Kids go nuts over nature

Northwest Navigator
Thursday, August 5, 2010

SCA Intern teaches nature, conservation, and recycling

Naval Station Everett’s Child and Youth Programs invite children 5 to 12 years old to come out Tuesday through Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for half-day camps throughout the summer at the Smokey Point Support Complex in Marysville. Children will have the opportunity to enjoy crafts, games, and field trips.

Every week has a different ‘theme’ used as a guideline for the half-day camps to follow. The week of July 26-30 highlighted the theme ‘Nuts Over Nature’.

Every day of the week, all 13 of the children learned something new involving nature, conservation, recycling, and environmental education.

On July 27, the camp focused on recyclables and the balance of nature. After the lessons, day camp volunteers played games with the children to help them remember what they learned.

Field Trip Day was on Wednesday, and the children went to the Jim Creek Recreation Area for hiking, games, and exploration of the Alpine tower.

“The theme on Wednesday was fun,” said Jody Copeland, Child and Youth Programs manager. “Some kids don’t get to do a lot of outdoor activities and this was an opportunity for them to learn something a little differently than how you learn in school.”

On July 29, Zyana Breuer, a Student Conservation Association (SCA) intern, showed and explained the ecosystem of a pond as part of conservation education.

She brought in a bucket of water from a natural pond, and then she pointed out and named different small organisms such as flatworms, snails, lily pads, and more.

“I think this opens children’s eyes to questions they didn’t know they had,” said Breuer. “It encourages them to ask questions and find out the answers.”

Breuer also showed different tree branches and vine samples, and taught the children about the differences between native and invasive plant species.

“It is very beneficial for these children to learn about the environment at such a young age,” said Aida Cardona, a Child and Youth Programs summer hire.

“Learning all of this is helping them become more aware of their surroundings and all that is involved with nature.”

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