Outdoor learning is too often overlooked as an important part of a child’s STEM education. That’s why the Eagle’s Nest Owl’s Roost (ENOR) Environmental Discovery Camp in Colorado has been on a mission to ensure students continue to be inspired and learn from the great outdoors since its founding in 1974 by the Colorado State University (CSU) Extension Jefferson County 4-H chapter. Even in the midst of a global pandemic that forced the camp to cancel its typical summer programs, this commitment has not changed.
Normally each year, the award-winning camp offers five week-long sessions for 3rd – 6th graders geared toward environmental education and youth development. Science, math, history, drama, art, and teamwork are woven into the activities to meet the diverse interests of the young learners. This year, with COVID-19 however, camp leaders have been hard at work developing both indoor and outdoor virtual camp activities. Their plan is to have virtual camp five days per week using programs ENOR has used at the in-person camps. The activities will include ENOR staff-led virtual hikes, daily riddles, links to national park tours that will match to a theme of the day, and more.
The camp’s online presence and real-life curriculum underscore the principle that outdoor education plays a major role in STEM learning. The ENOR Facebook page provides an ongoing source of at-home, outdoor activities and projects, such as nature hikes, birdwatching, and cultivating your own food – great for families in search of active learning opportunities for kids home from school and camp this summer.
ENOR camp coordinator, Sharon Moore, shared that, “Our award-winning team works hard every year to deliver innovative, STEM-focused programs to our young campers. Even during a pandemic, it is an incredible feeling to give kids the opportunity to build a connection to and love of the outdoors, inspiring them to share their newfound knowledge and continue to spend time outside.”
Thanks to the hard work of ENOR staff and a quick pivot to online activities, the program will continue to inspire STEM learning for hundreds of young campers and their families this summer. Even better, anyone can join in at home by following ENOR on Facebook for online, outdoor STEM activities for families and kids.
HughesNet is proud to have supported the ENOR Environmental Discovery Camp and other 4-H projects. To learn more about the HughesNet commitment to rural STEM education, click here