Explore and investigate nature and science at summer camp

"Creek-walking" is a favorite summer camp activity at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is calling on kids of all ages to spend active time in the Great Outdoors this summer; hiking, beachcombing, interacting with live animals and launching rockets. Two of the Center’s summer camp offerings take a cue from television titles, but the action is far from the couch and remote control!

In NSI: Nature Scene Investigation, campers, ages 6-14, will collect evidence and perform experiments to solve some natural mysteries. “The ‘detectives’ in this camp will investigate science and nature using their powers of observation and a variety of tricks and tools,” said Education Director Darci Sanders. “We take care to group campers by age and to offer age appropriate experiences for each group,” she added.

The Center is partnering with neighboring BAYarts for The Amazing Place Day Camp this year. “The Amazing Place is, of course, The Great Outdoors,” said Sanders. In the morning, campers ages 6-14 will encounter live animals and trek forest, field and stream in and around Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. After lunch they’ll work in the pottery studio, create sand sculptures on the beach and more with BAYarts. Like the NSI Camp, “teams” for the week will be organized by age. Registration for The Amazing Place takes place ONLY at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.

In the always popular Nature Nuts preschool camps, children ages 3-5, sing, paint, hike, explore and meet cool animals up close. Nature Nuts includes an option to attend camp for four days in a row during a single week or an alternative to come one day a week for four weeks. For 5 and 6-year-olds, each week brings a new Log Cabin Kindercamp and quality time in the cabin, hiking field and stream and enjoying the Center’s animals.

At “Space Explorers” camps, children in Grades 1-3 can eat space ice cream, hold a real meteor, do experiments with electricity and send up a water rocket. Kids who’ve completed Grades 2 and up are eligible for one-day Rocket Camps where they’ll build and launch a real model rocket.

“An epic week of eco-fun” awaits students in Grades 5-7 during Junior Naturalists: Eco-Explorers Take Action! Campers will master a quest of strategy and skill in the forest, enjoy lake fishing and spend an evening at the Center enjoying the night sky and a campfire cookout. An overnight camp for middle schoolers in Grades 6-8 will make stops across Northeast Ohio as part of an exciting hands-on field biology experience. Students spend a night in Punderson State Park cabins and 2 nights in a train boxcar at the Coupling Reserve historic train depot.

Summer Camp Registration is underway now and some camps are filling fast. Stop in at 28728 Wolf Rd. in Bay Village or call 440-871-2900, ext. 218, to register by phone.

A family camp-out, family picnic night, summer star shows, telescope viewing and the annual Perseids Meteor Night, plus the annual Family Fun Fest are also on Lake Erie Nature & Science Center’s 2011 summer calendar. Visit www.lensc.org for all the details.

Shawn Salamone

Shawn Salamone is the Community Relations Coordinator at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center and a Westlake resident.

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Volume 3, Issue 10, Posted 9:14 PM, 05.17.2011