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Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge Supports Kaskaskia District Boy Scouts
Midwest Region, September 17, 2011
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John Paul Broske with one of 12 fish caught at the Kaskaskia BSA Fall Camporee.
John Paul Broske with one of 12 fish caught at the Kaskaskia BSA Fall Camporee. - Photo Credit: Photo by Angie Broske.
Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge was the backdrop for the 2011 Kasaskia BSA Birdstudy Merit Badge.
Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge was the backdrop for the 2011 Kasaskia BSA Birdstudy Merit Badge. - Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Cail/USFWS.

On the partly cloudy morning of Sept. 17, 2011, Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge Manager Robert Cail and Wildlife Refuge Specialist John Hartleb arrived at the Quail Club, located just five miles north of Millstadt, Ill., for the second day of activities associated with the 2011 Kaskaskia District Boy Scouts Fall Camporee.

The day’s mission was for Cail and Hartleb to serve as Instructors for the Bird Study and Fishing Merit badges. Boy Scouts are required to earn merit badges, as well as complete other requirements, in order to be eligible to earn the prestigious Eagle Scout.

Boy Scouts desiring to earn the Bird Study Merit Badge, were required to demonstrate the following:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the importance of birds and bird research
  • Label bird topography, draw and label the feather groupings of a bird wing
  • Familiarize themselves with bird guides and binoculars
  • Use visual cues such as bill shape, posture and bird habits to help identify 20 bird species
  • Understand the importance of learning bird songs, and impediments to successful bird migration

Boy Scouts desiring to earn the Fishing Merit badge, were required to demonstrate the following:

  • Tie four common fishing knots
  • Catch and release at least one fish six inches long
  • Demonstrate a familiarity with various types of tackle available for fishing
  • Discuss safety hazards that may be encountered during a fishing trip
  • Understand fish feeding habits
  • Discuss the types of baits (artificial and natural) used to lure fish,
  • Discuss the importance of catch and release and why bait fish should not be released

Overall more than 80 scouts received merit badges and there were many memorable quotes from the day. “If I knew watching birds was this fun…I would have asked my parents for binoculars last Christmas,” said a Bird Study participant.

John Paul Broske, a fishing merit badge participant walked back to camp exclaiming, "Do you want to see Paul's fishing talent?” Cail and Hartleb went home feeling both energized and proud to know that they created lasting memories and transferred their passion for the outdoors to future National Wildlife Refuge System supporters.

 


Contact Info: Robert Cail, 618.763.4420 X12, robert_cail@fws.gov



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