2010

Take the Barry Conservation Camp Challenge
Effort Initiated to Refurbish and Reopen Outdoor Education Center for Youth

MEDIA: Click on image for larger photo to print.
Girl archer at Barry Camp
Over the years, thousands of children have learned to hunt, fish and appreciate the natural world through their experiences at Barry Conservation Camp.
Archery instruction at Barry Camp
Archery class in session at Barry Conservation Camp. A campaign is underway to reopen the camp for the summer of 2011.

CONCORD, N.H. -- Let’s get Barry Conservation Camp UP and running for summer 2011!  That's the battle cry for a new initiative aimed at refurbishing and reopening the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's woodsy summer camp in Berlin, N.H.  For almost thirty years, thousands of kids have experienced Barry Conservation Camp, learning outdoor skills such as camping, shooting, hiking, hunting and fishing, as well as deepening their appreciation for the conservation of our natural resources. Fish and Game ran the camp in partnership with 4-H through UNH Cooperative Extension.  The camp was closed late in 2009.

"Having places and programs for connecting kids to the outdoors is essential for our future," said Mike Normandin, a member of the Belknap County Sportsmen’s Association who has stepped forward to coordinate the effort to reopen the camp. "Many sportsmen and women and alumni of Barry Conservation Camp feel the closing was most unfortunate, as it was the only full-fledged conservation camp in the state. The Barry Camp experience may well have influenced youth to pursue careers in conservation, as well as giving them the skills to enjoy a lifelong personal connection with the outdoors."

The N.H. Fish and Game Department is committed to maintaining the camp, but has few resources to commit to the project.  "As we all know, these are tough times and with limited resources, the N.H. Fish and Game Department has struggled to keep the camp going," said Fish and Game Executive Director Glenn Normandeau. "If we want kids to have a camp to enjoy, sportsmen and women, conservation commissions, clubs and interested individuals must step up to the plate. We not only need help with current repairs, but also a long-term commitment to the future of this unique camp." 

There are multiple ways people can get involved with the Barry Camp Challenge:

Adopt a Project:  Your club or organization can adopt a building or camp facility. This means making the necessary repairs and making a minimum 5-year commitment to helping Barry Camp.  Projects range from adopting a basic 20 x 20-foot cabin or building a porch addition on the dining hall, to taking on smaller less-intensive projects such as installing new outdoor steps leading to the upper level of cabins.  You can find a detailed list of Barry Camp projects and needs at www.wildnh.com/barrycamp.

Donate:  A second way to help is by giving money. There is a need to raise at least $50,000 by December 2010 to help with the current list of repairs, as well as to provide a maintenance endowment for the future.  Monetary donations can be sent to the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, PO Box 3993, Concord, NH 03301. Please specify that the donation is for the Barry Camp Fund.

Volunteer:  Pitch in and help fix up the camp. The initial need is for 15 to 20 people with good carpentry skills to help with the first phase of repairs. The first work weekend is scheduled for August 14-15, 2010; to take part, you must register by contacting Mike Normandin. Additional work weekends will be scheduled in the near future.

Of course, you can always be a champion and help in all three ways!

For information on adopting a camp project, donating or volunteering, please contact Mike Normandin at mike@townserve.com or 603-455-5435.

"We at Belknap County Sportsmen’s Association see a tremendous opportunity for organizations such as ours, and like-minded civic clubs, to make a difference," concluded Normandin. "This is an opportunity to show that sportsmen can and will give generously of their time and resources when asked. Let’s get Barry Conservation Camp in shape and take a small step in ensuring that our kids can benefit from positive outdoor experiences."

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