Thursday, April 15, 2010

Burgess Falls Park Offers Day Camps

Burgess Falls State Park will offer a series of day camps this summer for young people who will be entering the fourth, fifth or sixth grade in the 2010-2011 school year. Both a basic Ranger Camp and an advanced camp will be offered. In addition, several “mini” camp sessions will be held for students entering the first, second and third grade in the upcoming school year.

“Our Junior Ranger Day Camps provide a wonderful opportunity and we are pleased to offer them for the fourth consecutive year,” said Bill Summers, park manager. “The programs and activities are specially tailored for children between the ages of 5 and 12 and designed to be fun and engaging – a great way for kids to learn about the great outdoors, while offering parents looking for summer activities a tremendous value.”

Class topics for Junior Rangers enrolled in the basic program include Reptiles and Amphibians, Aquatics, Birds of Prey, Insects and Spiders, Ecology and Introduction to Biological Research.

An advanced Junior Ranger 2 program also will be offered for those who have completed the basic camp. Advanced class topics include Basic Hiking and Camping Workshops, Map and Compass, Organic Gardening, Advanced Aquatics and other topics.

Campers will need sturdy footwear for hiking and water shoes or old sneakers for wading in the river for creek studies. Junior Rangers should apply sunscreen before arrival at camp each day and will need to bring additional sunscreen, daily water and snacks, a hat or cap and small backpack.

Three one-week camps will be offered, including two basic Junior Ranger Camps and one Junior Ranger 2 advanced camp. Enrollment is limited to 14 pre-registered campers each week and day camp hours are 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday.

There is a $20 non-refundable fee per student for the basic Junior Ranger day camp and a $25 fee for the advanced Junior Ranger 2 program. Fees must be paid at least two weeks prior to attendance.

Junior campers may choose to attend one of the following camp sessions, but enrollment is limited so early registration is encouraged:

· Week #1: Junior Ranger Camp: June 7 - 11, 2010 (basic program)
· Week #2: Junior Ranger Camp: June 14 - 18, 2010 (basic program)
· Week #3: Junior Ranger 2 Camp: June 21 - 25, 2010 (advanced program – requires prior completion of the basic program)

A Mini Ranger Camp session will be offered for 5- to 8-year-olds, and parents are welcome to attend. Class topics for the mini sessions include Aquatics, Reptiles and Amphibians, Care of Plants and Trees, Basic Gardening Skills, along with several ranger-led hikes.

Two mini day camps also will be offered in June. The Mini Ranger Day Camp is free, but enrollment is limited to 10 pre-registered campers for each session. Students may choose to attend one of the following two-day sessions:

· Session #1: Mini Ranger Day Camp: June 3 - 4, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
· Session #2: Mini Ranger Day Camp: June 28 - 29, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

“It’s never too early to begin educating children to love and appreciate nature, and these mini sessions are perfect for younger students,” added Summers.

For more information or to request a registration packet, please call the park office at (931) 432-5312 or e-mail bill.summers@tn.gov.

Located on the boundary between Putnam and White counties, Burgess Falls State Park is characterized by sheer bluffs, narrow ridges, rolling water and abundant mixed forest. The Falling Water River runs through the area, providing breathtaking scenery and numerous waterfalls.

To learn more about Burgess Falls, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/BurgessFalls.