Inspiring spiritual and cultural transformation through connection with wild spaces, with the help of God and neighbor, to create a world where wildlife and wild spaces are known as neighbors worthy of our love, kindness, compassion and care.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Camp Penn Environmental Education Program and Nature Center (New for 2020!)

Celebrating God's gift of biodiversity...

Teaching environmental education...

Modeling what it means to love our wild neighbors as ourselves...

Mobilizing and encouraging environmental advocacy as an expression of our love for God...

That's what will be happening through Camp Penn's environmental education program this Summer!

Several months ago I was invited to create an environmental education program for Camp Penn; a United Methodist Church Camp located in the Michaux State Forest in south-central Pennsylvania.

I'm grateful that my friend Sam, who is director at Camp Penn, thought to invite me to take on this project. I'm also grateful that a small team of people seems to be coming together to do a little dreaming and planning for this important project.

I see this as an integral component for Camp Penn, since it is through experiences in wild spaces that so many people have come to know God, self, and community in deeply transformational ways. I see this as an opportunity to tap into my background in Environmental Studies and to honor my call as an Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church.
At this time I'm working on the curriculum for summer 2020 nature education programs for elementary, middle, and high school aged campers while Sam begins to set up the nature center facility on site.

At present the plan for the nature center at Camp Penn includes the following: 
  • A library of books for wildlife identification and for inspiration (already copies of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac, and John Muir's My First Summer in the Sierra have been donated as the first additions to the library).
  • Quotes from some American Nature writers as well as from Jesus and from the Psalms to be creatively displayed on the walls.
  • Pictures and other forms of artwork along the walls displaying native wildlife (which may include a mural).
  • A flat screen TV for viewing videos in keeping with the nature center theme.
  • Aquarium's and terrariums which temporarily house some of our smaller wild neighbors (like a five-lined skink) so visitors to the nature center can meet some of our wild neighbors there.
  • Information about environmental concerns of today, what's wrong, and how we can help.
  • Equipment for environmental education activities (binoculars, kick nets for stream studies, etc.)
  • A composting area just outside of the nature center.
  • A Camp Penn Wild Neighbor's Log where visitors can record their experiences of encountering wild neighbors at Camp Penn and the surrounding area. 
Plans for the environmental education and nature center at Camp Penn also include continuing work on two interpretive nature trails on the grounds at Camp Penn. Part of that continuing work is the placement of plaques that aid in the identification of trees and plants along the trail.

This is the initial post with regard to the Camp Penn environmental education program and nature center. In the coming months you can expect updates from time to time.

Peace,

Rich

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for your work in creating an environmental education program that brings children, youth and adults closer to Creation, God and one another!!

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