Summer kids’ programs starting up
Archbold’s Summer Ecology Camps will have kids searching for insects and other small animals and going on a Buck Island Ranch safari.
These week-long day camps offer hands-on, active learning experiences designed to stimulate curiosity, foster appreciation, and teach children about science and the endless wonders of the natural world. Activities focus on the Florida scrub, one of the most threatened ecosystems in North America.
The camp theme this year is Animal Senses. Campers will collect small animals and practice looking at them down a microscope, listen for the sounds of animals at night on the family night hike, experience the smells of plants and animals in the scrub, and feel the skins of snakes and the bones of mammals from as small as a mouse to as large as a bear. Each year is unique and always provides great opportunities for creating childhood memories.
“Our camp is one of a kind. Like many camps, kids have fun socializing and spending time outdoors, but they also benefit from being here at the station. Our campers tour a working cattle ranch, swim in a private lake, meet our scientists and get a feel for what being an ecologist is really like. They love it, and they come back year after year,” said Dustin Angell, Archbold’s new education coordinator.
This summer there are four week-long camp sessions. Each week is geared toward a specific age group.
Camp hours are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. with an optional family night hike from 8:30-10:30 p.m.
Admission to the camp is $150 per week per student (students must bring their own lunches). Camp registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and slots fill up fast.
For more information on Archbold Biological Station’s educational programs or to make a reservation, call Dustin Angell, Archbold’s new education coordinator, at 863-465-2571, Ext. 233 or visit the Station’s website www.archbold-station.org and open the link to education then scroll down to the Scrub Camp link.
Archbold welcomes contributions of any amount from the community which go toward enabling it to invite deserving children from Highlands County. To contribute, contact Melissa Mabe, (863) 465-2571, Ext. 277 for details.
Young explorers ages 6-12 can discover a world of careers through fun activities at South Florida State College’s Camp Adventure.
The annual summer camp will be in session June 10-July 26 at the SFSC Highlands Campus, Avon Park.
Cost is $100 from Monday to Thursday and $25 for Friday field trips.
Camp sessions run 8 a.m.-5 p.m. each day, with early drop-off beginning at 7:30 a.m. and pick-ups continuing through 5:30 p.m. There will not be camp the week of July 4.
Campers are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information and an application, call 784-7388 or visit www.southflorida.edu/campadventure.
Camp activities teach children about the world through supervised activities and games.
During the first week, June 10-14, campers will be “Healthy Groovin’ to an Awesome Me” while learning about nutrition, fitness, water safety, and basic first aid from SFSC’s nursing and emergency medical services instructors. The Friday field trip will visit Gold’s Gym to groove with a kid-friendly exercise program.
Campers will “Race to the Finish Line” with a soapbox car derby the week of June 17-21. Continuing an American tradition begun in 1933, each team of campers will build a soapbox car and compete in a race.
The week of June 24-28, “Safe and Sound with the Criminal Justice Academy” will explore the interesting work of public service with help from SFSC’s criminal justice instructors, a state fire marshal, and a Lake Placid police officer. SFSC’s Public Service Academy will stage a mock trial to show the workings of the court system. Campers will also learn about road and bicycle safety, self-defense, and fire safety. The Friday field trip will go to Graziani Reptiles in Venus for a presentation by Greg Graziani, from National Geographic’s “Python Hunters” TV show.
Campers will “Tickle Your Taste Buds with Fusion Cuisine” with the help of instructors from SFSC’s culinary arts program the week of July 8-12. Fusion cuisine is created by combining the native food and cooking styles of different cultures. The week’s activities will include creating healthy snacks, and competing in the “Chef of the Week” food challenge.
Campers will observe “Geek Week,” July 15-19, with a trip to “Pantherville.” There, they will develop and manage a candy and toy store, ice cream shop, theme park, police station, hospital, bank, and library. The Friday field trip will visit the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa to view hands-on exhibits such as Disasterville, The Amazing You, and BioWork’s Butterfly Garden.
During the final week of Camp Adventure, July 22-26, campers will “Take Me to Your Leader” as they learn about the importance of leadership and teamwork. Activities will include tug-of-war, a balloon toss, a “Don’t Break the Egg/Egg Drop” contest, and a noodle and balloon race. Camp will wrap up on Friday, July 26, with a water slide and water games.