Summer Camp Matters

By Dr. Brandolyn Thran, Associate Director and Science Advisor at Nevada Outdoor School

Growing up, I was fortunate to attend summer camp starting in 3rd grade.  Whether it was church, band, Girl Scouts, or swimming camp, year after year my parents made the financial and time sacrifice to get me to a camp.  Of course, as a kid, it was simply viewed as an escape from the normal routine, but when I reflect, I giggle at all the things I learned, intended and un-intended.  

There is so much research on the value of summer camp for kids of all ages.  The intended learning of camp specific content, like musical scales or athletic techniques, are the obvious gains for kids.  But, perhaps the more memorable and life-shaping learnings are those that fall in the un-intended category.  The exposure to a diverse range of fellow campers opens up an individual’s world and helps one to begin to appreciate that everyone is not like me.  For example, from something as simple as morning and nightly routines, we learn a lot from observing, adapting and adjusting to what others need and do.  Then there are the shenanigans that kids do, just because they are kids.  From pulling off the greatest heist in history, stealing the boys’ pillows to the heartbreak of saying goodbye to your new best-est friend, we learn a lot from camp.  

Nevada Outdoor School is proud to offer summer camp opportunities for kids 4 – 17 years old.  Nature is our backdrop and outside is our favorite location.  The focus of our camps is to teach kids to analyze their actions, evaluate their impacts, and choose wisely.  From outdoor recreation such as hiking and ATV riding, to dealing with peers, parents, and teachers, understanding the link between action, impact, and choice empowers children to be responsible stewards of the environment and themselves.  We want all kids to grow up to be healthy, happy, and engaged community members who are connected to their natural world and choose to behave responsibly.  

Nature at Noon programs introduce 4 – 7 year olds to the natural world.  Our Adventure Camps for 8 – 10 year olds begin to expand knowledge and skills, and for many is a first camp-out experience.  Pathfinder Camps for 11 – 13 year olds builds on the knowledge and skills to stretch kids to expand their nature- and self-knowledge.  For the 11 – 13 year olds we also expand their horizons with our expeditions to the Lassen Volcanic National Park and the Great Basin National Park.  Finally, Backroad Explorers and Backpacking Adventures for 14 – 17 year olds tests physical skills and prepares campers to be leaders in outdoor recreation.  We also offer ATV safety camps for kids 7 – 15 years old.

Our highly-capable and trained staff is prepared to deliver the most amazing summer camp opportunities for kids of rural Nevada.  All our camps and events are COVID respectful and follow the latest guidelines. The staff at Nevada Outdoor School is excited to welcome your children to one of our 2021 Summer Camps!!!    

Summer Camp Flyer