Liquid News

If It’s Summer, It’s Time for Camp

A true recipe for summertime fun and learning is the Irvine Ranch Water District San Joaquin Marsh - weather in the 70s, a host of volunteers to share their knowledge and a room full of youngsters ages nine through 12 eagerly soaking it all up.

Welcome to Sea and Sage Audubon Society’s Marsh Bird Camp. This is the 22nd year for Audubon’s summer camps. One day recently, the campers were learning why birds have feathers and what purpose they have and later on, they would be dissecting owl pellets. The next day, they painted bird baths.

“Any leader would love to have these kids, with their high interest level,” said Audubon volunteer Bobbie Miller. “A great summer camp has been put together.”

Indeed, many camp alumni assist at the camps as junior naturalists. And even further back, some campers have gone onto college to study biology, marine biology and environmental law. Many are sending their own children to experience what they did so many years ago.

Trude Hurd, project director of education for Sea and Sage, has overseen the programs for 22 years.

“The kids say they wish they could be here all summer,” she said. “They are always sad on the last day.”

Marsh Bird Camp is just one of the nature camps offered by Sea and Sage. The others are Fledgling Camp for seven and eight-year-olds and Bugs, Birds and Blossoms Camp and Advanced Bird Camp are for participants 11 years and older. Camps are very popular and have no problem filling up.

In the Discovery Room at the Learning Center, campers from the Discovery Science Center’s Summer Smiles camp are about to make their own slime. This lesson demonstrates why frogs and toads have slime on their bodies for protection.

Each camper is given a plastic bag filled with a special concoction, that when manipulated, firms up to slime. A bit of green food coloring adds to the authenticity.

Summer Smiles Camp caters to the five and six-year-olds, while Project Discovery Camp is for the youngsters aged seven through 10.

For more information on IRWD programs at the Marsh, please visit our website.

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