Camp Leopold kicks off 2016 – 2017 school year

Camp Leopold kicks off 2016 – 2017 school year

School is back in session which can only mean one thing… Camp Leopold is back in full swing!
Last week, we had our first Camp Leopold session of the school year. Students from numerous schools across the state visited for the day as part of a collaborative event with the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA). Thursday was also the first session for our two newest instructors, Tom and Laura. They did such a great job that students and chaperones were surprised to learn it was their first session. (kudos to them!)
It was hot and humid. What else can you expect during August in South Carolina? Despite the heat, students had a blast learning about agriculture and wildlife management, human impact on our natural resources, and team building on our challenge course. We look forward to these schools coming back in the future!
The session was made possible with support from South Carolina Farm Bureau. Corporate sponsors and chapter fundraising events play a large role in the success of our education programs. As always, we appreciate their support.

SCISA students participate in team challenge course exercises during their Camp Leopold session. Photo by Laura Evans/Camp Leopold Staff


Photo by Laura Evans/Camp Leopold Staff


SCISA students and chaperones participate in team challenge course exercises during their Camp Leopold session. Photo by Laura Evans/Camp Leopold staff.

SCISA students look out over a waterfowl impoundment from the WEC observation deck. Photo by Laura Evans/Camp Leopold Staff

SCISA students look out over a waterfowl impoundment from the Wildlife Education Center observation deck. Photo by Laura Evans/Camp Leopold Staff

Camp Leopold is the South Carolina Waterfowl Association’s school-year education program. Our mission is to, “Create an ecologically literate citizenry by heightening student awareness of the natural world, fine-tuning the skills necessary to read the landscape, and instilling a love, respect, and admiration for the land so that each individual might develop a personal land ethic.”

Want your school to have a fun and meaningful outdoor experience that meets South Carolina school standards ? Contact Camp Leopold Director Joe Gonzalez at

Camp Woodie and Camp Leopold Setting New Records

Camp Woodie and Camp Leopold Setting New Records

Commentary by David J. Wielicki – SCWA Executive Director

The 2016 Camp Woodie summer session set an attendance record with 986 campers. Thanks to support from local chapters, SCWA members, and corporate sponsors, we were able to provide 202 scholarships for youth to attend Camp Woodie.

I would like to extend a special thanks to the SCWA Education Program Team who did an outstanding job running Camp Woodie. The Camp Woodie Team was led by second year Camp Woodie Director, Justin Grider, Assistant Director Keller Kissam, Jr., lead shooting instructor Katie Childress and a phenomenal team of counselors, expert instructors, and facility support staff. Past Camp Woodie Director, Ed Paul, who is now our Director of Sales and Marketing for Education Programs and Joe Gonzalez, Camp Leopold Director, were also a big part of Camp Woodie’s success this summer.

We are both saddened and excited to report Justin Grider, Camp Woodie Director, has taken a new position in his home state of Alabama. Justin will be helping to lead youth conservation education efforts for the Alabama Department of Natural Resources. Everyone will miss Justin and his wife Hannah but we are comforted by the fact they will become leaders in youth conservation education in their home state. As Justin begins this new position, he is helping SCWA fulfill part of the SCWA Wildlife Education Center mission which is to train education professionals who will have an impact on conservation education across the country.

While employed at SCWA, Justin did an outstanding job mentoring Keller Kissam, Jr. and Katie Childress. Keller has accepted the position of Camp Woodie Director while Katie Childress has accepted the position of Assistant Camp Director. Keller has served as a camp counselor for two summers and as the Assistant Camp Director this past summer. Keller will work part-time until he completes his degree from Clemson University in early May 2017. Katie Childress is a Clemson graduate with a major in Environmental and Natural Resources and a minor in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology. Katie started her full-time position on August 15, 2016. Justin Grider will continue to work with Keller and Katie over the next year to assist with the interviewing and hiring of camp counselors, counselor training, and the maintenance of American Camping Association certification standards. Over the next eight months, Katie will handle all Camp Woodie calls, camp registrations, and inquiries about the summer 2017 session. Katie, with assistance from Ed Paul and Jonathan Patrick, will handle all youth hunting programs.


Executive Director, David Wielicki presents Camp Woodie Director, Justin Grider with a Camp Woodie legacy trophy as an expression of gratitude and honor.

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Keller Kissam, Jr (left) with a camper and fellow counselor Carter White.

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Katie Childress (left) with fellow counselor Brynne Baxley










As a supporter of SCWA, you can be proud of the fact that your Association employs a highly skilled team of wildlife education experts who are delivering quality conservation education programs. The SCWA Education Program Team will continue to improve the quality and impact of the nation’s largest wildlife conservation camp program. In the coming year, we look forward to breaking another Camp Woodie attendance record while doubling the number of camper days of our school-year program, Camp Leopold. Read about the first Camp Leopold session of the 2016-2017 school year in our August 24th blog post.

Your support is critical to the success of these programs and is greatly appreciated.

National Dog Day at SCWA

Friday is #nationaldogday and social media users will likely post thousands of photos of their canine companions.

SCWA loves dogs. In an organization that promotes wildlife education, loving animals, dogs definitely included, is an unofficial requirement. Even our communications director, who is mildly allergic to dogs, loves to play and spend time with any dog that visits SCWA. If you visit SCWA, you’re sure to make some canine friends because many employees bring their dogs to work with them. 

