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Outdoor Adventure Day to be held Saturday

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FORT DRUM — Families are encouraged to unplug this weekend during the inaugural Outdoor Adventure Day.

More than a dozen stations of outdoor activities will be set up from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Natural Resources Permit Office Building, S-2509, off Route 26.

The free event is sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County and the Natural Resources Branch Directorate of Public Works on Fort Drum.

“Part of it is to maybe try something, or two things, they never tried, or maybe something they haven’t tried for a long time but want to do it again,” said Raymond E. Rainboldt, a Fish & Wildlife Management Program biologist for the Environmental Division of Public Works on Fort Drum.

“We’ve tried to build this so anyone can participate,” he said.

All ages can explore stations devoted to topics including fishing, archery, hunting, forestry, trapping, air pistols, arts and crafts, Smokey Bear, fish and wildlife, outdoor safety, outdoor cooking, geocaching and orienteering, as well as a climbing wall.

The stations will have various levels for different age groups. For example, in the archery and air pistols categories, only participants ages 10 and older will be able to use the real tools at those stations.

Younger children will learn some techniques and proper safety instructions, but will practice with Nerf guns instead, Mr. Rainboldt said.

Stephanie A. Graf, youth and family development program leader for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County, said Cooperative Extension and the Fort Drum Public Works office became partners for the event when both agencies realized they had similar missions and wanted to educate children and families on the outdoors.

“With his resources and our resources, it was ‘How could we better serve kids in the community?’” Mrs. Graf said. “Our staff combined have a lot of talent and experience.”

At the fishing station, Mr. Rainboldt said, there will be various reels for people to try, and small pools set up so people can practice their casting techniques.

Mrs. Graf said that at the geocaching station, there will be various GPS devices for people to learn to use, and participants can practice using the system to find hidden caches or treasures.

Other highlights include a display of animal calls, a demonstration on how to skin a beaver, and safety education on basic first aid, watching out for ticks and being aware of the dangers posed by lightning.

Many activities offered Saturday are available through participation with the extension office’s 4-H program.

Mrs. Graf said there are about 500 registered 4-H participants in Jefferson County, and the agency is always looking for more participants and leaders.

To learn more about 4-H, call Cooperative Extension at 788-8450.

While there is no admission or parking charge for Saturday’s event, Carthage American Legion Post 789 will host a chicken barbecue, beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Proceeds from food sales will benefit scholarship funds awarded by the Legion.

Outdoor Adventure Day will be held rain or shine, so people are encouraged to check the weather and dress appropriately, Mr. Rainboldt said.

For more information on the event, visit http://wdt.me/tzEqrd.

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