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The Troll under the bridge…

By Brittney Gonzalez, ENC Communications Intern. Did we tell you that there is a troll that lives under our bridge here at the ENC? This is something we tell exploring kids to get their imaginative juices flowing. We start on the trail and right when we cross a bridge, we have to be quiet, listen, and be careful not to wake up the grumpy old troll. Other times we have to grab a stick or leaf in order to pay our way across the bridge to make safe passage. We drop the sticks and leaves onto the dirt below and make our way across, relieved. Fairies live on the leaves way up above our heads, too, so we have to be gentle when passing through….

A Day in the Life of a Little Naturalist Camper!

by Brittney Gonzalez, ENC Intern Today I had the pleasure of working with Sue, Valerie, Karis and many of our little naturalists attending winter camp. It was amazing having the opportunity to adventure, eat and craft with everyone. On our trail hike, Sue found the exoskeleton of a crayfish. Did another animal ate him for a meal? We all got to feel some very fuzzy leaves and talk about how everyone liked the soft texture of them. We imagined fairies sleeping on top of the leaves high above, and sloth monsters down below the bridges. We even paid the imaginary sloth monster one leaf each, to let us pass through. At the very end of our adventure, everyone sang “tap, tap, tap, we made it to…

Winter Camp at the Environmental Nature Center

by Brittany Gonzalez, ENC Communications Intern Have you ever felt like your children experience nature less than you did as a child? Well you’re not the only one, and science has proven it! There is a recent study that shows our kids spend 50% less time outdoors than their parents did as children. As unimaginable as this is, it’s reality with social media very present in everyone’s lives. Since we are starting to find out some mid-term effects on our children, we need to be aware of steps to take to help combat these effects. Another study has shown that the more  time children spend outside, the less likely they are to develop nearsightedness. Let’s work together to get our kids outside to enjoy nature!…

Camper Spotlight: Benjamin Abrams

by Melissa Pepper, ENC Communications Intern The Abrams family are frequent visitors to the ENC and its trails.  They had been members for quite some time, but began attending more frequently when their son, Benjamin Abrams, was born.   They find peace in the escape the center brings. In fact, it is the location where Benjamin took his first steps as a baby. “We would spend hours inside enjoying the smells, looking at the displays and learning” said Mrs. Abrams. “Your naturalist has been an endless help to Ben over the years for ALL his questions about nature, science, and of course native California plants.” The family has immersed themselves with all the activities and events the ENC has to offer.  Mrs. Abrams said that their…

A Ssssuper Day at Little Naturalist Camp!

by Amelia Kimberlin, ENC Communications Intern Today is the second day of the Little Naturalist Camp Session 2, and this week’s theme being “Nature Creativity,” the program is filled with an array of creative ways to interact with nature, from building structures out of sticks and branches to meeting the Center’s snakes! Each group gets to rotate to all the activity stations each day, including watercolor painting and fort building, meeting the animals (a different one every day!), and a hike all the way to the end of the trails. Specialist Gabi, the resident snake expert here at the ENC, has been specially trained to handle all sorts of snakes and introduce them to the kids. Gabi showed the Little Naturalists three of the Center’s slithery…

Learning and Being Creative at ENC Nature Adventure Camp!

by Angelica Camacho, ENC Communications Intern Summer Nature Camps are in full swing here at the ENC! As an intern new to the center, I have been eager to explore the trails and nature within and I could not have asked for a better opportunity than visiting a Nature Adventure Camp in action. This week, the theme of the camp is ‘Nature Creativity.’ After break time, the explorers and ENC Naturalists split apart to explore the trails. Michelle Price is one of our naturalists leading the camp for the first time. Price was as excited as her students were as she head deeper into the trail. A curious student picked up a feather on the trail, “filoplume,” Price exclaimed. Price took the feather and showed…

First day of ENC Science Explorers camp a Success!

by Melissa Pepper, ENC Communications Intern Another summer of Science Explorers Camps is underway! Session One: Tidepool Discovery began today with its enthusiastic campers at the Back Bay Science Center. The day began with a meet and greet and games with the LIT as campers were welcomed in. As a group they decided on rules such as respecting nature, participating and paying attention. This session’s topic of Tidepools was introduced as the campers willingly learned and shared their knowledge. Climbing aboard the canoes, campers adventured out in the Back Bay to a nearby shore. There, like real scientists, mock studies were conducted to measure the tide as they also learned about different creatures and levels of a tidepool. A visit to the touch tank was…

Green Camps For Children: Raising Awareness For Clean Technology And Environment

by Jennifer Dawson, freelance contributor Exhaust from cars and vehicles is one of the major sources of air pollution with 75% of carbon monoxide emissions in the US collectively caused by motor vehicles (EPA). UNICEF says that nearly one in seven children experience health problems from the effects of air pollution. The air inside a car is more polluted than outdoor air which makes children extremely vulnerable to the side effects of the pollution according to Sir David King in an article for The Guardian. Teaching kids to be aware of how pollution can affect their health is a great initiative. Green camps not only improve overall wellbeing but also enable them to appreciate their environment and instill in them a love & sense of responsibility to care…

Explore, Adventure and Learn at ENC Spring Break Camp

by Jorge Serrato, ENC Communications Intern Let your children learn and explore the outdoors and everything nature has to offer. The Environmental Nature Center’s Spring Break Camp is an amazing opportunity for your children to learn and grow with the help of our amazing staff Naturalists. Our team will lead the campers through fun and exciting activities, and guide them through safe but adventurous interactions with nature. Grouped by grade level, your children will have the opportunity to explore alongside their peers and learn why nature is integral to the health of our planet and ourselves. Campers will expand their minds while experiencing curricula and activities designed for their developmental level. Give your child the gift of Nature Camp. The Camp experience has been proven…

The Greatest Gift for our Children

by Rita Robinson, ENC Communications Intern What is the greatest gift we can give our children? Maybe it’s the same thing we happened to enjoy the most — the fun of having free time in nature. In these times of increasing high technology, kids are being handed iphones and ipads to distract them and occupy their time. It’s the precursor to a robotic babysitter. The problem is the child is fixated on an electronic screen, their mind mesmerized and manipulated and their bodies stagnant. Is that what we remember from our childhood? The television was bad enough but at least it didn’t go with us to the beach. Isn’t it true that once you simply step outside your door with skies above, ground beneath and…

Risk of Childhood Obesity Increases in the Summertime

By Lola Olvera, ENC Communications Intern The rings of the last school bell have barely faded away. The backpack full of old homework has barely been put down. And already, your child has gathered some microwaveable snacks, found the comfiest spot on the couch, and flipped to his favorite TV show, where he may remain for the next two months. If this isn’t your kid, there’s a good chance it’s the neighbor’s kid or one of their classmates – the trend is so prevalent. It can also be damaging. A national study cited by GMA News Online found that “During each of the two summers in the study, the proportion of overweight and obese kids increased by approximately one percentage point per month. There were…

The Return of the Ravens

Caw, caw! The Ravens are calling and are ready to guide you through one of the most important transitions: childhood to adolescence. Ravens are responsible, independent, and benevolent. Do you have what it takes to join the Order of the Raven? Ravens will sign a contract to pledge their responsibility and embark on an eight day journey designed for students entering 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. Our Head Bird will guide Ravens as they face challenges, explore new ideas, and learn skills that will help them soar into adolescence with confidence. Ravens learn both life and outdoor skills like fire making and thank you note writing. After learning a new skill, Ravens will teach and lead younger ENC Nature Campers through activities the following day. With…

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