Monday, August 4, 2014

Reindeer program offers youth camp

Young people from Stebbins, Savoonga, Nome and Anchorage will attend a Reindeer Youth Development Camp Aug. 9-12 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Jennifer Robinette has planned a motivating four-day camp for Alaska youth.
Jennifer Robinette, outreach coordinator for the Reindeer Research Program, developed the workshop to teach rural youth not only the basics of reindeer husbandry but leadership skills at the same time.

She and guest speakers will lead sessions on halter training, record keeping, grains and fertilizers, meat cutting, forage ecology and goal setting. A UAF veterinarian will work with the campers to demonstrate reindeer physical exams.

Attendees were selected because of their interest in raising reindeer; some come from herd owning families. "We'll teach the pros and cons about each job that reindeer can do and what works best in their communities," Robinette said.

Once the students return home they will implement 4-H projects based on what they learned in Fairbanks.

This is the first time UAF has offered the camp. "In the future we want to have a longer camp," Robinette said. "We want to work with youths who have access to large reindeer herds off the road system."

The camp was funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

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