We’re lucky enough to see (or have) some of the best trained dogs around. Seeing a dog wait patiently and excitedly for minutes before retrieving something after jumping off a dock never gets old.

Alan and Shannon Wooten of Palmetto Gun Dogs visit each week during Camp Woodie to give a gun dog training demonstration and provide training advice. It’s one of the highlights of the week for campers.

But enough writing. We know you clicked on this post to see pictures of dogs so here are some of the canine friends of SCWA!

We know we missed many canine friends of SCWA so if you have a canine friend we should know about, tell us in the comments.

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We hope you enjoyed #nationaldogday. To see more pictures of canine companions, follow our Wildlife & Animal Companions Pinterest Board.

Celebrating 30 years of conservation success

CollageThanks to the dedicated efforts of more than 500 volunteers and the financial support of more than 4,500 South Carolina Waterfowl Association (SCWA) members and sponsors, your Association has accomplished the following in the past 30 years:

  • Distributed and installed 22,650 wood duck nest boxes resulting in the production of more than 990,000 wood ducks.
  • Created the 410-acre SCWA Wildlife Education Center (WEC), the home of SCWA’s Camp Woodie, the nation’s leading youth wildlife education summer camp. The WEC is also home to Camp Leopold, SCWA’s school-year natural resource,  conservation camp for 3rd – 7th graders. In 2016, more than 900 youth attended Camp Woodie and more than 6,000 youth will attend Camp Leopold. Since 1986, Conservation Education has been provided to more than 82,000 youth.
  • Provided wetland management assistance to 600 landowners resulting in the creation and enhancement of thousands of acres of managed wetlands.
  • Produced more than 160,000 songbirds and released 880,000 mallards.
  • Added 75 to 100 thousand waterfowl to South Carolina’s waterfowl population on an annual basis.
  • Grown to become the Nation’s second largest state Waterfowl Association.

To ensure future years of success and growth, we must expand our commitment to conserve and enhance South Carolina’s waterfowl and wetland resources. We need your help to pass on the legacy of our waterfowl and wildlife heritage to the next

To learn more about SCWA or to become a member call 803-452-6001 or visit

I greatly appreciate your interest and support.

Here’s to the next 30 years!

David J. Wielicki
South Carolina Waterfowl Association Executive Director

Lancaster Chapter Frog Gigging Tournament – Event Info

Lancaster Chapter Frog Gigging Tournament – Event Info


July 22nd-23rd, 2016

Tournament Venue: Don Deas Farm

3591 Pageland Highway

Lancaster, SC 29720

Contact:   Robbie – 803-246-5743 or Don – 803-320-1023

The Lancaster Chapter of the South Carolina Waterfowl Association is gearing up for their 2nd Annual Frog Gigging Tournament.


Check in starts July 22nd at 5:30pm through 7:30pm. There is a mandatory team meeting from 7:30pm to 8:00pm. The tournament starts at 8:00pm sharp and weigh-in will be at 8:00am the next morning on July 23rd. You can also preregister at Dixie Food Mart.

Raffles and Prizes include; Coolers, Guns, and Cash.

Entry Fee is $50.00 per two person team.

1st through 3rd place prizes on 20 Heaviest Frogs

Big Frog Cash Pot

GIGS ONLY! No Shooting Frogs!


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2016 Native American Artifact Show

The Piedmont Archaeological Society of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina is sponsoring a Native American artifact show on Saturday, March 12th, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the South Carolina Waterfowl Association (SCWA) Wildlife Education Center near Rimini, SC.  Collectors and Experts will display thousands of
South Carolina and Southeastern Native American artifacts.  Admission is free and lunch is available for $5 per person.

Collectors are encouraged to attend.  Archaeological experts will be on hand to identify and age your artifacts.  If you are a collector or dealer and would like to exhibit please contact David Wielicki at 803-452-6001 or   Dealer tables are available for $25 each and display tables for collectors are available for $10 each.

Directions to the SCWA Wildlife Education Center can be found by going to the SCWA web site at  The directions are on the home page.

SCWA Partners with The Boone & Crockett Club


The South Carolina Waterfowl Association (SCWA) and the Boone and Crockett Club (B&C), North America’s oldest wildlife conservation organization, are proud to announce their new partnership – The Boone and Crockett/Camp Woodie Fellowship Program.  Thanks to a $64,000 grant from the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, SCWA and the B&C Club have partnered to create a youth wildlife and fisheries conservation fellowship program for 16 and 17 year olds who are seriously considering a career in the field of wildlife conservation.

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Next Spring, 30 Camp Woodie alumni will be selected to receive the fellowship.  Recipients will attend a Level-3 Camp Woodie week where they will interact with wildlife professionals to learn about a career in field of wildlife and fisheries conservation and education.  At the end of the weeklong session they will fly to Montana to spend a week at the 6,000 acre Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch where they will enjoy a 5-day Outdoor Adventure Camp instructed by western wildlife professionals.  Thanks to the grant from Cabelas all expenses will be covered for the program.  The fellowship recipients will represent the best and brightest 16 and 17 year olds who are considering a career as natural resource conservation professionals.Boone and Crockett Club Logo

Those interested in applying for the fellowship should contact Justin Grider, Camp Woodie Director, via email: For more information about SCWA’s Camp Woodie and the B&C Club’s Wildlife Conservation Skills Camp, please check out our websites, and