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  • HDT Team

Home Grown Stewards Program

For over a decade, we’ve been home to the sustainability-based children-focused Eco Camp. It’s our favorite time of the year, to be honest. Getting to interact with kids just discovering the wonder and awe that is found on our planet is definitely a highlight.

Unfortunately, with considerations to distancing guidelines, we have decided to give our in-person programming a break while everyone is able to socially distance.

However, that leaves us with an opportunity to try something we haven’t done before:

We’re very excited to introduce our new virtual summer programs: Home Grown Stewards.

We’ve put together three programs that can best help you on your sustainability journey, and they all can be done remotely, virtually, or digitally.

We’ve been working hard on designing an alternative to our in-person programming. We want you to be able to continue to explore our great outdoors, create that delicious feast from your own garden, and learn all about our wonderful planet, from the safety of your own home.

Program Coordinator Michelle Hoefs describes how difficult making the change was for her and the rest of our staff, “Obviously, we would so much rather be spending the summer with campers in person. Kids need interactions with other kids and also adults that aren’t their parents. It’s good for their development. So, we designed programming that allows for a small part of that interaction.”

Here are the programs:

Family Activity Kits

These themed kits are designed to engage the whole family in learning about the earth and how to care for it! You’ll receive a kit with the materials and instructions for 10 different activities to complete over a month-long period, including one that will take you the whole month! We’ll send you an email at the start of each week with additional resources, book suggestions, and educational tv/movie suggestions related to the current topic.

Families will also have the option of participating in two virtual meet-ups – a halfway checkpoint and a final celebration of your work – and a Facebook group where you can share your progress with other participating families, seek support and ask questions.

Hoefs continues, “We wanted to give kids and their families a way to interact, virtually, with others families. We definitely wanted to let them share their accomplishments with others in their peer groups. That interaction is essential.”

Gardening Kit

Unboxing Video – Monday, June 15 Checkpoint – Monday, June 29 Final Activity Recap – Friday, July 10

Habitat Kit

Unboxing Video Monday, July 20 Checkpoint – Friday, July 31 Final Activity Recap – Friday, August 14

Price: $50/kit +$5 per additional child for materials; $15 flat-rate shipping fee may apply or choose free pick up

Click here to sign up for a kit! Note: You can order a Gardening Kit through Monday, June 29, 2020. Habitat kits will be available for order Wednesday, July 1.

Eco Camp At Home

Although we can’t have camp, we want to offer kiddos a chance to connect with fellow Eco Campers in a camp-like atmosphere! Similar to the Family Activity Kits, your camper will receive a box of activities at the start of their Eco Camp week. Each morning, campers will have a chance to meet with their camp counselors in a brief Zoom Meeting, where they’ll set the theme for the day, do a group activity, and connect with their peers to share what they’ve been working on. Then, your kids have the day to complete a few hands-on Eco Camp activities at their leisure. There will be a chance for an optional afternoon connection with the camp group and an end of the week celebration!

Hoefs commented, “While it will be a little different from our normal Eco Camps, we still wanted to make sure kids had an opportunity to be able to explore their world. That’s what we’re excited for, showing our campers that their world is something each one of us is responsible for and that it should be our joy to do so.”

June 22-26 – 1st – 3rd Grade Campers, $60

July 13-17 – 4th-6th Grade Campers, $60

August 3-7 – Pre-K and Kindergarten Campers, $40

$15 flat-rate shipping fee may apply or choose free pick up

Daily Facebook Activities

This private Facebook group will feature themed weeks, from June 15 – August 15, where we’ll post a new activity every day, Monday – Friday, plus a storytime to fit the theme! Activities will be something your child can complete at home. There will be a post prior to the start of the week with a schedule of upcoming activities and targeted ages for each. You can pick and choose what sounds fun to you!! That’s 40 hands-on activities, 5 outdoor challenges, and 9 story times that you’ll have access to when you join our group! Your kids will love seeing their favorite (and new) Eco Camp Counselors with something new for them each day.

“We can not wait to ‘see’ everyone this summer. We know it’s going to be different, but the lessons and interactions are based on the same principles learned at our day camps,” Hoefs assures.

Price: While there is no cost to join this group and access the resources, if you are able to, we suggest a donation of $25 for these 9 weeks of nature fun! Any bit helps! Thank you!!

You can be a part of the virtual get together all summer.


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