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Discovery Southeast's Outdoor Explorers program teaches kids about the great outdoors
Published: 06/24/2010 18:35:00
Updated: 06/25/2010 08:37:58

Living in a place like Alaska, there is a lot going on outside during the summer. Discovery Southeast's "Outdoor Explorers" program is a summer education program that takes kids out into the great outdoors and teaches them ways to observe and See the natural world around us.

Scott Burton, a naturalist with Discovery Southeast, told us; "an important part of this program for me is getting kids outside, making connections with nature. I think kids are spending a lot of time these days in front of screens."

The program strives to get kids away from those screens.

Piper Bartlett is the Ocean & Nature Education Specialist at Discovery Southeast. She explained "Pretty much it's just getting kids outside, you know, during the summer, and getting them to learn about nature and kind of explore their surroundings. It's really great. So they're week long sessions, and every day they go somewhere different and there's a different topic to the day. So you know, we use trails like West Glacier Trail, or Perseverance, or we go to Point Louisa, Treadwell Ditch Trail; we do all of these things, and the kids get to kind of get a different topic, get a different idea every day."

Discovery Southeast is a Non-profit organization formed in 1989, and has been conducting the Outdoor Explorers program since the early 90's.

During the course of the summer, Discovery Southeast will take groups on almost all the trails in Juneau.

In addition the summer camps, Discovery Southeast works to teach kids and teachers about nature all year long.

"Among other things, we work in elementary schools with 3rd, 4th and 5th graders during the school year. And we work with the Juneau School District science curriculum and try and augment what teachers are doing. We spend about 75% of our time with all 3rd 4th and 5th grade classes outside." Burton elaborated

2010 Outdoor Explorers Summer Day Camp Schedule:

Session 1: June 14-18 7-9 year olds
Session 2: June 21-25 7-9 year olds
Session 3: June 28-July 2 7-9 year olds
Session 4: July 5-9 10-12 year olds
Session 5: July 12-16 7-9 year olds
Session 6: July 19-23 7-9 year olds
Session 7: July 26-30 7-9 year olds
Session 8: August 2-6 10-12 year olds
Session 9: August 9-13 7-9 year olds

There are still spaces available in all the week long Outdoor Explorers programs through August 13th. They can be reached at (907) 463-1500.

By: Mikko Wilson -