The summer of 2022 was a busy one for the staff and volunteers at CBEC. They hosted over 100 pre-k through 6th graders over five weeks of outdoor learning and adventure camps. In addition, CBEC hosted many one- or two-day visits from specific schools and related groups from Baltimore, Annapolis, Washington, all over the Shore, and from as far away as Colorado.
After struggling through a covid-induced period of limited summer camp programs the year before, “We couldn’t have been happier with this year’s summer programs,” stated Environmental Education Coordinator, Ashley Peris. “Just about every session was full. It was great to see so many young campers enjoying being outdoors and so engaged in our ‘hands on, feet wet’ camps.” A highlight of each week’s program was the week-ending campfire lunch of hotdogs and ‘smores!
~ CBEC’s Outdoor Adventure camp focused on building nature huts, nature scavenger hunts, kayaking, and guided nature hikes along CBEC’s beaches and nature trails.
~ Wild Discovery week was highlighted by using seine nets to identify Bay critters on CBEC’s shorelines and investigating oyster cages to discover what’s inside them, including growing oysters.
~ In another camp, Art & Music in Nature, the campers learned about how to create art and music by using whatever each collected on a nature walk. For example, each camper created pine cone roses to take home to their parents.
~ The Garden Chefs program went on nature hikes and learned about different edible foods that can be found in the waters and woods around CBEC. Everyone got to collect, wash, and eat fresh berries.
~ Water Wonders campers spent the week learning about the treasures of the Bay by collecting and identifying all forms of Bay critters. Campers learned about the value and importance of oysters to the ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay.
As Fall advances, activities with CBEC’s environmental education programs have barely slowed down. Besides kayaking adventures, a number of school groups have been or will soon be participating in CBEC’s ‘Catch a Bay Critter and ‘Birds of Prey programs. Over the winter months, staff will also be visiting schools as part of CBEC’s outreach program.
Vicki Paulas, Executive Director at CBEC, stated “Environmental education is a major focus for CBEC. We are fortunate to have such a capable staff and volunteers supporting CBEC’s initiatives
To learn more about CBEC, visit www.bayrestoration.org, or come visit the Center at 600 Discovery Lane, Grasonville, MD.