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Applications Available for PA Drummers Summer Field School for Teens and Teachers – Deadline is April 1


Applications are now available for teens and teachers to apply to the Wildlife Leadership Academy Pennsylvania Drummers summer field school which focuses on the ruffed grouse.  The field school will take place at Powdermill Nature Reserve in Westmoreland County from July 21-25, 2015.

The Wildlife Leadership Academy is a year-round program that focuses on wildlife/fisheries conservation and leadership development. The mission of the Academy is to empower youth to become ambassadors for conservation in order to ensure a sustained wildlife legacy for future generations.

The Academy begins with an intensive, five day residential field school experience that focuses on a fish or wildlife species as a springboard for exploring biology, habitat, and conservation issues. Youth also develop leadership skills engaging in team-building activities, educational presentations, and mock “town hall” meetings on current topics.  Following each field school experience and prepared with the knowledge and the skills from the field school, students complete conservation outreach in their home communities that focuses on environmental education, community service, media engagement, and/or participation in the arts.

The Academy is seeking youth ages 14-17 to apply who have a passion for conservation and the outdoors.  Students who are looking to make a difference. This is a unique and life changing experience for teens including hands-on learning, engagement with 25+ experts in the conservation field, and development of leadership skills. 

The Academy is also recruiting school teachers to participate who want to be adult mentors for the next generation of conservation leaders, who want to network with conservation professionals and want to be re-inspired by learning new techniques and tools for the classroom. Forty ACT 48 credits are available as well as college credits for participating teachers. Other adults interested in youth mentorship and the outdoors may also apply.  Four spots are available at each field school.

Other 2015 Academy summer field school offerings include Pennsylvania Bucktails, white-tailed deer focus (Stone Valley Recreation Area in Huntingdon County June 16-20), Pennsylvania Brookies, brook trout and coldwater conservation focus (Sieg Conference Center in Clinton County July 7-11), and Pennsylvania Ursids, bear focus (Stone Valley Recreation Area in Huntingdon County Aug 2-8).

Youth and adult mentor applications for the 2015 field schools can be downloaded at The application deadline is April 1, 2015.

The Wildlife Leadership Academy is a cooperative initiative involving state agencies and conservation organizations and is administered by the Pennsylvania Institute for Conservation Education whose mission is to connect people, nature and community. 

Expert instructors at the field school include representatives from the Ruffed Grouse Society, Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Pennsylvania State University, Trout Unlimited, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and many more.

For more information, contact Institute Director, Michele Kittell, at or (570)245-8518 or Program and Outreach Coordinator, Katie Cassidy, at or (570)939-5109.  You can also connect with the Academy on Facebook (

Mission Statement

Established in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society is North America's foremost conservation organization dedicated to preserving our sporting traditions by creating healthy forest habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other wildlife. RGS works with landowners and government agencies to develop critical habitat utilizing scientific management practices.

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