Audrey Jennings provided her perspective on this year's Youth Fly Fishing and Conservation Camp. Here's her story:
Overall, my experience at camp was fantastic. I learned a lot, laughed a lot, and had a lot of fun. This camp was great if you enjoyed science or are simply curious, because the long days are spent collecting bugs, learning about fish, exploring habitats, observing stream ecology, hearing about fluvial geomorphology (Vocab points), wading, exploring the AuSable area, fly tying, and, of course, fly fishing. (Personally, I enjoyed the fly fishing the most.) I learned so much about all of these things, the week in Michigan felt more like a year’s worth of adventures and excitement. Also, everyone there was very nice, including the camp leaders, the campers, and the kind people we met. This was one of the best weeks of my life, from the people to the activities to the beautiful scenery.
One event I remember is from after we had had a very long day. That morning, we had fished, collected bugs, took a hike, learned about how the water shapes the earth, the way the Ausable’s ecosystem(s) survive, and had surveyed a section of the river, as well as a lot I am forgetting. More specifically, I believe we had gone to our fishing spot when it began to thunder and lightning. It was four of us girls, three mentors, and bags of gear, and as the rain came down we all scrambled to get in the car. I remember landing on my roommate Trinity after jumping in. So at this point we were cold, wet, and sad because we couldn’t go fishing. Everyone sat kind of miserably for a few minutes as we drove away, until us four girls happened to glance at each other. We cracked up. Once we regained our breath, we asked the mentors to crank the radio up and sang aloud, told stupid science jokes (A photon checks into a motel. The bellhop asks if he needs help with his luggage, to which the photon responds “No, I’m traveling light”) , and laughed the whole hour back to camp. Even when the night went wrong, we still had a fantastic time, and were able to go fishing about 11 times that week.