Environmental Summer Camps Guide

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By Hunter Kossodo

It may seem early to start making summer plans, but there’s no better time than now to get a jump start on your kids’ warm-weather activities. Summer camps are a great way for children to learn about new things in fun and exciting ways. In Arizona, there are plenty of camps dedicated to teaching kids about the environment and the importance of taking good care of it. Here are a few of the top choices for upcoming eco summer programs in northern, central and southern Arizona that are worth checking out before the school bell rings.

DISCOVERY SUMMER CAMPS

Museum of Northern Arizona

The Museum of Northern Arizona is offering three different camps for four to 13 year olds. Campers will learn about the amazing Colorado Plateau and Arizona’s diverse wildlife as well as its ancient people through games, songs and field trips. Options range from half-day classes to week-long camps. Camps run through June and July. musnaz.org/summer-camps-2

SUMMER CAMPS AT THE DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN

Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix encourages exploratory learning in the Garden’s fun and safe environment. There are two different camps available for ages five through seven and eight through 12. Through close-up observation and experiments, campers will learn about how plants and animals – including some creepy crawlies – survive in the Sonoran Desert. There are four- and five-day camps available running May 31 to July 1. dbg.org/kids-camps-programs

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SCIENCE ROCKS! SUMMER CAMP

Deer Valley Unified School District

For incoming fifth-through-ninth-grade students, Science Rocks! Summer Camp offers five different themes covering environmental science, aerospace, forensics, medical science and robotics. The week-long environmental science camp focuses on education about Arizona wildlife and its ecosystems, and will include field trips to the Phoenix Zoo and Spur Cross Conservation Area to learn about wildlife conservation. Camps run June 6 to June 24. dvusd.org/page/4625

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PLANT POWER SUMMER CAMP

Tucson Botanical Gardens

First-through-sixth graders in the Tucson area will have the opportunity to learn about the Sonoran Desert, how to whip up some healthy meals, and run experiments to learn how plants work and how to care for a garden. Two five-day sessions are available starting June 13. tucsonbotanical.org/program/summer-camps

MUSEUM EXPLORERS CAMP

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Campers from first to sixth grade will meet native wildlife at the Desert Museum and observe how plants, animals and people can live in a desert. Older kids will experiment with native plants, learn about marine life, and be introduced to scuba diving. Seventh and eighth graders will spend time outdoors in the Summer Scientists program, which includes overnight campouts and hands-on field research. There are two sessions available for first-through-sixth graders starting June 6 and one session for the Summer Scientists June 27 to July 1. desertmuseum.org/kids/camp_page

ARIZONA FAMILY CAMPOUT PROGRAM

For a whole family summer camp adventure, embark on a weekend-long camping crash course at one of Arizona’s state parks. The program is designed for families that have little or no experience camping. Families will be introduced to camping experiences such as setting up a tent, learning to cook outside, appreciating nature and much more. Weekends in March through June are available. azstateparks.com/family


Hunter Kossodo is a senior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

Find more green kids articles at greenlivingaz.com/greenkids

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