Ann Arbor Parks and Rec is starting a brand new camp this year for middle school students that will allow them to connect with nature, improve the environment, mentor younger campers, and have a whole lot of fun doing it. Here they answer a few questions about their upcoming camp:
Q: What are your dates/times/ages/cost/address for your summer camps?
Dates: The camp runs for 8 consecutive weeks starting June 23rd and ending August 15th(no camp July 4th).
Ages: Green Adventures Stewardship Program is for rising 6th-8th graders. (Green Adventures Camp: rising 1st-5th graders).
Cost: $345 per week (Week of July 4th is $279) Scholarships are available to those who qualify.
Address: Allen Elementary School, 2560 Towner Blvd. Ann Arbor
Web site: http://www.aareced.com/reced.home/reced.greencamp/gac_stewardship_camp
Q: What type of child might really enjoy Green Adventures Stewardship program? Kids who …
- Like interactive hands on projects,
- Love to be outside,
- Are curious about animals and nature,
- Like to get messy and try new things, solve problems, and have fun,
- Enjoy being role models to younger campers,
- And want to help our community by actively participating in Stewardship activities and projects.
Q: What are some highlights campers will really look forward to?
There are so many that it’s hard to name just a few …
- Initiating and completing projects, such as building the camp chicken coop, bee hive frames, or other equipment that benefit the entire camp,
- Visiting with Nate Ayres (Owner of Chiwara Permaculture to learn about permaculture,
- Creating humorous rap songs about garbage and recycling or other environmentally focused subject matter,
- Giving mini presentation on projects they have completed (for example: displaying paper mache’ models of the levels of the Great Lakes or the water cycle),
- Leading younger campers in a variety of ways,
- Spinning honey,
- Putting on a bee suit and visiting a hive of 10, 000 plus bees,
- Harvesting their own snacks and cooking them up at Raynors farm,
- and taking apart all sorts of appliances in our famous “Take Apart Day” (Week 7: Waste Warriors).
Q: What does a typical day at Green Adventures look like?
Daily schedule is:
- 9am: Community meeting and talk about the day & share highlights/artifacts from the previous day.
- 9:30am: Break into their classrooms and do theme-based projects both inside the classroom and outside.
- 10am: Stewardship campers may take a morning field trip to a local nature area (for a service project or investigation) or check the infrared cameras for pics of nightly animal visits or check on what tracks appeared and where they went.
- 10:45: Snack break, a story and free choice outdoor play.
- 11am: Back to their morning activities until lunch.
- Noon to 1pm: Have lunch and prepare to walk, catch the city bus or board the school buses and go off to the field.
- 4pm-5:30: Return to the school, have snack, choice time, check/care for camp animals or hang out with camp friends until parent pick-up.
Q: After attending Green Adventures stewardship program, kids will…
Campers and parents have reported the following:
- Increased vocabulary,
- Increased knowledge of the natural world,
- Enhanced observation and scientific drawing skills,
- Deepened understanding of environmentalism,
- Gained hands on knowledge of raising chickens, farming, and gardening, spinning honey and stewardship activities,
- Learned why bees are vital to our food system,
- Presented information to younger campers,
- Learned how to be effective role models,
- and enjoyed bonding with a team of 15 other Stewardship campers!
Q: Anything parents need to know about food/transportation, etc.?
A mix of AATA and school buses for Stewardship camp. We are a “food allergy aware” camp, meaning we do not allow nut products at camp in lunches or snacks.
Q: What else should we know about Green Adventures Stewardship Camp?
Stewardship camp is designed to give the middle school age students more independence, more practice as role models to younger campers, and more opportunities to hypothesize and test their own theories in a wide variety of academic and skill areas, all in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere.