Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 329
Columbia, North Carolina 27925

Contact: Howard Phillips- 252-796-3004 ext 226

News Release

June 30, 2010

Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Conducts Free Summer Science Camps for Local Children

A series of summer science day camps have Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge literally hopping with children this summer. The camps, which began last week and will extend for the next five weeks, are designed to connect children with nature and introduce them to the national wildlife refuge that's right in their backyards. National studies have shown that children who spend more time outdoors are happier, healthier, and even smarter than those that spend their time inside. So, across the country, national wildlife refuges are joining with other conservation agencies and organizations to really focus on teaching children the value of being outside and sharing with them the fun and adventures that can be had outside. The goal is to have adventures in the great outdoors!

Refuge Manager Howard Phillips described the summer program, "We're excited to see lots of kids on the refuge learning about the outdoors. It's a win-win for all of us here in Tyrrell County. The children love coming out to do fun activities on the refuge, and it gives us a captive audience to teach about the our wildlife resources. We know if we don't expose them to the outdoors, they'll never grow up to be environmental advocates, and that's our ultimate goal. We want to raise up a generation of people who will literally help us save the planet!"

Last week, the camp began with the 15 children and 2 adult leaders from Ms. Sue McKinny's class from Mother's Helper Day Care in Columbia, NC. They did a tour of the Scuppernong River Interpretive Boardwalk, an earth worm experiment, and had a day devoted to learning about spiders. Sherryreed Moore, who was hired this summer to coordinate the camps, described the experience, "The most important was that they had a lot of fun and they learned some new things. They were ecstatic but sad that today was the last day of camp. It is so rewarding when the kids appreciate and love what you are doing for them. We finished up learning about spiders and made hot glue spider webs! Then, to cool them down, they took turns getting wet with our blue whale sprinkler outside. And, they loved it when the big blue goose showed up!"

There are 20 children signed up for the next 2 weeks of camp which is designed for children aged 5-8. The second set of camps, scheduled for July 26 – July 29 and August 2 - August 5, is designed for ages 9-12 and has a few openings.

Activities focus on fish, insects, plants, birds, and mammals, and they visit local refuges to canoe or study a marsh. To learn more about the camps or to register to fill any openings, stop by the refuge office or contact Sherryreed Moore at Sherryreed_Moore@fws.gov 252-796-4909 ext. 228.

Group Shot
Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Environmental Educator Sherryreed Moore and the first group to experience the summer science day camp. This group is from Mother's Helper Day Care in Columbia, NC. Photo Credit: FWS.

Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge's summer science camp provides fun and educational outdoor activities for children. This youngster is learning about creatures that live under rocks and logs!
Photo Credit: FWS.