Summer camps getting children and teens outdoors
The Tahoe Institute for Natural Science and the Tahoe Rim Trail Association are both offering camps for children and teenagers looking to get outside and connect with nature this summer.
For those into the creepy crawlies, TINS will hold its second annual Junior Entomologist Camp in South Lake Tahoe later this month. Children 6 to 8 years old can explore under rocks, logs and tree bark for hidden insect life while learning about the role these bugs play in the ecosystem.
“It’s our way to connect these kids with Tahoe’s nature. Our goal is to keep the kids inquisitive and to get them to explore the world around them. We want to create stewards of the natural environment” TINS Director of Science Education Kirk Hardie said.
The camp starts at 9 a.m. on July 30 in the Van Sickle Bi-State Park where the children will spend two days before heading over to the Bijou Community Park and finally down to Meyers on August 2.
For teens looking to learn basic backcountry skills or to hone the ones they already have, the TRTA offers three-, five- and six-day Youth Backcountry Trips for youth 12 to 17 years old.
“What sets us apart is the intensity of the experience and being in the backcountry for an extended period of time. These programs aren’t just like a day camp,” TRTA Outdoor Education Program Manager Tom Rodriguez said.
According to Rodriguez, the goal is to equip young hikers with the skills needed to backpack safely and confidently. And since the trips also have a service element, the campers get to learn about trail maintenance first-hand. They’ll build, rebuild and clear brush on various sections of the Tahoe Rim Trail.
Both Hardie and Rodriguez emphasized that the camps are a way to familiarize the campers with Tahoe. By teaching the youth about the area’s natural and cultural history, the camps will hopefully inspire them to preserve it, Rodriguez said.