Nature Rocks Summer Camp 2023 Wrap-up


June 26 - June 30


 Campers spent afternoons Monday – Friday connecting with nature. At least ½ of camp time each day was spent in self-directed outdoor play and nature exploration. The first thing they asked each day was “when can we go outside”. We also observed that none of the campers spent any time on electronic devices during their time in camp.

The camp included hands-on creative activities for the campers to expand their creative nature. Each camper went home with their creations including their own-made camp poster. Each day included a program provided by community partner organizations. We finished with a campfire cookout on the last day.

We would like to thank:

Emily Christ from Elkhart County Purdue Extension Health and Human Services Department for providing information regarding the importance of fitness. The kids enjoyed a physical exercise related scavenger hunt of the Natural History Museum as examples of fun ways to stay fit.

Claire DeLano and assistants from Thor Motor Coach for bringing a Class A motor home and construction related activities. Interesting information about Thor as a major manufacturing company in Elkhart County was shared. It also gave us opportunity to discuss how nature provides much of the raw materials needed to produce an RV and everything else we create.

Grant Humbarger, WNC Super Sleuth, for providing the Great American Bug Hunt. Kids explored the bug exhibit to learn about various bugs. Then they took to the woods with nets, magnifying glasses, and explorer hats. They turned over dead wood and branches to see what was crawling or flying arounds. Some of the campers continued checking for bugs after the program and found a few more of interest. We focused our hands-on activities for making “buggy” creations using rocks and craft supplies.

Jenna Wait from Elkhart County Soil & Water Conservation District with Walden the Worm. Walden told his story of living underground and how worms benefit soil quality. Live worms were put out for each of the kids to observe while a worm story was read. Outdoor play time included some water fun, mud painting, sidewalk chalk drawing, and mud sculpting as it was also International Mud Day.

Dennis Badke from Foxwood Raptor and Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and his furry friends. Kids learned about local wildlife and what rehabilitators do to help those in need. They also got to visit with a young raccoon and possum.

Leah Weaver for providing a hands-on activity building by reusing items that are often disposed of. The kids really enjoyed working through the challenges of the creative process to reach the end product.

Tri-Kappa – Elkhart Alpha Rho Sorority for a donation to provide funds for kids who needed assistance in covering the fee to attend our camp.

Looking forward to next year!