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Wed, Aug. 12

Camp helps children experience sustainable solutions

Campers will explore sustainability with fun, hands-on activities. They will create solar ovens, a spaceship that could sustain humankind for 2,000 years, worm compost systems, cyanotype sun-prints, and Kill-a-watt energy audits. Courtesy photo

Campers will explore sustainability with fun, hands-on activities. They will create solar ovens, a spaceship that could sustain humankind for 2,000 years, worm compost systems, cyanotype sun-prints, and Kill-a-watt energy audits. Courtesy photo

When school abruptly ended for area children in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on-line distance learning via computers was hastily put in place to fill the gap.

What children and families have missed is the opportunity to apply their knowledge to real-world experiences, and to gain the social-emotional benefits of group learning, with the encouragement, planning, and guidance of a teacher.

Richard Sidy, president of Gardens for Humanity, and Laurie Altringer, former Big Park School teacher and founder of the newly launched Science Vortex of the Verde Valley, were already collaborating by March on providing the Sustainability Explorers Summer Camp for this summer.

The Sedona Village Rotary Club granted financial support for this project as they did for last summer’s successful camp. The Science Vortex is a new children’s science center located in Cottonwood. Laurie will be the lead camp teacher, with a student assistant from Verde Valley School.

Educators agree that especially in light of the current challenges to health, social justice, and the environment, the next generation will need a diverse toolbox of skills that promote resilience, imagination, problem solving, and teamwork.

These are the goals for the Sustainability Explorers Summer Camp. This camp will provide some valuable “away from the screen” time for kids where they can learn by doing, enjoy outdoor activities, do art and science projects, and reflect on sustainable solutions.

Campers will explore sustainability with fun, hands-on activities. They will create solar ovens, a spaceship that could sustain humankind for 2,000 years, worm compost systems, cyanotype sun-prints, Kill-a-watt energy audits, and more.

This camp is scheduled to take place the week of July 27-31 for children ages 8-12. It will be an all-day camp from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with optional extended hours. Lunch and a t-shirt are provided.

The cost of the weeklong camp is $195 and scholarships are available, to make the camp affordable for all. Enrollment is limited to 15 children, so pre-registration is essential.

Registration is on-line at https://sciencevortex.org/summer-camp/. Since we are following the lead of local school districts providing in-person education, in the event the camp would have to be canceled, families will receive a full refund. You can find full camp information at the registration link provided above.

Due to the continued threat of COVID-19 in our community, the camp will put in place all CDC guidelines that are recommended as effective to protect campers, staff, and communities, and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Sustainability Explorers Summer camp is a project of Gardens for Humanity, the Science Vortex of the Verde Valley, and the Sustainability Alliance.

It is sponsored in part by the Sedona Village Rotary Club, Verde Valley STREAM Council, and the Narbha Institute. For more information please email Laurie Altringer at laurie@sciencevortex.org.

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