Dahlem Center, scouts joining forces to get kids outside


From rock climbing to white water rafting, to just playing outside, local children are invited to learn all about the outdoors, and outdoors stewardship, by joining the Dahlem Venturing Crew.

High adventure may not be a phrase most people would associate with environmental stewardship, but a youth-focused program at the Dahlem Conservancy in Jackson County is about to change that.

On Nov. 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., an open house for youth – both male and female – and their families will be held at the nature conservancy to learn more about a unique scouting opportunity. The open house is hosted by the Southern Shores Field Service Council, part of the Michigan Crossroads Council with the Boy Scouts of America, in partnership with Dahlem.

“We are starting a Dahlem Venturing Crew and the open house will give the young people we are trying to attract a good idea of the fun and learning they will experience as a crew,” said Andrew Yost, outreach and expansion executive for Southern Shores. “We will be recruiting heavily from Jackson, Hillsdale, and parts of Lenawee counties.”

The venturing program gives young people ages 14-21, the opportunity to participate in high-adventure activities such as rock climbing or white-water rafting while earning advancement recognitions. In addition to the high-adventure outdoor activities, the Dahlem Crew will target ongoing conservation efforts, economic sustainability projects and youth leadership development curriculum.

“We envision a next generation of young women and men having fun while developing leadership skills. They will learn and grow as teams experiencing nature and wildlife, working on land conservation projects and restoring local ecosystems,” said Rod Malloy, Executive Director of Dahlem.

Crew members will have access to the 280-acre nature conservancy and the five different ecosystems and 5 miles of hiking trails it maintains. This will give them exposure to a wide variety of animal and plant life in a safe, barrier-free setting.

Yost said he hopes the Venture Crew also serve also as a way to bring other environmentally-focused groups in the community together. He said this will give the Venture Crew members the opportunity to work with the groups such as the Upper Grand River Watershed Alliance, the Jackson County Conservation District, or 4-H.

For additional information about the open house or the Venture Crew program, contact Yost at or 810-869-5753. To learn more about the Dahlem Center, visit


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