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A collaboration of four Sanibel environmentally-friendly groups brings summer camp to life

By Staff | Apr 27, 2016

For four days, youth entering the sixth and seventh grades from Sanibel, Captiva and Cape Coral, will have the opportunity to learn to how to become environmental stewards and experience how the world is interconnected.

A two-session summer camp will be offered by the collaborative effort between some of the four Sanibel’s most environmentally conscious organizations in CROW, “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge, Tarpon Bay Explorers and the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum.

The two sessions this summer for the “One World Conservation Camp” will be offered in a half-day format, and all camp lessons and activities are designed for students who will be entering the sixth and seventh grade age level.

Throughout the week campers will engage in projects independently to develop critical thinking skills as well as in groups to promote team building. Content will be delivered with an awareness of different learning styles, and participants will be encouraged to participate in all activities.

Session one will be held June 13-16, while session two will be Aug. 1-4.

One World Conservation Camp participants will get to experience firsthand the animals CROW treats and the procedures followed, like with this bobcat kitten last year. BRIAN WIERIMA

Space is limited (20 campers per session) and registration will be open until Monday, May 30 at 5 p.m., and campers must meet all program requirements to participate.

“We want to teach the students attending to be aware how the world is interconnected,” said CROW Education and Outreach Coordinator Rachel Rainbolt. “Everything from plants to mollusks serve each other and serve a role in the environment.”

The camps are sponsored by each of the Kiwanis Clubs on Sanibel-Captiva and Cape Coral. The camps will only be offered to students from those communities.

“CROW has been increasing its programs during the in-season, so this is the first time we have been able to put on an educational camp for the local youth in the summer,” Rainbolt said. “We are anticipating this will be a successful (venture) and hoping to receive some sponsorships from the greater Fort Myers area, so we can have kids from those areas next year.”

Each of the four organizations will be responsible to teach a certain section of being environmental stewards for the future.

Treatments such as to this wounded Osprey, will be talked about during the One World Conservation Camp this summer. BRIAN WIERIMA

For CROW, campers will be able to take a tour of the hospital and do miniature projects about the animals which are taken care of there.

The day at “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge will entail nature trail hikes with interruptive tour guides, while the Tarpon Explorers will be taking campers on a boat excursion and learning of the estuary biosphere.

The day at the National Shell Museum will teach the students about the diversity of the coastline and how important mollusks play a part in the environment.

To gauge and measure what the campers are learning, there will be a pre-test given at the start of the camp, then a post-test on the last day.

“That way, we can measure how much these kids are learning from the camps,” Rainbolt said.

Camps will learn what CROW does, like treating wounded Loggerhead Sea Turtles. BRIAN WIERIMA

The cost for Sanibel-Captiva campers is $50 per student and for Cape Coral kids is $75, which includes travel and toll costs. Individuals will only be able to sign-up for one of the sessions and applications will be only accepted until Monday, May 30.

To register, please contact: Rainbolt, at 239-472-3644 ext. 228.