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Get Kids Interested in Environmental Careers by Sending Them to an Environmental Summer Camp

written by: Niki Fears•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 3/31/2009

Find out how sending your kid to a green or nature themed summer camp can help get them interested in environmental science careers and the other benefits of green summer camps.

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    As spring gets into full swing it is time to start thinking about summer and planning all of those typical summer activities for you and your family. If you are like many parents, you may be considering a summer camp for your kids so this year what about something new and meaningful that will give your kids an experience that they will never forget?

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    Benefits of Choosing an Environmental Science Summer Camp

    Instead of just going to camp and singing the same old boring camp songs over and over again, you could choose a summer camp experience with a purpose for your kids. Choosing a camp with some sort of a nature or environmental science theme has several benefits including:

    • Helping your child to learn about the natural world
    • Instills the values of responsible citizenship and sustainable living
    • Gives your kids a chance to expand their interest in the natural science
    • Allows your children to explore the wonders of the natural world and to get outside for fresh air and sunlight instead of being stuck indoors in front of the television all summer
    • It may also help spark their interest in a variety of nature related careers from park ranger to marine biologists
    • It can give students great experiences and educational opportunities that last long after camp is over
    • With some camps they may even be able to list the experience on their applications when they are choosing the right college.
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    Question to Ask When Choosing a Camp:

    To help you find the best camp for your kids use this simple checklist to help you gather the information that you will need:

    • What are your kids into? Would they prefer a wooded camp with lots of hiking and bird watching or are they more of the marine life sort who would be thrilled with a camp experience at sea? Then look for the type of green camps that will appeal to the areas of interest that your child has whether it is conservation or working with animals.
    • How much time will your kids be spending outside? If one of your goals in sending your kids to summer camp is to get them out and about in nature then be sure to find out just how much time your children will actually get to spend out side. However, if your child suffers from severe summer allergies or similar problems that may make being outside for prolonged periods of time difficult there are still some great choices out there such as zoos or aquariums that have day camp programs or environmental organizations that may have summer programs as well that could still expose your child to nature and ecology.

    • What type of activities will your child engage in? You want to be sure that the camp is not just slapping a green label on it without offering your child any real opportunities to engage nature and to learn about the environment, the threats that it is facing, and ways that we can act to protect it.

    • Distance and Cost will of course be vital pieces of the puzzle as well. But you need to be sure to find out not only what the advertised, upfront price is but will there be any additional or reoccurring costs such as for meals or basics like sunscreen that you will also need to take care of, or will the price cover everything out right. Also, what are the travel arrangements? Does the camp offer a bus or shuttle service for out of town campers to get to the bus station or air port or will you need to make arrangements yourself?

    • What Should You Pack? Be sure to find out exactly what your child will need during camp including appropriate and adequate clothing, sunscreen, swimming clothes, hiking shoes, ear plugs, etc. so that you can figure those essentials into your summer camp budget planning as well.

    If you plan ahead and choose wisely, your kids can have a fun, educational, and rewarding experience this summer at a nature themed summer camp.

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