PORTER | Calling all teens living near Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Join the National Park Service in doing some “green time” with the ParKids Youth Volunteer Corps.
Youth between the ages of 13 and 18 are invited to participate in this year-round, volunteer service learning program. The ParKids program provides safe, high quality outdoor adventures and educational experiences for youth while instilling an understanding and an appreciation of the natural and cultural resources of the national lakeshore. In return, teenagers are provided opportunities to explore the park, make new friendships and gain a sense of stewardship for the national lakeshore and their surrounding communities.
ParKids meet several times a year on Saturdays for behind-the-scenes hikes, service projects, and special park events. Teens have fun while learning about their neighborhood national park.
Included in the ParKids experience is an opportunity for the first 20 applicants to attend a week-long summer training camp on June 25-29, 2013. Summer camp will be a unique fun experience that includes tours, kayaking and outdoor camping and is done in partnership with the Dunes Learning Center and the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association. Participants must also commit to at least two volunteer service-learning projects during the year. Kayak training to obtain basic paddling skills is also mandatory. ParKids will be taught these necessary skills from certified trainers of the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association. The training session will take place in a local indoor pool on March 23. The deadline to apply for the ParKids Summer Camp program is March 20. A $50 camping fee will be charged to cover food and transportation. Obtain summer camp applications online, only, at www.duneslearningcenter.org.
Other ParKids activities that occur throughout the year include: cross-country skiing, the Maple Sugar Time Event, Earth Day, Spring Stewardship Projects, Spring Picnic, Dunes Learning Center Summer Projects, and more. There is no limit to the number of teens that can participate in regular ParKids programs, and there is no fee associated with this part of the program.
Applications for year-round program are accepted throughout the year. To request applications for the ParKids year-round program, or for additional information, call program coordinator Gail Cross at Gail_Cross@nps.gov, at (219) 395-9555, ext. 7.