Audubon Ecology Camp gives kids a chance to see the science of saving the earth
Halea Carter of Cedarville is headed back to the woods this summer to study ornithology, aquatic biology, entomology – birds, fish and bugs – in a hands-on ecology camp that is still has openings for campers.
She spent a week last summer at Halberg Ecology Camp, a six-day adventure sponsored by the Arkansas Audubon Society to give young people the chance to study the natural environment in the field.
The state Audubon Society rents Camp Clearfork in the beautiful Ouachita National Forest to hold the ecology camp, which is led by teachers and qualified instructors for 50-60 students 11 to 12 years old.
Attending the camp just after fifth grade has really ignited Halea’s interest in science, she said. “We observed living creatures,”?she explained. “I?held a king snake and lizards. We learned a lot of botany – plant identification. Now that I have done hands-on stuff, it shows me how cool science can be.”
During the busy days of nature walks, canoeing, wading, capturing live frogs and insects and even pretending to be a bird searching for food, Halea got used to carrying a notebook to record observations. She learned to use a microscope to see what lives in a drop of creek water. She ate a bug – on purpose!
“I ate a mealworm,”?she said, laughing. They are gross, but safe to eat, she explained. “It tasted like unsalted peanut butter.”
Halea learned about the camp from Audubon Society member Ann Gordon, a former teacher of Halea’s mother, Jamie Carter, who is herself a teacher at Cedarville Elementary.
Gordon said scholarships are available from the Audubon Society to attend the camp, which sponsors the project.
Session one of the 2013 ecology camp is June 9-14; session two is June 16- 21. Camp tuition is $300. To apply for camp, download the application from the Audubon Society website www.arbirds.org or contact Liz Fulton at 501-663-9380.
As for Halea, she’s returning as a senior camper to learn more about natural sciences in a week of new experiences.