By Ronnie Weston| September 26, 2012 at 9:27 PM CDT - Updated June 28 at 8:00 AM
LITTLE ROCK (AGFC)– Teachers, parents and fifth-grade students are in luck – this year's Youth Outdoor Expo is not completely booked yet.
A few more classes can be accepted Oct. 30 and there's room remaining Oct. 31 for the all-day expo. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis so interested teachers need to act quickly. This will be the sixth expo, and it has filled up each year.
This Arkansas Game and Fish Commission event at Lake Sylvia Recreation Area can accommodate 1,000 fifth-graders each day. Most classes come from Conway, Faulkner, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline and Yell counties to learn about nature and outdoor activities. Students from any school are welcome, although sign-in begins at 8:45 each day, which makes travel time a problem for schools at great distances.
Students begin at 9 a.m. and spend 45 minutes at each of three stations before having lunch. Three more stations are visited during the afternoon, each manned by experts from the AGFC or volunteers.
Lake Sylvia – a USDA Forest Service site in the Ouachita National Forest about 30 miles west of Little Rock – is the perfect location for the expo. Students will be able to try their hand at archery with compound bows, fishing with cane poles and firing BB guns. They'll also learn about Arkansas wildlife and fish, boating safety, the AGFC dive team, deer stand safety, the Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs program, how wildlife officers use decoys to catch poachers and other conservation and outdoors information.
Teachers and students should dress for outdoor activities; the area around the lake is wooded. Schools must provide one adult chaperone per 25 students, in addition to teachers and support staff. Water will be provided, although students are responsible for their lunches. Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with special physical needs.
Teachers who would like to register should contact Mendy Boyles at 501-223-6476 or 501-907-0646, or via email email@example.com.