LITTLE ROCK — Lake Sylvia Recreation Area will be buzzing with fifth-graders Oct. 30-31 during the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s sixth Youth Outdoor Expo.

It’s a field day for 2,000 youngsters (1,000 per day) – most of them from Conway, Faulkner, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline and Yell counties – who learn about nature and outdoor activities. Students from any school are welcome, although sign-in begins at 8:45 a.m. each day, which makes travel time a problem for schools at great distances.

Lake Sylvia – a USDA Forest Service recreation site in the Ouachita National Forest about 30 miles west of Little Rock – is the perfect location for the event. Students will be able to try their hand at archery with compound bows, fishing and firing BB guns. They’ll also learn about Arkansas wildlife and fish, boating safety, the AGFC dive team, deer stand safety, Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs, how wildlife officers use decoys to catch poachers and other programs.

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, before the event ends at 2:30 p.m.