Summer camp goes to the Caribbean

By Pam Bryant

Youth Learning Institute campNearly 80 youth participated in the first day-camps offered this summer by the Youth Learning Institute at Clemson’s Archbold Tropical Research and Education Center in Dominica.

One week-long session for campers age 8-14 focused on environmental education. The campers collected and tested water and soil samples, identified plant types and learned to use handheld global positioning systems. The second session engaged campers age 17-25 in leadership and life skills-building activities. Existing classroom space was expanded and new adventure components were installed at the center so the campers could traverse a stream, climb and rappel from trees and play low impact, team-building games.

“Camping isn’t new to Dominican youth, but we wanted to give them a chance to experience the ‘nature island of the Caribbean’ in a new and exciting way,” said Pam Ardern, YLI curriculum director who led the YouthLink Dominica camps. “The camps allowed young people to explore new things, learn new skills and share good times with new friends. Hopefully, it’s an experience that will make lifelong impact.”

For information: Pamela Ardern, 864-878-1041,