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Benefits of Camp
Children's eco camp is invaluable for the younger generations. Concern for the environment is essential for society to thrive in the future. At the same time, young kids spend more time indoors around computers, video games, and the television, and less time outdoors enjoying nature. By devoting time to learning about the environment, to discovering the infinite wonders of nature, and to developing creative ways to preserve and maintain the ecosystem, children learn to care for the earth.
There are many environmental camps to choose from, each with its own characteristics; yet, they all offer the same benefits. Many day and overnight camps have plenty of hands-on eco activities for kids, such as planting an organic garden, or making crafts with recycled materials. Through interactive activity, children may learn green skills and then practice them at home. They also may develop an interest in innovation, figuring out new, creative ways to be eco-friendly.
Another benefit is an interest in nature. Living in urban and suburban areas, many children have few chances to walk in the woods, to observe animals, insects, and plants in their natural habitat, and to simply explore and play in the great outdoors. Children's eco camps are specifically designed to cultivate an appreciation and connection with nature.
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Learning Sustainable Activities
At an environmental camp, some activities may be the same as those found at traditional summer camps — nature walks, camping outdoors, water sports, and campfires. There may be an emphasis on responsible camping, on how to do these fun outdoor activities without harming the ecosystem. There will also be specific eco activities for kids. Children may learn about clean energy, and how to construct solar, wind, or water powered devices, such as a solar-powered car. They may learn about organic gardening, and how to do it at home. They may do recycling activities, such as constructing a bird-feeder out of used materials, and specific games designed to teach children ways to conserve energy and water. The camp will be formatted to integrate green values into everything that children may do to have fun.
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Environmental Camps Available
If you are interested in getting your child directly involved with the environment, there are several children's eco camps available around the US. Here are just a few:
Eco Camp at the Georgia Nature Center , in NE Georgia, east of Atlanta
Reaping Nature is another Georgia-based environmental program
Camp Eco in Colorado
Island Wood in Washington, near Seattle
Blueberry Cove in Maine
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Green Children, Green Values
For children interested in the environment, or even for kids who do not have the opportunity to spend time in nature, children's eco camp is a unique experience. Having focused time, when taking care of the earth and appreciation is emphasized, can have a positive impact on growth and development. Being aware of the beauty and value of nature is essential for any human being, and with camp, kids can develop this awareness. Teaching children about the environment in such an in-depth, hands-on manner, will also greatly benefit society. These children will grow up to be concerned, aware adults, and possibly even the innovators of new ways to live in harmony with the earth.
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Eco Camp (Georgia Nature Center) <www.naturecenter.com/GA/ecocamp>.
Irish Seed Savers Association <irishseedsavers.ie/workshops/item/41/easter-camp-29-3-10-01-4-10/>.
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Photo by: Steven Depolo (CC/flickr) <flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3796387827/>
The Valuable Lessons Learned at Children's Eco Camp
Learn how to value and respect nature by practicing eco camping. Children and adults, and the earth, will benefit from an environmental mind-set, when approaching the great outdoors.