On this day the 5th graders from Christel House Academy were hiking trails, looking into the canopy, and chasing crawfish. This was a school day for these students but they were far from the classroom. Today they were at Ft. Harrison State Park as part of Camptown’s Eco Camp Day. The Eco Camp Day and How Wild is Your School? are two of Camptown’s nature education programs that we take to the schools. During these programs students will learn about habitats, ecosystems, and the impact of trash and recycling on our environment all through hands on interactive activities.
Camptown participated again in the Hoosier Outdoor Experience September 17th and 18th. Last year over 18,000 people visited the HOE and this year looked like a record crowd. This is the third year of HOE and the third year Camptown participated. Camptown had a family camp set up were participants could practice setting up a tent, play a game of corn hole or ladder ball, observe cooking demonstrations or just share camping stories and get questions answered.
Camptown was one of 52 organizations awarded a grant through The North Face Explore Fund. The North Face Explore Fund
grants will affect more than 30,000 young people across the nation. Camptown’s grant will help support our year long Camptown
Youth Leader Program. The Camptown Youth Leader program is a service and leadership program that includes monthly
meetings and at least one activity per month. Last year our Youth Leaders went canoeing, hiking, climbing, backpacking and put in 512 hours of service to the community.
“First-hand experience is essential to ignite a passion for the outdoors, and that shouldn’t be limited by gender, race or income level,” said Ann Krcik, director of outdoor participation at The North Face. “At The North Face, we’re dedicated to providing everyone with the access to our natural playgrounds and the resources they need to get outside.”
If you know of a student ages 12-18 that would be interested in joining the Camptown Youth Leader program, please contact us at email@example.com.
Camptown celebrated 20 years of serving Central Indiana Youth on March 20, 2011. During the past 20 years Camptown has provided outdoor adventure programs to more than 10,000 Central Indiana kids. Camptown is the only organization of its kind in Central Indiana and is well-recognized for its efforts. Camptown received Best Nature Outdoor Program in 2000 from the National Park and Recreation Association and received the Indiana Achievement Award in 2010 for exemplary non-profit management.
Camptown introduces area kids to the outdoors who might not have had opportunities to connect with nature. The typical participant is 11-13 years old, lives in a single-parent household and is in poverty. Programming is paid for through donations and makes an impact that is felt by the entire community. Camptown’s Pathfinder Program for troubled youth has a recidivism rate of only 19 percent.
Outdoor programs like those Camptown provides are desperately needed. Today 10 percent of children play in the wilderness, compared to 40 percent 30 years ago. Instead of being outdoors, our children average more than 7.5 hours per day using some sort of electronic screen, according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
We will be marking our 20th anniversary with a series of events this year. The first is a breakfast on May 6 at Oak Hill Mansion in Carmel. President and CEO of the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee Allison Melangton will be the featured speaker.
Last Thursday, Eric and Kristin were leading a How Wild is Your School program . They were presenting our Water Keepers module to 3-6th graders. In one class they had a boy with a learning and attention disability. During a good part of the program he seemed disengaged. So much that at one point he was pulling himself along the tops of the lab tables. The other students did not seem to pay any attention to him. While the behavior seemed odd to Eric, and it was not distracting the other students, he chose to ignore the behavior and engage the student as he could. At the end of each program we have an in depth time of review. Most of the class seemed to grasp the concepts discussed that day. Eric did not expect much from the one boy, but to his surprise he was on top of the concepts for the day. While he seemed distracted and not paying attention, in his own way he was participating and absorbing the material. Since he was not being forced to mold to a preconceived idea of how to learn, but was allowed to experience and participate in a way that worked for him, he was able to grasp the material being taught. This was yet another reinforcement of why Camptown uses hands on interactive experiences to teach youth.