Camps teach youth about state’s natural heritage
By Peter Hull
More than 120 children from across the state learned about protecting the state’s water resources during camps this spring and summer in the Lowcountry, Midlands and Upstate.
At Camp Sewee in Awendaw, youth age 8 to 14 learned about the state’s natural heritage and the role rivers play. Hosted by Clemson’s Youth Learning Institute and sponsored by Carolina Clear, the camp included a trawl of marine life in Charleston Harbor, as well as lessons on tidal creeks, Carolina bays, estuaries and the importance of the state’s barrier islands.
In Lexington County, 10- to 12-year-olds learned the history of Lake Murray, the role of watersheds and about aquatic insects in a 4-H2O Pontoon Classroom led by Bill Blackston, coordinator for the Lexington Countywide Stormwater Consortium.
At Harbison State Forest in Columbia, 12- to 14-year-olds studied the forestry aspects of wetlands and learned about the cold-water stream below Lake Murray’s dam and the flood plains of the Congaree National Park in an advanced 4-H20 camp directed by Mary Nevins, coordinator for the Richland Countywide Stormwater Consortium.
On Lake Keowee, 8- to 12-year-olds in a 4-H2O camp collected water samples, observed microscopic and macroscopic life, conducted water quality experiments, and learned about enhancing and preserving aquatic ecosystems. Another camp was held for 9- to 12-year-olds at Piedmont Forestry Center where they completed a stream assessment and collected stonefly and dragonfly nymphs. Marguerite Porter, coordinator of the Pickens Countywide Stormwater Consortium, led both camps.
“Thanks to the many partnerships that make these camps possible, children across South Carolina can learn about the state’s natural resources, and hopefully become environmental stewards,” said Katie Giacalone, Carolina Clear’s statewide coordinator.