From contributed reports
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal and the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum in Winchester are offering a day-camp experience that’s just right for kids who love animals, the outdoors and playing in the dirt.
For two weeks in August, the camp’s theme — “What lives where, and why?” — will focus on outdoor science, and campers will use compasses, radio tracking devices and maps. These are the same tools that scientists use every day to study ecology, biology, and geography in research plots within the SCBI’s 3,200-acre conservation preserve.
Campers will meet with scientists and may even see some of the species bred at SCBI to bring them back from the brink of extinction. The campers will be hosted and supported by a team of conservation biologists who conduct the research at the SCBI, the organization responsible for the Institution’s global effort to conserve species and train future generations of conservationists.
The Front Royal facility (previously known as the National Zoo’s Conservation Research Center) is a preserve that is home to native wildlife, an international conservation training center and a breeding facility for endangered species from all over the world.
Scientists there conduct research that advances the understanding and sustainability of a biodiverse planet, studying species survival, landscape and habitat conservation and the effectiveness of conservation projects everywhere, among other subjects.
Located in Winchester, the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum is a center for interactive, hands-on, play-focused learning in the greater Shenandoah Valley area. Its programs and exhibits, which focus on the sciences and mathematics, the humanities and the arts, are designed to turn children on to the joy of learning.
Camp leaders Carla Gorman and Theresa Krause are members of the Discovery Museum’s science education faculty. They share extensive experience in teaching science and an abiding love and curiosity toward our natural environment.
The camps are Aug. 2-6 and Aug. 9-13 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, 1500 Remount Road, Front Royal. Each day’s program is 9 to 4, and is open to children ages 10 to 13.
The cost is $210 per week for Discovery Museum members, $240 otherwise. Contact Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum at 540-722-2020 or go to discoverymuseum.net.