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Unique Summer Camp Offers Girls Outdoor Opportunities

The Missouri Department of Conservation is hosting its second annual Discover Nature Girls Camp.
(MARYVILLE, Mo.) Girls attending the Missouri Department of Conservation's summer camp had an idea of what was coming.

"I expected a lot of noise and animals and fake animals," 11-year-old camper Zoey Christensen said.

And she was right, for the most part.

"Anything to pique an interest, and hopefully take it to that next stage," conservation agent Michele Holland said.

The Discover Nature Girls Camp -- for ages 11 through 15 -- was started by the department's northeast region and quickly spread across the state. It didn't take long for all 32 spots open for campers at Mozingo to fill up.

"The girls that didn't get in last year were waiting anxiously for it to go online. We were filled before we even got much of it advertised."

During the week, campers try their hand at canoeing, archery, dutch oven cooking, and will get hunter certified. Each took a turn skeet shooting Tuesday afternoon. Some girls are hesitant at first, but eventually come around.

"We have a lot of shy ones, but when they see some of their peers actually going, they're more willing to try. And we've got excellent instructors to teach them the proper way."

And through the first day of camp, kids are loving it.

"My favorite part so far is that stuff that they're doing over there (at the shooting range)," Christensen said. "It's because you actually get to get hands on guns and go 'bam!'

Shooting clay pigeons and getting on the lake are major draws for each camper,  but that's not all they take away from Mozingo after the week is over.

"You get to meet new people," Christensen said, "and I just love going outside and seeing nature."
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