AWC gears up for summer camp

The Alabama Wildlife Center offers educational programs for children thorughout the year, including a nautre-themed summer camp in late July. (Contributed)

The Alabama Wildlife Center offers educational programs for children thorughout the year, including a nautre-themed summer camp in late July. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—For the second year in a row, the Alabama Wildlife Center is offering their Back to School Summer Camp in two sessions, from July 21-25 and July 28-Aug. 1.

The camp aims to foster a “greater appreciation of our native wildlife and a better understanding of how people fit into the ecosystem,” AWC Educational Director Jay Eubanks explained. “We try to look at the bigger picture of nature.”

Alabama ranks among the top in states with highly diverse wildlife populations, Eubanks said, and located in the heart of Oak Mountain State Park, the camp offers the perfect opportunity for campers to explore nature and diversity.

“It’s a very immersive experience,” Eubanks said. Each day has a nature-centered theme, and children learn through hands-on activities and crafts, such as a nature hike to explore forest ecology, creating homemade birdfeeders and fishing on the last day of camp.

The camp also takes advantage of the resources offered by the AWC. Campers are given a “behind the scenes look” at the bird rehabilitation facilities and work with the center’s four education birds.

In addition to daily themes, wildlife safety is woven throughout the camp.

“It’s recurring theme throughout the week,” Eubanks said. “You have to know how to handle things safely.”

Campers learn to be cautious and to identify potentially dangerous situations in nature through lessons such as native snake identification, Eubanks explained.

“Things are going to be a little different this year, incase kids want to come back and do both weeks (of camp),” Eubanks said, noting each week will cover different topics so children attending both weeks can have new experiences. “This is only our second year, we we’re still looking for more campers.”

For more information and to register for the Back to School Summer Camp, visit the AWC website, Awrc.org.