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Openings remain for Outdoor Discovery Camp at Shawnee Mission Park
POSTED: 04/25/2012
This program is for ages six through 12. Participants will have the opportunity to canoe and kayak every week. Campers will also have fun learning about the great outdoors through hikes, environmental games, nature crafts, and more.

"They really learn these lifelong recreation skills that promote healthy lifestyles and family togetherness," said Senior Park Naturalist Molly Postlewait. “Lots of kids play team sports, but few will play team sports when they become adults. Hiking, nature appreciation, and kayaking/canoeing can bring joy and other benefits for years to come."

New for 2012 is the addition of area near the camp shelter being called "turtle island," featuring sand and a number natural items participants can use to create natural playscapes. This feature is meant to encourage imagination and allows campers to create their own environment.

Other camp features include enriching stories by our storytellers, swimming, boating, fishing, and archery. This program is offered weekly from May 29 through July 30. Each week, there will also be an educational field trip to complement the weekly camp themes which range from insects to historical figures to ammonal rescues. This camp is fully licensed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the counselor-to-camper ratio will be 10-to-1 or better. To find this program in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under youth and then under camps. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords “nature & science.”

Camp activities begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For the convenience of working parents, supervision will be provided from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Children should bring swimming gear, a nutritious sack lunch and drink, and a canteen. Camp will meet at Shawnee Mission Park's Shelter #12 located at 7838 Beach Drive at the northeast end of the lake. Outdoor Discovery Camp is also offered this summer at Ernie Miller Park in Olathe, but those sessions have already filled and waiting lists are forming. Enrollment at Shawnee Mission Park is limited to 48 campers per week. The cost for five eight-hour sessions is $111 per child for Johnson County Residents or $121 for nonresidents. Camp fees are nonrefundable.

For more information, call the Nature Center at (913) 826-2805 or (913) 826-2804. The Johnson County Park and Recreation District's Activities catalog, with information and a registration form, is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches. Camp registrations are accepted online at or by mail, fax, or in-person at the JCPRD Registration Office at Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam. No phone registrations will be accepted.

An orientation session will take place beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 17, at Shawnee Mission Park Shelter #12 and will cover camp policies, paperwork and general information.

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