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KODIAK: Salmon Camp Investigates the World of Water
Alaska Region, November 21, 2012
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These campers are showing their team spirit during a friendly game of Bear, Salmon, Mosquito.
These campers are showing their team spirit during a friendly game of Bear, Salmon, Mosquito. - Photo Credit: USFWS Shelly Lawson
With a helpful partner, a blindfolded camper finds a tree to explore and later will try to relocate it without the blindfold.
With a helpful partner, a blindfolded camper finds a tree to explore and later will try to relocate it without the blindfold. - Photo Credit: USFWS Kari Eschenbacher
On a hike campers look closely for signs of water.
On a hike campers look closely for signs of water. - Photo Credit: USFWS Shelly Lawson
This camper, not yet in kindergarten, proudly shares her journal entry.
This camper, not yet in kindergarten, proudly shares her journal entry. - Photo Credit: USFWS Shelly Lawson
This camper is enjoying using senses other than sight to get to know this Sitka Spruce tree.
This camper is enjoying using senses other than sight to get to know this Sitka Spruce tree. - Photo Credit: SCA Rory Psotka
Salmon Campers looking for and identifying seabirds off of Near Island.
Salmon Campers looking for and identifying seabirds off of Near Island. - Photo Credit: SCA Kristen Riesberg

The Kodiak Refuge Science and Salmon Camp is a popular summer education program that has been in existence since 1996. This program has many returning campers each year. For this reason, we have created a rotating curriculum so students do not have repeat material. The theme for the summer of 2012 was Water. Through games, song, stories, art, experiments, and more students learned about the many aspects and properties of water. Our lessons and activities are place-based so the focus is on the influence of water on the plants, wildlife, humans and landscape of Kodiak Island specifically.

 

A great number of partners help to make Salmon Camp a successful educational experience. Here are a few of the unique ways partners contributed to Salmon Camp 2012:

Alaska Geographic, a proud sponsor of Salmon Camp for many years, helps fund our end of the week BBQ throughout the summer, purchase camp shirts and provide financial assistance to campers. This year 16 campers received assistance resulting in $1,595.00 in scholarship contributions.

The Kodiak Electric Association which has a hydroelectric plant on refuge land and wind turbines in the city of Kodiak, showed campers how electricity from water is generated. Campers also enjoyed creating and experimenting with miniature wind turbine designs to find the shape that yielded the best results.

The City of Kodiak, Public Works Department gave campers a tour of the reservoir and city water pumps to give perspective about where our water comes from when we turn on our taps.

The Kodiak Regional Aquaculture Association field trip allowed students to take a close look at salmon in many different stages of their life cycle and learn about Salmon biology.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game provided an exciting tour of a working fish weir. Campers learned about fisheries management, research and how to age salmon from scales.

In addition to assistance from these and other partners, our Salmon Camp Director and three Student Conservation Association interns provide entertaining, educational and experiential curriculum to the campers throughout the week. Each day has a different focus with songs, stories, and activities created to highlight the theme of the day. Some examples of themes are: Water Cycle, Salmon, Marine Debris, Seabirds and hydroelectricity.

Salmon Camp runs throughout the summer from June through mid-August. Our weekly camps in the city of Kodiak are organized by grade (K-1st, 2nd-3rd, 4th-6th and 7-8th). When Salmon Camp travels to Kodiak area villages, we accept all school aged children at the same camp.

Our campers for 2012:
Salmon Camp served the communities of: the City of Kodiak and all six Kodiak area villages: Akhiok, Port Lions, Old Harbor, Karluk, Larsen Bay and Ouzinkie.

In town: 116 campers each participated in 5 days of camp programming
In villages: 79 campers participated in two days of camp programming

The total cumulative camper programming hours were:
Kodiak Grades K-6th: 3,240 hours (108 campers x 30 hours of programming)
Kodiak Grades 7-8th: 384 hours (8 campers X 48 hours of programming (includes 2 nights camping)
Villages (preK-7th): 790 hours (79 campers X 10 hours of programming)

The knowledge learned by campers is demonstrated at their end of the week art and song presentation for their families. Also, with field journals campers show that they have learned new words and concepts relating to water. Next summer, we are planning to include a pre and post assessment sheet that the campers will complete on Monday and again on Friday at the end of camp.

In addition to our campers, our program also includes a group of young students who volunteer as instructor aides via our Kodiak Refuge Youth Leadership (KRYL) Program. After attending a training workshop, these students assist for a full week in camp. The young leaders assist campers with special needs, read stories, lead lessons and games. Adding this program to our camp has further enhanced the experience for our campers and provided a quality educational experience and refuge involvement for middle and high school students. This year we had nine KRYL students.

Putting on our camp is a year round effort. We are already gearing up for Salmon Camp 2013 which will have a focus on cycles of the earth such as carbon, ocean tides, insect life cycle, salmon life cycle and more.

If you would like more information about Salmon Camp or other education programs of the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, email Michelle_Lawson@fws.gov or call 907-487-0283.


Hear from the youth about why they keep coming back to the Kodiak Refuge Salmon Camp year after year.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMjtLFj0zJM
Contact Info: Michelle Lawson, 907-487-0283, Michelle_Lawson@fws.gov



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