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The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) has announced that registration is now open for its summer programs: Nature Odyssey for kids entering grades 4-6, and Living Earth Adventure Program (LEAP) for kids entering grades 7-8. Both day camps will run June 9-13, and attendance is capped at 23 participants for each program.
While campers for both programs will meet at PEEC each morning, the Nature Odyssey program will explore the Valles Caldera National Preserve, while LEAP will travel to various locations, including the Jemez Mountains and the Rio Grande.
PEEC invites children entering grades 4-6, to become a nature detective this summer as part of “Nature Odyssey — Super Sleuths in the Valles Caldera.” Campers will hone all their senses as they delve into the mysteries of nature in the beautiful Valles Caldera National Preserve.
Throughout the week, participants will be on the lookout for clues about how the natural world works and how they themselves fit into it. On the final day, campers will use their super sleuthing skills on a special adventure in the Valles Caldera.
Kids entering grades 7-8 who join LEAP will explore the diverse ecosystems of the Pajarito Plateau and surrounding areas, including the archeology, geology, ecology and wildlife. The group will go rock climbing, caving, hiking, geocaching and even camp out one night.
Through their activities and explorations, they will learn about what responsibility they have in protecting our environment and its inhabitants.
Their journey will culminate in an exciting rafting trip through spectacular rock formations and canyons.
The PEEC summer programs have historically been very popular with kids and parents alike.
“My son always had new information and facts to share (after attending Nature Odyssey,) so I know it ‘stuck’ with him,” said the parent of one camper last year. “I love the fact that PEEC taps into various local experts to share their passion and knowledge with the campers. Giving the kids an opportunity to explore the depth, beauty and vastness of what exists in their own backyard is a wonderful experience! My son had a wonderful week and can’t wait to do it again next year!”
On a scale of 1 to 5, the average rating given by parents last year was 4.85. As for the kids, their comments speak for themselves. One camper wrapped it all up by saying simply, “It was epic.”
Sarah Gustafson has been involved with planning and leading the summer programs for many years. “By carefully interweaving environmental education and adventure, PEEC’s Summer Odyssey Adventure Programs (SOAP), including Nature Odyssey and LEAP, provide for unique summer programs that help kids connect deeply with the natural world on both an intellectual and experiential level. Plus, we have a ton of fun!” she said.
The cost of participating in Nature Odyssey is $325 or $305 for PEEC members, and for LEAP it is $375 or $355 for PEEC members. These programs are made possible in part by the Valles Caldera Trust.
Also, due to a donation, PEEC is able to provide some financial assistance toward the program fee to qualified participants, based on a sliding income scale.
For more information about Nature Odyssey and LEAP, to register, and to receive more information about financial assistance, visit PajaritoEEC.org, email SOAP@PajaritoEEC.org, or call 662-0460.