PORTER | Summer camp may be months away, and with the current weather, it may feel even further away, but the Dunes Learning Center is bringing a summer camp experience to kids this February with a mission to learn while having fun.
The two-day Winter Nature Camp offers third through sixth graders the chance to learn through indoor and outdoor activities in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on Feb. 8-9.
Sandi Weindling, marketing and development director at the Dunes Learning Center, said that the program has been offered in the past, but only to students in East Chicago.
“It has not previously been open to the general public. It was originally a program funded by Foundations of East Chicago, Education Foundation of East Chicago, and ArcelorMittal to benefit students from East Chicago. This year we decided to open it up to the general public because there was a demand for it,” she says.
That demand means education for kids while getting outside for a little recreation.
“Children get cabin fever in the winter so this is an opportunity for them to get outside and play in a structured, supervised environment that is specific to our programs and our mission," Weindling said. "There is a great benefit to children in having this sort of hands-on learning experience that brings to life the science they learn in the classroom in the context of play.”
The Dunes Learning Center is located in the heart of the dunes and features trails, historic sites, and one of the most diverse ecosystems in the nation that the students will enjoy during the camp.
“There is such a great diversity of life in the dunes and it’s an outdoor classroom,” Weindling said.
While at camp, kids stay in heated group cabins that accommodate eight people (seven campers and one counselor) and each cabin is equipped with bunk beds, bathroom facilities and a shower and tuition includes lodging, meals, and activities.
The Dunes Learning Center will host two camp information sessions—one on Jan. 14 at Dunes Learning Center and a second on Jan. 15 at St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago.
For more information, or to register your camper online, visit www.duneslearningcenter.org.