Schiff Nature Preserve Summer Camp: An Opportunity to Work with Children in Nature

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Schiff Nature Preserve Summer Camp: An Opportunity to Work with Children in Nature

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For many students, summer vacation is a time off from school to enjoy yourself, but for another large subset of students, summer break is boring and they need activities to fill their time. Schiff Nature Preserve offers volunteer opportunities for teenagers starting at sixteen to complete hands-on work in nature for about fifty hours of community service in mid-Summer. However, for people who prefer less arduous work and who are younger teenagers, starting at fourteen, students can volunteer as counselors-in-training (CIT) at the Schiff Nature Preserve summer camp.

The summer camp runs in two sessions a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Each lasts about three and a half hours. There are a total of four weeks, but students can volunteer at all four or even just one. Eamon Kraft, a student who has participated in this for two years, explains that “you got put into different groups each week and there would be a different theme,” each theme centered around a separate aspect of nature such as rocks, habitats, forests, ecosystems, and many other areas of the environment.

The campers are between the ages of 6 to 13, which aligns to the grades of first grade to eighth grade. Kraft describes “most weeks I was put with some of the [younger] kids, so, 6-7 year-olds, they were adorable.” The program focuses on the campers and giving the children a fun summer experience as well as build a connection with the environment. Kraft details about the daily activities the campers and counselors would participate in saying “you’d pick berries if they were around, [then,] you’d make jam. Every Friday we went down to a river and the kids would splash around or catch crawfish.”

Sometimes the deciding factor between choosing between different community service ideas is its application process. Some can be very time consuming, and can even get a little aggravating to write so much; however, the application process for Schiff Nature Preserve Summer Camp is quite simple. In fact, it’s so simple that it can be explained in just one sentence as Eamon Kraft explains, “You just send in a form, and then, there’s a group interview.” To get this process started, all you have to do is contact [email protected]. Although there are no more open spots for this year, this is a great program and may be the perfect plan for the summer of 2020.

Volunteering at Schiff’s summer camp is a worthwhile way to earn community service hours, to spend time with nature, to build lasting friendships with other counselors, and to have a fun time with the younger generation. “It’s a fun program, you get to be in nature, and watching little kids run around playing games is fun.”

For more information about Schiff Nature Preserve: http://www.schiffnaturepreserve.org  

Photo courtesy of Schiff Nature Preserve.