Attention kids and parents! Join our Virtual Wildlife and Outdoor Skills Camp

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June 2020

Oh, what to do with these kids

It's a weekday morning in mid-June and my two boys, ages four and six, remind me that I had promised them waffles for breakfast. And don't forget the strawberries and chocolate chips. Kids hold you to those sorts of things. 

Around this time, last year, I was filling two backpacks with tubes of sunscreen, water bottles and sunhats. Earlier this week, an envelope arrived from a local summer camp; I half-expected it to contain a reminder to parents to round up those protective essentials. I registered my older son for a few weekly camp sessions about a month ago in hopes that we'd return to some kind of normal by summertime.

Inside the envelope was a refund check. Camp's off. Even the late July sessions were canceled. 

If you're also a parent of small children, right about now, maybe you've given up on trying to convince them that the TV remote is broken (please remove the batteries first if you're going to attempt this little lie). How about playing with your cars instead? Clean your room? Read? Color? 

We have a lot of staffers here at the Department who have been working to bring a new appreciation of New Mexico's great outdoors indoors, or, at least to your backyards, until the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. My colleagues miss being out at their favorite parks, camps and lakes where they spend most of their work hours teaching kids how to tie flies, identify reptiles or improve their shooting skills. 

We thought we'd collect some of these activities and create a virtual camp for those of you looking to help your kids improve their understanding of our state's wildlife or sharpen their skills for an upcoming hunting or fishing trip. 

Let us know what you think. Send us an email and share your experiences, or tell us about your favorite outdoor activities on our Facebook page.

We'll get through this. 

Alexa J. Henry
Editor, New Mexico Wildlife



Welcome to the Department's
Virtual Wildlife and Outdoor Skills Camp!

Joining this camp is very easy. Kids can start any Monday, any week this summer. And don't forget to visit our Facebook page every Friday starting July 10 to share your experiences or ask a wildlife biologist a question. 

Also, register for today's webinar about snakes! 
All About Snakes in New Mexico 

Department contests:
Youth Essay Contest
Youth Art Contest


MONDAY: Birdwatching

Have you seen any of these birds in your backyard? Click the worksheets below to learn more about each bird: 

Gila woodpecker
Broad-billed hummingbird
Northern flicker
Mountain bluebird
House finch

TUESDAY: Let's practice! Tying fishing knots

Dennis Segura, sport fishing coordinator with the Department, has some great tips on how to practice tying the perfect knot at home. Click HERE for the lesson.



WEDNESDAY: Learn about animal eyes

Learn about how mammals, birds and reptiles see. And click HERE to take a closer look at animal eyes and decide what animal they belong to.

THURSDAY: Review firearm safety

The summer is a great time to refresh the skills you'll need for your next hunt. Let's review with Jennifer Morgan, hunter education program manager:

Shooting Positions
Basics of Marksmanship
Crossing an Obstacle



FRIDAY: Send us your questions about fish and wildlife!

Got a question about fish and wild animals? Send your questions to Starting Friday,
July 10, join us on Facebook every Friday where a Department biologist will answer them.



The Department's Essay Writing Contest for Kids and Young Adults is still accepting submissions.
Click HERE for the contest rules and guidelines.