What do youth see when they walk by the Elk River? Do they understand how complex and interconnected the ecosystems are? Do they wonder about what animals and plants call the Elk Valley home? Exploring in nature is important for our minds, our souls and our physical health. Connecting with our local environment helps us to feel a sense of place and passion about where we live. Children and youth are becoming disconnected from nature as they spend more time inside and staring at screens. Summer presents an opportunity get outside, explore and learn new skills. Hands-on outdoor experiences help kids to engage in their environment and apply the academics they have learned to a real-world setting. It also helps them to build confidence in their abilities and solve real-life problems with creativity.
In order to address the need for nature-based learning and early career development skills for youth, the Elk River Alliance (ERA), a local community-based water group, is offering an exciting opportunity. This summer, local youth in the Elk Valley can join staff and field experts in a hands-on field camp called the Elk Watershed Discovery Camp. Youth aged 11 to 14 will have the chance to get their hands wet and feet dirty exploring mountain, wetlands, forests and rivers. Participants will be challenged by stream wading, swimming, rafting, hiking and biking. The camp allows youth to apply their math and science knowledge, while gaining hands-on field skills. They will meet local professional experts employed in a variety of environmental careers such as water managers, biologists, geologists, fishers, tourism guides and engineers. By the end of this camp, youth will view the Elk River Watershed in a whole new light with a base of knowledge to build on.
The Elk Watershed Discovery Camp is being held in two sessions: July 21 to 25 and August 11 to 15. Each camp only costs $200 for the week with bursaries available. To register call 250-423-1009, email email@example.com, or visit www.elkriveralliance.ca for more information.