By Christine Bryant
As Scioto Grove Metro Park is about to begin its second summer, camp organizers are getting ready for a busy season.
The park’s camps, which will run back-to-back over the course of nine weeks, allow parents and guardians to sign up their children for just one or as many camps as they’d like. Known as Traditional Day Camps, they will run from June 5 through Aug. 4.
“The idea behind the Traditional Day Camps is to provide a less structured agenda that would give our campers more free time to just be kids and explore nature without it being heavily guided through classroom-type programs,” said Audrey Zimmerman, who coordinates the camp program.
These styles of camps, now in their second year at Metro Parks, were a hit at Highbanks and Homestead Metro Parks last summer, she said.
Activities in the camps, which are for children in Kindergarten through sixth grade, include fishing, creeking, hiking, crafts and water and group games. Campers who have completed second grade also are eligible to participate in kayaking and archery.
“We also wanted to accommodate for parents’ busy schedules, so in these camps, we offer before- and after-care hours,” Zimmerman said.
Camp hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Before-care will be offered from 7 to 9 a.m., and after-care will be offered from 4 to 6 p.m.
The following are the themes and dates for the camps, courtesy of Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks. For more information or to register, go to metroparks.net.
• Junior Rangers – June 5-9 and July 10-14: Ever wonder what it takes to be a park ranger? Campers will explore the ins-and-outs of being a park ranger through fun programs about human and animal safety, search and rescue, and nature exploration. “Explore, Learn, and Protect!”
•Junior Naturalists – June 12-16 and July 17-21: Follow in the footsteps of Metro Parks’ naturalists as you explore the natural world. Search for birds and insects in the forest or field, make your own field guide, create edible scat, and find out how to identify tracks and animals signs.
•Outdoor Survival – June 19-23 and July 24-28: Campers will learn outdoor skills and become young survivalists by trying their hand at campfire cooking, signaling, shelter building, knot tying, animal tracking and more.
•Splish Splash- June 26-30 and July 31-Aug. 4: Cool off this summer with fun outdoor water games and adventures. Make your own popsicle stick boat, try your hand at fishing, and show off your soaking skills. Find out about the special animals and plants that call aquatic places their home. Prepare to be wet!
•Stars and Stripes- July 5-7 (three days only): Play traditional camp games such as capture the flag and tug-o-war, and pan for “gold” during the Gold Rush. Search the pond for frogs and other aquatic creatures, make your own cookie cutter bird feeder and create a patriotic hand print painting during this three day camp.