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‘Stream Team’ camp teaches water quality
Stream Team campers explore Marrowbone Creek. Shown are (far back) counselor Anna Wallace of Dan River Basin Association, (back row, from left) Richard Lester, Connor Kinkema, Edward (Tripp) Philpott, Skyler Prillaman, Victoria Belcher, Kayri Craig, (second from back) Ca’Daydra Waller, Diahvidi Gillespie, (third from back) counselor Ayla Wilk of the Virginia Museum of Natural History, Triston Dodson and (front) Jyssman Salas. (Contributed photo)
Sunday, June 17, 2012
The Virginia Museum of Natural History (VMNH) kicked off its summer camp session with the “Stream Team,” a week of learning about the importance of healthy streams and rivers for children ages 12 to 14.
Campers paddled and hiked, received hands-on lessons about water quality and conservation, and learned more about how to protect natural resources.
The “Stream Team” was developed in partnership with the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA).
“This partnership with DRBA to offer summer camp experiences for area children is a great example of organizations coming together to accomplish common goals,” said Joe B. Keiper, executive director of VMNH. “There is no better way for children to get their feet wet in science instruction than actually going out to a river.”
Participants conducted physical, chemical and biological water monitoring tests while learning about how the health of area water sources affects the community. At the same time, campers took part in hiking, swimming and canoeing.
“DRBA and VMNH are both committed to education about — and stewardship of — our natural resources,” said Tiffany Haworth, executive director of DRBA. “By working together, we were able to offer kids an amazing learning experience outdoors.”
DRBA and VMNH staff both participated as camp counselors for the week. DRBA also provided eight fully-paid camp scholarships for children who normally would not be able to attend a summer camp.
“I appreciated the opportunity to help introduce kids to all things wild and wonderful about our rivers and streams,” said Brian Williams, DRBA’s Martinsville/Henry County program manager. “Some of the group had never been fishing and they caught their very first fish with us this week. The Stream Team really learned a lot about our water resources and how to protect them.”
Krista Hodges, DRBA’s education coordinator, added: “It is so exciting to get the campers outdoors. I know they will be good stewards of our beautiful natural resources.”
Ayla Wilk of VMNH said she enjoyed working with the DRBA staff, “sharing with the kids our combined passions for nature, science, and civic engagement.”
The Virginia Museum of Natural History is offering 2012 Summer Camps, ranging from three to five days each, through Aug. 10 for ages 3-14. Camps range from exploring chemistry through scientific experiments at the museum to campers hiking area trails and building one of their own.
All the camps take place at the museum and at parks and nature preserves around the Henry County-Martinsville area.
Scholarships remain available for a variety of camps, thanks to funding from the Hermes Family Foundation, River Community Bank and Dan River Basin Association.
“The museum is in a unique position to be able to offer camps that correlate heavily with what students learn during the school year, but allow them to delve further into the subjects with hands-on, personal experiences that can only be offered through the museum’s resources," said Dennis Casey, director of education and public programs at the museum.
“We also have multiple, highly trained education staff who conduct camps which focus on their area of expertise, allowing each camper to have a truly impactful experience,” he said.
For more information about upcoming VMNH Summer Camps or to register for a camp, call 634-4185, email email@example.com or visit www.vmnh.net.