Thirteen students, their families, officers and instructors recently celebrated the completion of the week-long Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police’s Advanced Youth Academy, with the graduation ceremony at Cabela’s in Newark.

Students who completed the New Castle County Advanced Youth Academy, held at DNREC’s Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center in New Castle, were: Ross Alexander, of Bear; Alistair Bebbington, of Newark; Benjamin Burris, of Lothian, Maryland; Troy Christiansen, of Dover; Riley Graham, of Townsend; Noah Kracyla, of Townsend; Connor McDerby, of Newark; Joseph McDermott, of Townsend; Hannah Price, of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania; Anthony Puleo, of Newark; Trevor Smith, of Middletown; Carter Wilkins, of Landenberg, Pennsylvania; and Gage Williams, of Marydel. Ten of the 13 students were returning students who had completed the inaugural Natural Resources Police Basic Youth Academy held in July 2016.

At the advanced NRP academy, held for the first time this year, students ages 12-15 acquired skills for camping, fishing and hunting; and were exposed to the various aspects of a Natural Resources Police officer’s daily routine. Students completed their turkey hunter certification, participated in a fishing derby, assisted wildlife biologists with capturing and banding mourning doves, participated in skeet shooting and a .22 caliber rifle target shooting and camped at Lums Pond State Park primitive campground. Students participated in a public outreach event with officers displaying the operation game theft trailer at Cabela’s in Newark.

In addition to the students’ earning their certificates for completing their turkey hunter education class at graduation, instructors presented individual awards to five class members. Graham took home the leadership award; Price received the sportsmanship award; Williams won the sharpshooting award, skeet; and Kracyla was recognized for fishing skills and his sharpshooting skills, rifle target shooting.

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