|Volunteers renovated the Barry Camp Recreation Building at the August work weekend. Come join the fun at the next work weekend, Sept. 25-26, 2010.|
Jane Vachon, 603-271-3211
Judy Silverberg, 603-271-3211
September 1, 2010
Volunteer at Barry Camp Work Weekend Sept. 25-26, 2010, in Berlin, NH
BERLIN, N.H. -- An enthusiastic team of volunteers tackled the start of renovations at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Barry Conservation Camp in Berlin, N.H., during the first work weekend in mid-August. In two days of focused activity, the volunteer crew was able to completely refurbish the camp's recreation building, where campers gather for instruction and fun. Volunteers stripped off the building's old siding, put on new siding and stained it; squared up all the windows and door; removed and replaced rotted soffit and fascia boards; and capped off the improvements with a long-lasting new metal roof. See "before" and "after" photos of the impressive results at www.wildnh.com/barrycamp/barrycamp_progress.html.
The next work weekend is scheduled for September 25-26, 2010. If you can volunteer your time, especially if you have carpentry skills, please contact Mike Normandin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-455-5435. Overnight accommodations are available.
The August work weekend was an exciting launch for a big job – all the camp's buildings are seriously in need of repair, and money is being raised to help pay for current renovations and create an endowment to put the camp on stable footing into the future.
Mike Normandin, a member of the Belknap County Sportsmen’s Association, is one of many who are leading the charge to re-open Barry Camp for the summer of 2011. "I'm excited about seeing the construction phase through with volunteer help," said Normandin. "Hopefully, this project will help pull all sportsmen together and show what can be done when we work together!"
In addition to volunteers, $50,000 in cash donations are needed by mid-December if the camp is to reopen next summer. Contributions can be sent to the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of N.H., PO Box 3993, Concord, NH 03301 (specify Barry Camp Fund).
What kinds of activities take place at Barry Conservation Camp? Over the years, thousands of New Hampshire youth have learned to shoot, fish, hunt, hike, camp and appreciate the outdoors at Barry Camp, which is operated by the N.H. Fish and Game Department in partnership with 4-H through UNH Cooperative Extension.
As recently as 2009, youth campers age 10-16 attended a series of weeklong overnight summer sessions at Barry Camp. Novice anglers learned the basic skills and equipment needed to start fishing, while campers with more experience worked on improving their fishing skills. Another week offered campers the chance to learn marksmanship, safe and responsible use of firearms, principles of hunting and archery, and conservation ethics. A third week was a full-fledged Hunter Education and Certification course. Another session gave youth a chance to experience nature and the great outdoors by cooking a meal from gathered plants, filleting a fish and cooking it over an open fire, sleeping under the stars, climbing a mountain and more. This kind of programming is expected to continue into the future once the camp is able to reopen.
"Let's face it, Barry Camp is probably not going to pull youngsters away from today's electronics, but it is a great place to expose kids to the outdoors -- something they should not miss out on," said Normandin.
In addition to the summer camp program, the unique facility at Barry Camp -- with residential cabins, recreation building, dining hall and kitchen -- expands Fish and Game's capability for offering outdoor education for all ages. Barry Camp has been used to host Let's Go Fishing fly-fishing workshops for adults and families, teacher-training sessions organized by Fish and Game's Wildlife Education staff, and Becoming an Outdoors-Woman programs including a session on learning to cook with wild foods.
The N.H. Fish and Game Department is committed to maintaining the camp, but resources are limited. "If sportsmen and women, conservation commissions, clubs and others get involved, we can bring this camp back for our kids," said Fish and Game Executive Director Glenn Normandeau, who rolled up his sleeves and pitched in on the construction work in August. "There are lots of ways to help. Most of all, we need people to make a long-term commitment to the future of Barry Camp."
To get involved, visit www.wildnh.com/barrycamp for a list of specific renovations needed at Barry Camp and to follow the progress of the project. You can even find a section on "Barry Camp Memories." Clubs, organizations and individuals can adopt a specific project, give money or volunteer their time. Everything helps!
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