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Winter Nature Camp gets kids outside

  The Environmental Nature Center will be hosting two weeks of Winter Camp for children in K-6th grade. The first week of camp will take place from December 21-23 and the second session will take place from December 28-30. Campers are invited to participate for a full day of camp from 9am-3pm or a half-day from 9am-1pm. “During Nature Camp, ENC Naturalists use children’s attractions and curiosities about the natural world to spur learning through exploration and play.” said ENC Education Director Lori Whalen. “The experience fosters social and emotional growth, cognitive gains, and encourages physical development. Environmental education also helps children hone skills in curiosity and questioning that support STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills.” During the first week of camp, participants will…

The Order of the Raven Helps Middle School Kids Take Flight

There are few programs that bear such gravitas in a name like The Order of the Raven, and it’s for good reason; The Order of the Raven integrates fluid learning styles for middle schoolers as they garner new methods of self-sufficiency and discovery. The Order of the Raven is an eight-day camp brimming with activities for the curious mind as new learning opportunities flow from one event to the next. What makes it unique is that while activities such as career-exploring and responsible tool-wielding are part of the planned curriculum, new opportunities to learn are abundant. “We build a certain amount of flexibility into our day, so that we can go where curiosity leads,” says Leslie Helliwell, the Museum Collection Manager and Naturalist at the…

ENC Winter Camp is just Around the Corner!

The ENC’s annual Winter Nature Camp is just around the corner! The first week is already full, but there are still some spots remaining in week 2.  Students in Kindergarten through 6th grade will explore fun and interactive themes including “Campy Awesomeness”, Marvelously Misunderstood Animals, and Sustainability Superheroes!  Each day, campers (divided into small groups by age) will rotate between our fabulous Camp Teachers, where they will participate in exciting, age appropriate hands-on activities. In Campy Awesomeness, campers will join Camp Teacher Bob to enjoy some of everyone’s all time favorite camp activities: making snow, taking hikes, telling stories, catching crayfish, doing experiments, making goo, making slushies, and building forts. Split into two parts during Weeks 1 and 2, campers will enjoy Marvelously Misunderstood Animals. Through…

Excited for my first Winter Camp!

As an excited, newly hired Naturalist at the ENC, this will be my first winter camp. I am currently working hard to create my own fun and educational program that will be a part of this already amazing winter camp. I can tell already that all of the ENC’s Naturalists are animated, intelligent, and caring people, so as one of the newest Naturalists, I have big shoes to fill! Still, I am very excited for my first winter camp. Throughout my training so far, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about many of the school programs the ENC offers. School programs cover California Standards and are paralleled to what students are learning in class. For students to come to the ENC is a great chance…

What do the ENC Naturalists Like Most About Summer Camp?

The ENC Staff were asked what they were most looking forward to when Nature Camp starts next week.  This is what they said: Lori: Summer Camp time is my favorite part of the year! I love that our campers are able to spend time in Nature all day, for days at a time – it has so much impact! Kids can get outdoors and get creative at the ENC.  I’m especially excited about a new thing we’re trying out this Summer called “Campy Awesomeness”.  Once a week all of the kids in Camp will get together to participate in some good old fashioned traditional camp activities.  I can’t wait to see what our Camp Teachers come up with!  My absolute favorite part of Camp (of…

Calling all Ravens!

Calling all Ravens: This summer, the ENC will be hosting a new and unique camp for 7th and 8th graders called Order of the Raven. It will be taking place from July 7-17, from 9am-3pm. This eight day-long experience is an opportunity for students to learn life skills, get in touch with their innate capacity for contribution, and prepare for the transitions ahead. Through a lens of nature, self, and community, the Ravens shall be challenged to make commitments to themselves and others. They will have a great time while gaining leadership skills and becoming more independent and self-sufficient. The ravens will enhance their leadership abilities and hone in on their newly learned skills by mentoring younger campers. Additionally, ravens will partake in walking field trips to…

