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KODIAK:The Adventurous Side of Kodiak Refuge Salmon Camp
Alaska Region, September 17, 2012
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Some of the Adventure Camp crew ready for a fun and exciting time!
Some of the Adventure Camp crew ready for a fun and exciting time! - Photo Credit: SCA intern Dana Lindauer
A humpback whale sighting during Adventure Camp's boat ride to their camping location.
A humpback whale sighting during Adventure Camp's boat ride to their camping location. - Photo Credit: Salmon Camp instructor Ali Sutton
The memorable scene of the sun setting over the ocean was a view enjoyed by everyone at the campfire.
The memorable scene of the sun setting over the ocean was a view enjoyed by everyone at the campfire. - Photo Credit: Salmon Camp instructor Ali Sutton

by Salmon Camp Director Kari Eschenbacher

 

Is there anything better than the bond that’s created around an evening campfire? Roasting marshmallows, swapping stories, and telling jokes with the gorgeous view of the sun setting over the mountains and reflecting on the calm ocean, I don’t suppose that there’s anything superior. For campers participating in the Kodiak Refuge’s Adventure Camp, the evening campfires were unanimously the favorite happenings of the week.
The Kodiak Refuge has been hosting the popular environmental education and science camp, Salmon Camp, for 17 successful years. At Salmon Camp, the students learn through hands on activities, field trips, lessons, and explorations led by three Student Conservation Association instructors and one camp director. It’s a great opportunity for children in the Kodiak area to learn about the wondrous island they live on and investigate its intricate parts. The theme of Salmon Camp this year was water, campers learned about the water cycle, properties of water, and how Kodiak gets electricity from water, among many other water related topics.
Adventure Camp is a weeklong camp where campers spend a week focusing on self-reliance and Leave No Trace ethics which culminates with a three day camping trip to a nearby island. This camp is an extension of Salmon Camp and is exclusively designed for middle school aged students. Prior to the camping trip, the staff works with the campers to prepare for the trip. Campers plan meals, learn how to set up the tents and pack all the necessary supplies. In addition to prepping for camp, the campers got the chance to do nature photography, hike the mountains of Kodiak, go tide pooling, explore at a touch tank, complete an art project and learn a variety of games.
When the day finally came where the campers were to embark on their camping experience, they excitedly loaded onto the boat to take them to their destination. Along the way the campers were able to watch humpback whales feeding, which was an exciting way to begin the trip! Once they arrived to the island, the campers unloaded gear and set up tents. The staff planned a variety of activities for their time there such as hiking, fishing, orienteering, journaling, knot tying, fire building, plus a marine debris lesson tied in with a beach walk. Everyone was given duties such as cooking and cleaning which created a positive teamwork atmosphere. Every evening ended with the much anticipated campfire, where the close group shared s’mores, reflected on the day, and just enjoyed the moment. On the final day when the boat came to pick up the campers, the bond that had been created among the group was apparent as campers sang, laughed and posed for photos with each other all the back to town. It was an experience that not only created new skills, but new bonds and memories that will last a lifetime.


Contact Info: Michelle Lawson, 907-487-0283, Michelle_Lawson@fws.gov



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