Conservation Day Camp a success

By Kate Sills - For Preble SWCD

EATON — June 17- June 21, the Preble Soil and Water Conservation District hosted its fourth annual Conservation Day Camp at the Preble County Historical Society.

This year’s camp was extended to 5 days in length and welcomed over 135 second through fifth grade Preble County students.

The rainy weather cleared up for most of the days, but left muddy trails in the wake. A handful of 4-year campers were recognized for attending each year that the camp has been open, and many had come back as counselors.

Each day was filled with several activities, including tie-dye, archery, fishing, history, group activities, pollinator habitats, crafts, geocaching, streams, animals, and more.

The forestry program demonstrated the growth of trees by using tennis balls as acorns and kids as trees. Smokey the Bear also made an appearance for the kids at lunch time.

The mud was put to good use as kids worked together to build a beaver dam with mud and sticks. Craft time was a favorite among the campers, as they put together “buzz saws” and learned about the growth rings in trees.

The last day ended with sunshine, two great demonstrations, and a fun-filled field day.

The Gratis Fire Department brought an excellent crew to discuss safety and explain the use of their trucks. Officer Jones of the Eaton Police Department and Officer Betsinger of the Dayton Police Department attended day camp with their K-9 partners, Shadow (Eaton) and Hugo (Dayton), for demonstration and education.

The Preble SWCD would like to extend a very special thank you to all of our presenters, volunteers, and sponsors.

Sponsors included the Preble County Historical Society, Cargill, Darke Rural Electric, LCNB National Bank, Rumpke, Brubaker Grain, Wildcat Sports and Graphics, and Gillman Home Center.

For more information about Conservation Day Camp, call the office at 937-456-5159 or email

By Kate Sills

For Preble SWCD