BERLIN — Assateague Coastal Trust’s COAST KIDS program just concluded its 2019 Nature Explorers Summer Enrichment Camp, a two-week day camp offering area youth the opportunity to explore parks, waterways, trails, farms, and museums across Delmarva.
COAST KIDS is a family-based environmental education program of the Assateague Coastal Trust (ACT), with a mission to bring children closer to nature in a fun and safe way, and to spark their interest in Delmarva’s local fauna, flora, and geography.
In 2014, COAST KIDS Director Verena Chase developed the Nature Explorers Summer Enrichment Camp. This year, the COAST KIDS summer campers learned about bay ecology, fishing, edible wild plants, pollinators, sustainable farming techniques, horsemanship, and participated in science projects that motivate the next generation to care for and develop an appreciation for the many diverse environments that characterize the coastal landscape of Delmarva.
“The Nature Explorers summer camp not only teaches kids about our local ecosystems, it’s also a great confidence builder. Kids get to ride horses, try out stand-up paddle boarding, handle live bugs and native bees, and walk over a self-constructed bridge,” said Chase.
ACT’s COAST KIDS program was able to host 16 campers per week for the 2019 season, providing eight weekly scholarships to kids in our more underserved communities. Assisted by Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services, ACT’s scholarship awards help kids who live in the watershed, but sometimes have never visited our bays or creeks, a chance to experience canoeing and trails. All campers spent each day exploring unique environments and participating in hands on, science oriented activates and projects that foster environmental education and stewardship.
Coast Kids also offers environmental education programs in public and private schools, weekly classroom activities for preschool and homeschooled students, and year-round monthly outdoor events such as bird banding, paddling, or building bat houses for the whole family.
To learn more about Coast Kids, visit www.ActForBays.org/coastkids