Summer camp usually creates memories of handmade clay ashtrays, swimming lessons and archery -- not bald eagle habitat management or tree farming.
That is, unless you're one of 16 Native American high school students planning to attend the Natural Resources Summer Camp at Haskell Indian Junior College.
"We have students coming from all over," said Barbara Cornelius, administrative assistant with Haskell's Natural Resources Program. "We have one from Virginia, two from Wyoming, and others from Minnesota, Arizona and Oklahoma."
The students, eight boys and eight girls, will get the combined experience of classroom and hands-on work during the two-week camp, which runs from Sunday through June 20.
"They'll learn about career opportunities in natural resources from guest speakers," said Cornelius.
The students will stay in residence halls on campus during their stay.
But the hands-on experience will come from field trips all around Lawrence, from the Kaw Valley Fish Farm to the Marais des Cygne Wildlife Preserve to Haskell's Medicine Wheel Earthwork.
Topics to be discussed include cultural and social interaction with wildlife by Native Americans, regulating wetlands, and lake management.
The campers also will pitch in and help with work and chores in wildlife refuges around the state, for which they will be rewarded with a small stipend.
This is the second year in a row that Haskell has hosted such a camp for the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which sponsors similar camps across the country. The service began the camps to help recruit minority students into natural resources education at universities and colleges.
"The students in the camp will learn more about the natural environment and how it affects them and their future as far as their tribes go," Cornelius said.
Cornelius hopes the students participating in the camps will decide to remain in school and graduate to work in natural science areas such as forestry, wildlife management, minerals and water rights. These areas are becoming more and more essential to Native American life, especially on reservations, she said.