Young Stewards Camp 2021 a Success!

On August we wrapped up the first summer camp program hosted by Viles Arboretum in many years, the Young Stewards Summer Camp Program. 19 children between the ages of 7 and 10 attended the camp, each a budding outdoor enthusiast. The faces of this group represent the future of conservation and environmental stewardship in our community. 

Young Stewards Camp a SuccessYoung Stewards Camp a Success2The YSC program focused on providing a safe, positive environment to inspire a passion and respect for our natural world. While some of the strongest connections to our natural world can be found through hard sciences, they can also be found through art, music and games. At camp we explored each of these connections. Each day offered new experiences; using leaves as stamps to create our own scientific illustrations, meeting the sheep that graze the fields at the Arboretum, experimenting with growing seeds in water versus vinegar and much more. When you look at the problems facing our world today, a child launching paper rockets or playing a nature-themed tag game in a backyard may not seem significant, but this budding sense of curiosity and exploration has the potential to lead to solutions for complex challenges facing our society. The most important resource we have in conservation is individuals who value our natural resources. 

Young Stewards Camp a Success3In addition to developing connections with nature, campers also had the opportunity to develop healthy connections to one another. After nearly two years of social distancing and quarantine, we have all become a bit deprived of a few things that make us inherently human. Cancelled birthday parties, virtual classes and postponed playdates have all left their mark. At camp, the opportunity to play, problem solve and get your hands dirty in the company of others was made available once more. Perhaps the most valuable thing we could offer this summer at camp was the chance for kids to be kids again. Young Stewards Camp a Success4

The Young Stewards Program is just the first of many youth programs to be offered by Viles Arboretum. We plan to continue to offer high-quality affordable programming to our community, including expanded summer and school vacation programming. Your continued support helps make it all possible!Young Stewards Camp a Success5