by Paige Witek

– by Paige Witek, Certified Interpretive Guide  & Education Coordinator, Missouri River Bird Observatory

Not too far from Marshall, in a town called Arrow Rock, a summer day camp for kids is starting up again! The Young Explorers’ Club is run through the Missouri River Bird Observatory, an organization dedicated to the conservation of Missouri’s birds and their habitats; the camp’s main goal is to spark curiosity about the natural world. During camp kids will participate in a wide variety of activities that aim to enrich their experiences with nature.

Last year, the campers went on birding hikes, practiced nature yoga, examined animal pelts and skulls, hiked the Missouri River Landing Trail examining the river ecosystem along the way, banded birds, looked for amphibians in the Big Spring, experienced primitive hunting techniques, and even held live turtles and snakes! The club plays games, leads fun and enriching activities, and engages in a craft almost every day. In 2017, the campers created bird houses, bird feeders, nature stories, paper plate snakes, paper bag foxes, and painted watercolor landscapes of the Missouri River. This year we will do all that and more, including getting the campers involved in citizen science through an Eastern Bluebird nest box program and hosting a family camping trip.

The Young Explorers’ Club not only gets kids moving outside, but provides an opportunity for children to learn, explore, be creative, have fun, and meet some new friends. The camp takes place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8:30 A.M. until 11:30 A.M. and runs from May 29th through July 26th. MRBO is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to come out to camp and give a program or lead an activity of the presenter’s choosing. The program/activity could take a couple hours or 20 minutes. The only requirements are that the topic is related to the natural world and that the campers have fun! If you are interested, but aren’t quite sure how to put together a quality program, fear not! An MRBO Educator, Paige Witek, is willing to help any volunteer put together programming.

Also, if you know any young explorers between the ages of 7-11 you can contact MRBO to get them registered for the camp. Parents are welcome to stay for the activities.  To make sure every child has a quality experience, we are limiting the number of participants to 12 each day, so sign up soon!

Interested? If you have any questions, or would like to register or offer a program, you can email Paige Witek or call the office at (660) 837- 3888.