Conservation students pose for a photo at New York State Conservation Competition

HERKIMER – Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Conservation program students placed in the top five for nine of the 13 events they participated in at the New York State Conservation Competition – including two first-place finishes.

The New York State Conservation Competition is directly connected to Conservation curriculum – unlike other events the students participate in – so it was a great experience for them, Herkimer BOCES Conservation instructor William Carpenter said.

“This is really geared toward what they’re learning, and they get to compete against all the BOCES in the state,” he said. “I was ecstatic when I heard we had placed in nine of our 13 events.”

Carpenter took 16 students to the New York State Conservation Competition on May 19 at Paul Smith’s College. Competitions ranged from academics-based events such as identifying wildlife and trees to woodsmen competitions such as axe-throwing, bowsaw, two-man crosscut, fire-building and more. Students also had a chance to learn more about the college while there.

The New York State Conservation Competition has been running since the 1980s. It is organized by conservation instructors around the state and facilitated by the colleges that host it, Carpenter said.

This was the first time Herkimer BOCES has competed in the competition, so part of the process was figuring out exactly how the competitions worked and how they differed from college and professional events, Carpenter said. It was great that students had so much success in the competitions during the first year for Herkimer BOCES, he said.

“I was pretty excited,” he said.

Competition winners

The Herkimer BOCES students listed below placed in the top five in the following events:

Two-Man Crosscut:

  • First Place: Jake Parotta, a senior of Frankfort-Schuyler, and Izaick Kerr, a senior of Little Falls.

Bow Saw:

  • First Place: Jaiden Lawrence, a senior of Frankfort-Schuyler.
  • Third Place: Peyton Hoffman, a junior of Central Valley.
  • Fifth Place: Chase Brewer, a senior of Central Valley.

Fire Building:

  • Second Place: Brewer and Parotta.

Wildlife Identification:

  • Fourth Place: Caleb Bennett, a senior of Frankfort-Schuyler.

Pulp Throw:

  • Fourth Place: Hoffman.

Tree Identification:

  • Fourth Place: Morgan Perry, a junior of Central Valley.
  • Fifth Place: Justin LaCelle Jr., a senior of Central Valley.

College experience

Participating in the New York State Conservation Competition gave Herkimer BOCES Conservation program students the chance to see that there are other high-school students around the state who are taking conservation classes, Carpenter said. Some Paul Smith’s College students also helped with the competitions.

The experience also showed Herkimer BOCES students that there are college students continuing their education in the field at Paul Smith’s College and other institutions, Carpenter said.

“It was great for them to get to see the college and see that it’s very similar to what they do and just the next step up,” Carpenter said. “It’s helpful and refreshing for them to see there is a path to college for what they do.”

Carpenter and his students arrived the night before the competition, so they could tour the campus and facilities, meet administrators, eat in the dining halls, go fishing and play pool in the recreation room.

The competition is in Cobleskill next year, so it’s closer to Herkimer BOCES, but Carpenter is still planning to take students there the night before again because it added so much to the experience this year, Carpenter said.

“They had a blast,” he said.

 


Conservation students posing for a large group photo

Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Conservation program students and instructor William Carpenter pose together at the New York State Conservation Competition, which took place on May 19 at Paul Smith’s College.

 


Conservation student doing a bow saw event

Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Conservation program senior Jaiden Lawrence, of Frankfort-Schuyler, participates in the bow saw event on May 19 at the New York State Conservation Competition at Paul Smith’s College. Lawrence won first place in the bow saw event.

 

Conservation student doing a bow saw event as others look on

Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Conservation program senior Chase Brewer, of Central Valley, participates in the bow saw event on May 19 at the New York State Conservation Competition at Paul Smith's College. Lawrence won fifth place in the bow saw event and also won second place in the fire building event with Jake Parotta, a senior of Frankfort-Schuyler.

  


Two Conservation students do a two-man crosscut event
 
Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Conservation program seniors Justin LaCelle Jr., of Central Valley, and Caleb Bennett, of Frankfort-Schuyler, participate in the two-man crosscut event on May 19 at the New York State Conservation Competition at Paul Smith’s College.