Eco-Friends Summer Camp says good-bye to another successful summer at Cooper Marsh. Over the past seven weeks, approximately 100 kids between the ages of 6 and 11 have been catching frogs and insects, exploring pond life, going on nature walks, making crafts, and playing lots of games. Sounds like the lazy summers of years ago…but these kids are busy learning about the environment, conservation, and wildlife!
Eco-Friends Summer Day Camp is delivered by the St. Lawrence River Institute, in partnership with the Cooper Marsh Conservators. Three energetic counsellors led campers through busy days of canoeing, fishing, and exploring concepts in science. “It’s great to see these kids learning and overcoming their fears,” says Marianne Moore, a second-year student at Carleton University, and back for her second summer as a summer camp counsellor. “It doesn’t take long for them to get past their apprehension and really get into the activities, like fish dissection, or catching frogs!”
Michele Parisien, a second-year biology student at Queen’s University, has enjoyed this summer experience as well. “It’s hectic, but fun,” she says. “The kids are interested and keen to do whatever we have planned for them.” Alecia Derouin is a third-year biochemistry and molecular biology student at Dalhousie University in Halifax. “This is a great summer job—we are outdoors, and having a great time with the kids,” she says. “It’s also a really good experience for me. I’ve learned a lot more about biology and nature.”
Of course the kids have had a great time, too. Parents and campers have told us how much fun they had at Eco-Friends camp. “My son was very disappointed that I didn’t sign him up for the whole summer!” one parent said. “He would have been happy to go every day!” Now that’s the type of complaint we like to hear!
Every summer, the River Institute offers Eco-Friends Summer Day Camp for 6- to 11-year-olds; Jr. Scientist camp for 12- to 14-year-olds, and summer internships for 15- to 17-year-olds. The camp programs are sponsored in part by TD Canada Trust and TD Friends of the Environment. For more information, visit www.riverinstitute.ca.