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Russell Woods camps offer variety of nature themes

Published: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

GENOA – University of Illinois Extension has opened up summer camp registration. Camp Russell is held at the Natural Resource Education Center in Russell Woods Forest Preserve, one mile west of Genoa on Route 72. These nature-themed day camps are developed to engage children who enjoy learning about nature and the natural resources around them.

Camps are limited to 25 campers, so the ratio of campers to instructor is high. There are six different one-week day camps.

“We ask that parents register their children for the correct age camp, as the curriculum is created based on age-appropriate learning,” Peggy Doty, University of Illinois Extension Educator, said. “We developed the camps to be interesting, engaging, and full of solid research based lessons for specific aged campers.”

Children ages 7 to 9 can attend one of three camps. In Dinosaur Dynasty, they will study the Mesozoic era and learn why we don’t find many fossils of these amazing creatures in DeKalb County. They will do many activities about rocks and become geologists for the week. In Magnificent Mammals, campers will learn about mammals in Illinois and across the world. Cold Blooded Camp activities will focus on reptiles and amphibians in Illinois. Campers will learn where to look for these creatures and how they can help preserve them in DeKalb County.

For campers 9 to 11 years old, there is Native American Camp, where campers will learn the skills of awareness, tracking, fire making, and much more, or Naturalist Camp, which covers everything nature, including forests, rivers, rocks, plants, and even activities about wildlife. This camp will meet the requirements for three Webelo Boy Scout badges (forester, geologist, and naturalist). Campers in this age group can also attend Rockin’ in the River. Campers will get to know the Kishwaukee River from the macro-invertebrates and clams to the habitat it flows through. Campers will understand what makes a river healthy and what they can do to protect this DeKalb County gem. Depending on the depth of the river, the campers will be conducting studies in the water.

For information, call 815-784-2000 or go online and download a copy of the registration at web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo/.

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