For kids who want to get up to their elbows in nature this summer, HRM’s Adventure Earth Centre is the place to go. It offers camps for kids five to 15 and focuses on ecology and the environment.
“The programs are delivered pretty much totally in nature and there’s a really interactive approach we take with that experience,” says Terri Peace, a programmer with Adventure Earth Centre. “They’re going to a pretty cool camp, but they’re also learning things.”
The first goal is to immerse the campers in the natural world so they can learn what it is and why we should take better care of it. “A lot of folks are pretty removed from nature now,” Peace says.
The second goal is to learn about the ecological system of the planet and the workings of nature’s web of interactions between plants, animals, predators and prey.
The last focus is the human impact on the environment and what campers can do to lessen their impact and make a positive change.
The Environmental Day Camps cater to kids five to 12 and are based at Dingle Park in Halifax. There are half-day, day and overnight camps, including Pirate’s Paradise. That half-day camp for kids seven to nine teaches the pirate’s “rrrrs” of reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink.
The Sunship Earth camp (ages 10 to 12) offers adventures in nature exploration from the Milky Way to butterflies with a mix of canoeing, cooking and campfires.
Explorers (ages 11 to 13) offers a week in the wilds of Nova Scotia, taking its lesson plan from the animals of the forests and waterways. It also develops outdoor skills like knot tying, building shelters, canoeing, overnight backpacking trips and map and compass skills.
The final camp is LEAD (ages 13-15), which stands for Leadership, Environmental Adventure and Discovery. It’s a six-day outdoor camp building outdoor and life skills.
“It’s all a part of how we deliver camp. They’re learning it by actually experiencing it,” Peace says.
Prices vary, so check out earthed.ns.ca.