Campers will Spring into Nature Camp in April

The ENC’s Spring Break Nature Camp is April 7-10.  Students in Kindergarten through 6th grade will explore themes including Mad Science, “Hurray for Spring!” Past, Present and Future, “Back in the Day…” and In the footsteps of John Muir. The ENC’s Nature Camp is an easy and safe way for children to get engaged in the outdoors, learn to respect nature and explore concepts of science. In Mad Science children will explore different aspects of science each day through exciting hands-on experiments and activities. “Hurray for Spring!” will be teach kids about birds, bees, flowers, trees and everything green. Past, Present and Future will teach campers about the history of the Earth by exploring fossils and how they relate to fossil fuels. They will also…

Summertime at the ENC

This week is the end of the fourth Summer Nature Camp session – Science Safari, with three more fun-filled sessions to go! Next week is Mad Science, where campers will explore different science fields – from zoology to astronomy – and participate in hands-on experiments. The following week, starting August 5th, will be the Earth Heroes session, where kids will learn how they can protect the animals, water, plants, and soil; and will become their own environmental super heroes! The last Summer Nature Camp session is Outdoor Adventure, where campers will discover that adventure exists everywhere in the great outdoors, and will take a trip to the Ocean Institute’s Sea Camp. Visit our website for more info on these camps. The ENC is hosting a…

Campers Explore ENC’s New Property

The ENC has already begun to transform our new 1.3-acre property at 745 Dover Drive! “Keep an eye on the new property when you drive down Dover,” said ENC Executive Director Bo Glover.  “We’re developing some exciting new signage, removing non-native plants and soon we will be planting some natives.” While the ENC continues fundraising for the new Nature Preschool and nature play area, we are making good use of the property. The land has already been used for education, but not by preschoolers yet… During this week’s President’s Week Camp, campers took advantage of the expanse of land to learn how to use compasses and how to build different types of shelters.  They pitched tents and took shelter from the rain within them while…

Winter (Camp) is coming…

It’s time for every child’s favorite winter pastime… The moment every kid anticipates…  Even more exciting than presents and delicious cookies still warm from the oven… Winter Camp! ENC Winter Camp starts Dec. 26th.  It is brimming with fun learning activities and new experiences around every corner. We asked a few of our awesome Camp Teachers to describe their favorite Winter Camp activity: Sarah is looking forward to Time Traveler’s Week (Dec. 26 – 28). She will be teaching campers about three periods in history: the time of the Native Americans, the Wild West, and the Groovy 70s. On Wild West day the kids will learn about fire safety and bake fresh bread over an open fire! Leslie will be facilitating some good old-fashioned nature…

Birds of Prey visit the Environmental Nature Center!

The Summer Nature Campers at the Environmental Nature Center enjoyed a presentation on Birds of Prey today! Campers flocked to see the birds Naturalist Sama Wareh had to show them. They were introduced to the Burrowing Owl, and learned how they hunt with their talons, how they hear their prey’s heartbeat, and live in holes in the ground. One lucky camper even had a starring contest with an owl! Campers also met a Western Screech Owl,  an American Kestrel, and a Great Horned Owl. Campers got an up close view of each bird and were able to see what adaptations make these birds such great hunters. Later, Sama took out a Red Tailed Hawk! The red tailed hawk is an amazing bird, with telescopic eyes…

Summer Campers get Snakey

In the Environmental Nature Center’s After Camp today, Campers were introduced to the world of snakes and their relationship with the environment. They started off with a brief hike to explore.  Shortly after hiking, the campers found themselves drawing and coloring snakes made of paper plates. After carefully cutting them out, the campers took pictures posed with their snake, and then hung them on nearby trees to startle unsuspecting hikers.  Once the campers cleaned up and hiked back to camp, Camp Teacher Katie brought them into the museum and read the story of Verdi the snake. After story time, the campers were eager to see a live snake like the one they just heard about. Instead of a yellow snake, Katie pulled out a giant…

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