Nature camp another success

Published 3:27 pm Friday, June 22, 2012

Linda Cicero talks about the Native American designs with Clay Colley. (contributed)

By CATHERINE LEGG / Community Columnist

Twenty-four lucky elementary-age kids caught Linda Cicero’s contagious passion for the outdoor world as they recently completed a week at Nature Camp. They were happy, tired and filled with new knowledge, enthusiasm and concern for the wonderful outdoors.

“As a youngster, I loved scouting and going on camping trips,” said Cicero. “I so appreciated the adults who led the programs that I dreamed of giving back by teaching today’s children to enjoy the outdoors, to remember what they learn, to become hooked on it and to share their knowledge and enthusiasm.”

Nature Camp is a thrilling fulfillment of that dream. This fifth annual camp was filled with exciting activities led by Cicero, Sheila Jett, Marie Jordan and other faithful and energetic volunteers.

The children were divided into four tribes and rotated between the different activities supporting this year’s theme of honoring Native Americans, their culture, beliefs and respect for the earth.

Each day followed a schedule of such activities as canoeing, hiking, crafts, storytelling drumming, building cairns (stacks of stones used by the Indians as markers), Indian games or birding. They also went on a field trip to visit the Picketts’ bee farm, viewed the large geode on the UM campus and visited the Aldrich Coal Museum.

Guests and local speakers shared their knowledge throughout the week. A treat for the children was listening to Doug Rodgers explain the connection between the Native Americans’ lives and the camp day’s activities.

The children who completed the week took home a subscription to Ranger Rick magazine, a bandana, hiking stick, tote bag, crafts, tee shirt, books and a canoe paddle painted with Indian designs.

Some of the volunteer counselors were Rodgers, Kitty Keener, Dean Nathews, Eddie Smith, Roscoe Hicks, Libbie Rodgers, Kate Vogel, Chris Hicks, Kathy McEntee, Glenda Dover, Bart Ferguson and Ron Holsombeck, but there were many more adults plus several counselors-in-training.

The camp is made possible, at no cost to the campers, by an endowment established by Cicero, and it is sponsored by the Parnell Memorial Library Foundation and the Montevallo Park and Recreation Board.


Catherine Legg can be reached by email at