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Roan Mountain State park is preparing to kick off its annual Junior Ranger Day Camp next month. As part of the Camp, attendees will learn about life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when items such as this grist mill were a part of life on a farm.
Roan Mountain State park is preparing to kick off its annual Junior Ranger Day Camp next month. As part of the Camp, attendees will learn about life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when items such as this grist mill were a part of life on a farm.

History, heritage … and Hunger Games

Published 7:46am Thursday, June 26, 2014

Junior Ranger Camp at Roan Mountain State Park will soon open with a special bonus for this year’s campers – a “Hunger Games-themed” survival skills training class.
The day camp is offered every year in July for children aged 8 to 12 years old. This year the camp takes place from 8:30 a.m. until Noon July 7 through July 11.
The Camp is open to 30 children each year and the program is very popular, Guy said.
“We are full up, we can’t take any more registrations,” Guy said, adding that the program fills up very quickly.
Every day of the Camp is special, Guy said.
On Monday, campers will take part in a variety of activities dealing with the plant and animal life in the park and with conservation efforts.
“We are really putting a lot of focus on history, because that is something our program has been short on the past few years,” Guy said, adding that Tuesday’s activities will focus on lifestyles of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Tuesday will feature a variety of activities, such as butter churning, spinning and weaving as well as the history of the Native Americans who once lived in this area.
Wednesday and Thursday will focus on survival skills, and the kids will get a chance to show off the skills they learn.
“We are doing a ‘Hunger Games’-themed survival skills course,” Guys said. “I really think they are going to enjoy it.”
The skills and events for this part of the Camp week are themed around the popular ‘Hunger Games’ books by author Suzanne Collins.

As part of Junior Ranger Camp, attendees will learn about animal and plant life as well as conservation efforts. Shown here is a display in the Roan Mountain State Park museum on aquatic life.
As part of Junior Ranger Camp, attendees will learn about animal and plant life as well as conservation efforts. Shown here is a display in the Roan Mountain State Park museum on aquatic life.

Campers will learn fire starting, shelter building and archery skills as well as learn how to identify edible and medicinal plants which are found in the wild.
Then on Thursday, campers will put their knowledge to the test as they navigate the ‘Hunger Games’-themed obstacle course where campers will not only show what they have learned, but will also find themselves in some difficult situations as they face “obstacles” found in the books.
“Someone may get ‘stung’ by a Tracker Jacker and their friends will have to help them out by sending them a parachute,” Guy said. The park has hosted ‘Hunger Games’-themed survival skills training in the past, and they have proved to be popular, Guy said.
The camp will conclude with a special family night celebration during the evening on Friday, July 11, where the campers get to have a picnic with their families while celebrating their accomplishments during the week.
“Hopefully, weather permitting, we will be out at the Miller Farmstead,” Park Ranger Meg Guy said of the family night event. “We have a big screen and will project a slide show of everything we have done for the week.”
The cost for the Junior Ranger Day Camp is $25, which Guy says only covers a portion of the cost of the program. “We really depend on donations from the community to help our Junior Ranger Program,” Guy said, adding that the Roan Mountain Citizens Club and the Friends of Roan Mountain organizations have been instrumental in supporting the Junior Ranger Program.

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