Summer Camp at CVEEC

As the days start to get longer, the temperature a little warmer, and spring break has come and gone, I am anxiously awaiting for summer to arrive.  Although June 1st marks the last day of our resident program for the 2011/2012 school year, the EEC is gearing up for the busy summer ahead.  If you’ve already been through the resident program, summer camp is a great opportunity to come back and visit.  If you’ve never been to the center, what are you waiting for?  Come out and experience summer camp in your National Park!

Each week of summer camp has a theme, so there is something here for everyone.  I’ll give you a sneak peek for each one, but you can check out the summer camp brochure for more information about the camps and the registration process.

Theater campers learn the art of stage fighting with battle swords.

First, you could become an actor or actress at Theater Camp (June 10 – 15).  You will work with staff from the Magical Theater Company throughout the week to develop your acting skills. Campers learn about voice, costumes, and even stage fighting!  At the end of the week, parents come back to view the final performance.  Last year, the show was excellent and featured scenes from How to Eat Fried Worms, It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, The Worst Witch, and Nancy Drew among others.  Weather permitting; scenes are performed with nature as the stage.  Prior acting experience is not necessary, just come with a willingness to participate and learn!

Farm campers water lettuce plants at Hale Farm & Village as part of their morning farm chores.

If gardening and animals are more your thing, come to Farm Camp (July 8-13).  Based out of Hale Farm & Village, campers experience sustainable farming from food to fork.  Campers will get messy digging in the dirt, discover how to harvest crops, and even learn new cooking skills.  Morning farm chores include feeding pigs, sheep, and chickens, watering plants, and preparing farm fresh meals.  Campers will also tour two of the Countryside Conservancy’s sustainable farms in the Cuyahoga Valley.  Bring your overalls and your straw hat (if you want) and find out what farm life is all about.

Campers show off their shelter building skills during Survivor Camp.

During Survivor Camp (July 15-20), you learn wilderness skills to help you survive the elements.  Classes focus on outdoor cooking, shelter building, fire, orienteering, or other similar expertise.  A culminating highlight of the week is the trek down to Howe Meadow for an overnight in tents.  Campers pack their supplies into backpacks and hike down to put their new skills to the test.  If you’ve outgrown Jr. Ranger Day camp, this may be a good choice for you.

Chef Larking shows campers the art of making garnish.

If you love watching cooking shows, Chef Camp (July 22-27) is another great option.  Campers work with professional chefs through the week to develop new cooking skills.  Learn how to peruse the farmers market, meet local farmers, and pick out farm fresh ingredients.  At the end of the week, parents are invited to dine at a number of themed pop-up restaurants the campers create.  Tasting sessions, farm tours, and knife skills are just a few activities that chef campers will experience. 

Day campers search for salamanders as they explore the stream.

For younger campers, check out our Junior Ranger Day Camps (July 16-20 & July 23-27).  Based out of Happy Days Lodge, day campers explore the plants and animals living in the National Park.  Hikes to streams, forests, ponds, and meadows allow campers to make many new discoveries.  Songs and stories are a must, along with making new friends, meeting park rangers, and more!  At the end of the week, all campers earn their very own shiny Jr. Ranger badge.

If you are looking for a one day field trip for your summer school class or day care group check out our website for day programs!  We offer a variety of programs to choose from at several unique park locations.  Hike the ledges, learn about animals, or take the Ultimate Jr. Ranger Challenge.  Attending several day programs throughout the summer makes you eligible to earn a Jr. Ranger badge.  Check the website for specific program information.

Still deciding if summer camp is a good choice for you?  Come to our Summer Camp Open House May 6th from 1-3pm here at the center.  Come meet the staff, tour the campus and ask any questions you might have.

As you push your winter coat to the back of the closet and start to make your epic summer plans.  Keep the CVEEC in mind because, honestly, what’s cooler than going to summer camp in the National Park?

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