4-H’ers Experience Outdoor Adventures in Franklin County

Members of the Outdoor Adventures 4-H Club enjoyed an early spring field trip along the Mississippi River where they enjoyed the view from Eagle Point Park in Dubuque. Picture from left to right are Club Leader Brody Bertram and members: Nick Diggins, Lucas Diggins, Miles Rust (brother of members), Brienna Reichenbacher, Macey Rust, John Reichenbacher, Mac Rust, Edward Reichenbacher, Ben Reinke, Samuel Mollenbeck and Carter Stubbe. Not pictured is Alex Anderson.

Members of the Outdoor Adventures 4-H Club enjoyed an early spring field trip along the Mississippi River where they enjoyed the view from Eagle Point Park in Dubuque. Picture from left to right are Club Leader Brody Bertram and members: Nick Diggins, Lucas Diggins, Miles Rust (brother of members), Brienna Reichenbacher, Macey Rust, John Reichenbacher, Mac Rust, Edward Reichenbacher, Ben Reinke, Samuel Mollenbeck and Carter Stubbe. Not pictured is Alex Anderson.

Brody Bertram has been known to paddle a canoe to collect garbage from local rivers and answer the call to aid in natural disaster cleanup such as in the case of Hurricane Sandy or forest fires in the west. But he says that, since joining the Franklin County Conservation Board five years ago as a park ranger, serving as leader for the new Outdoor Adventures 4-H Club is one of the most fun volunteer activities he’s undertaken.

“What I enjoy most about members of the Outdoor Adventures Club is how energetic they are,” says Bertram. “These kids have a real desire to learn about so many topics from outdoor survival to campfire cooking.”

The club formed in October 2013 because Flint Hills Resources of Iowa Falls donated $1,000 to start an outdoor recreational club and provide 4-H experiences to kids who might not fall into the more traditional 4-H special interest clubs. There were 12 founding members and the club continues to grow as friends are recruited to join the fun.

“It’s really fun!” says member John Reichenbacher of Hampton. “We’ve learned how to make survival kits and taken really cool field trips.”

It’s easy to see why these kids would enjoy learning from a young conservationists who shares their interest in the great outdoors. Here’s an overview of their club meetings:

Oct 2013 Fishing at Mayne’s Grove
Nov 2013 Field trip to Sleepy Creek tannery in Wellsburg
Dec 2013 Made survival bracelets
Jan 2014 Made survival kits
Feb 2014 Snow shoeing and cross-country skiing at Mayne’s Grove
Mar 2014 Field trip to Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque
Apr 2014 Played mini golf to test the course Bertram designed for his inaugural Pedal & Putt fundraiser to benefit the Rolling Prairie Bike Trail
Jun 2014 Prepared the club’s booth for the 4-H Building, grilled supper, set turtle traps to catch critters for the Franklin County Conservation booth at the Franklin County Fair
Walking sticks are advantageous when hiking trails. Here members of the Outdoor Adventures 4-H club show their enthusiasm for the sticks they were given as a homework project.

Walking sticks are advantageous when hiking trails. Here members of the Outdoor Adventures 4-H club show their enthusiasm for the sticks they were given as a homework project.

Future outings include a canoe or kayak float and an overnight camping trip during which they plant to cook over a campfire. There’s even talk they may sample wild game during hunting season.

We all know deer is abundant in Franklin County, but you may be surprised to learn that bison and ostrich are also produced locally. Mark your calendars for September 28, and get a taste of bison during the 2nd Annual Fresh on the Farm Event in Franklin County. Host farms include Enchanted Acres, Carlson Tree Farm and Koenigs Acres.

If you’d like to give it a try before then, Allrecipes.com boasts 260 tried and true Wild Game recipes like Venison Chili and Mexican Bison Bake. Today the Outdoor Adventures 4-H Club is sharing a recipe that members hope to try soon. They’ve found a recipe for Campground Eclairs on the Backwoods Bound website. I admit this recipe got my attention, too. After all, it’s not every day one can cook in a clay flower pot!

What’s your most unique recipe? Feel free to post it below or email it to shannonl@lathamseeds.com.

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Campground Eclairs

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • canned crescent rolls
  • vanilla, chocolate or lemon pudding (instant, canned or those little snack-pack pudding cups)
  • canned chocolate frosting

Instructions

Directions:

  1. Line the flower pots or grill with 2 layers of foil.
  2. Prepare the charcoal in the chimney and let them totally ashed over.
  3. Wrap one end of each dowel rod with a 6 inch wide piece of foil. Make sure it’s wrapped tight.
  4. Prepare pudding per instructions. This can be done at home and then kept cold.
  5. When the charcoal is ready, dump it into the pots or grill. Use caution!
  6. Take a crescent roll and wrap it around the foil end of your rod.
  7. Hold over the hot coals until golden brown. Turn frequently and cook it slow!
  8. When the roll is done, grasp it gently with a napkin and slip it off the rod. Use caution as it will be hot!
  9. Use a large household injector, spoon or basting brush to fill the inside with pudding.
  10. Spread on a little frosting and enjoy!

COOK’S TIP: With a little supervision, these Campground Eclairs are easy for kids to make and enjoy. Try them for breakfast or instead of the usual s’mores around the campfire.


Notes

Equipment:

  • large clay flower pots or use grill without the grate
  • aluminum foil
  • charcoal
  • chimney charcoal starter
  • wood dowels rods, 1/2" diameter, 3 feet long