Hit the trails, hold a live animal, launch a rocket at a 2010 summer camp

A student from the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center "Nature Nuts" program shows off a feathery find on a hike to Lake Erie. The Center is now enrolling for the 2010 Summer Camp season which is filled with outdoor exploration.

Want your children to thank you for getting them off the couch this summer? Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is betting the kids won’t mind putting down the game controllers if they can hit the trails to the creek and Lake Erie, interact with live animals, launch rockets and enjoy starry planetarium shows, magical science experiments, games, crafts and tons of time exploring the Great Outdoors!  

Summer Registration for Lake Erie Nature & Science Center Members began Saturday, March 20 and opens to everyone on March 30. The newly released 2010 camp schedule includes the return of tried and true favorites like “The Science of Wizardry” and brand new offerings like “Let the Wild Rumpus Begin,” which includes creative time at the neighboring BAYarts.  

“We’re excited to collaborate with BAYarts on this dual camp that offers the best of both worlds – a morning of hikes, live animals and natural fun in and around Lake Erie Nature & Science Center and an afternoon of pottery, painting, drawing and printing at BAYarts,” said Center Education Director Darci Sanders. Wild Rumpus is open to kids between the ages of 5 and 14 but campers will be grouped by age and enjoy age-appropriate activities. Registration for this camp takes place ONLY at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.

School-aged kids who’ve completed Kindergarten through 8th Grade can also enroll in the Center’s one week “wizardry school.” The Harry Potter-inspired “Science of Wizardry” groups students by age into “houses” and sends them to classes mixing “Potions,” learning the “Care of Magical Creatures,” exploring forest and field in “Herbology” and practicing the ancient art of “Divination” in the Center’s Schuele Planetarium.   

The always-popular Nature Nuts preschool camp will include a new four-day, single week option this summer, or children can attend one day a week in a traditional four-week session. Children ages 3 - 5 sing, paint, hike, explore and meet cool animals up close.

For 5 and 6-year-olds, there are nine different Log Cabin Kindercamps to choose from. Every Kindercamper (pre-K welcome too!) enjoys quality time stomping in the creek, combing the beach and enjoying the Center’s animals, but because each camp takes on a different theme, kids can sign up for more than one week.  

Children in Grades 1 and 2 can eat space ice cream, try on an astronaut sleeping bag and send up a water rocket at “Space Explorers” camps, while kids who’ve completed Grades 2 - 6 are eligible for beginner or advanced “Rocket Camp,” where they’ll build and launch a real model rocket. 

A field trip to Common Ground in Oberlin, where there are cool activities like a ropes course, is part of the “Survival of the Fittest” Junior Naturalist Day Camp for Grades 5 - 8 in June. Campers will also learn survival skills and “survive” an evening of night hiking, star-gazing, playing games and munching on pizza at the Center.

An overnight camp for Middle Schoolers will make stops across Northeast Ohio as part of an exciting hands-on field biology experience. This is the second year for the Wanderers Camp that includes a night in Punderson State Park's hillside cabins, two nights sleeping in boxcars at Coupling Reserve of Erie Metroparks and a jam-packed overnight back at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.

The Center will also host a second week of the highly praised Back-to-Nature Girl Scout Day Camp this year, with options for girls in both June and July. A separate registration for the Girl Scout Camp ONLY is conducted over the phone or in person and does not begin until April 14.  

A family camp-out night, summer star shows and telescope nights, plus the annual Family Fun Fest are also on Lake Erie Nature & Science Center’s 2010 summer calendar. For details, call 440-871-2900, visit www.lensc.org or stop in at 28728 Wolf Road in Bay Village.  

Shawn Salamone is the Community Relations Coordinator at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. 

Read More on Recreation
Volume 2, Issue 6, Posted 9:09 AM, 03.18.2010