Linn County’s Wickiup Hill Learning Center is offering everything from wood carving to a camp that mimics the survival skills in the popular Hunger Games movies.
Conservation Education Specialist Jenny Corbett says they key to camps is to keep the kids busy. Corbett says there’s enough going on that the kids even put away their electronic devices.
“It’s an unstructured play time for sure. And what we like to do with them, is they interact with nature, not just in it,” Corbett says. “So, we are going to get muddy and we are going to have a good time. And honestly, they don’t even think about their cellphones and things like that. We keep them moving.” There are campaigns underway to help bees and monarch butterflies, and Corbett says they’ve integrated that into camp.
“These bees…the monarchs, they need our help, so what better way to reach the kids and start explaining that importance of these pollinators. So what we are doing for our summer camps at Wikiup is we are offering Bees and Butterflies,” Corbett says. She says they explain how butterflies help everyone.
“We talk about the food that they provide for us with pollination. And another camp of ours is a bee naturalist day camp,” Corbett says. “We bring in local experts — and with that one it’s not just pollinators — but if you want to learn more about reptiles or fish and things like that.” And then there’s the movie-themed “Hunger Games” camp.
“You learn archery, how to build a fire, how to survive out in the woods. You don’t sleep overnight or anything, but you definitely know how to build your shelter and things like that,” Corbett explains. “On the last day you kind of have a competition about who survives and who doesn’t. That one is a lot of fun and it’s geared toward older-aged kids from 11 to 14. That one is one of our most popular.”
Corbett says you can find out more about their camps on their website: LinnCountyParks.com.