Treat the kids to a week of fun and learning on Barnegat Bay
Seining, marine life identification, marsh exploration, birding, shelling and, hold on now, marine forensic science which focuses on endangered species, are all on the menu at the third annual Barnegat Bay Coast Camp to be held July 16-20 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Maris Stella Retreat and Conference Center, Harvey Cedars.
Boys and girls entering grades 5-8 in the fall will be able to soak up the sun and a lot of knowledge while exploring the ecosystem of the bay and neighboring Atlantic Ocean under the expert eyes of naturalists from the American Littoral Society which is sponsoring the camp with the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth.
Stevie Thorsen, education and outreach coordinator for the Littoral Society, based in Sandy Hook, called the camp a wonderful opportunity for children to “really enjoy the coastal environment. The kids really enjoy it. They get to go fishing, crabbing, seining and exploring and examining marine life.”
The Littoral Society is a coastal conservation nonprofit. Founded in 1961, the society has been at the forefront of the environmental movement since then, Thorsen said.
The camp is a reflection of the commitment of the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth to reverencing the earth, said Sister Pat Dotzauer who noted that the religious order has helped to fund it with grants two out of the three years.
The grant from the sisters keeps the cost of the camp, which is open to 20 children annually, down to $100. That includes all materials, supplies and snacks. Children bring their own lunches to the site which is on Long Beach Island and must provide their own transportation.
“This is the third year we have worked with the Sisters of Charity at Maris Stella and it’s been a great experience. Maris Stella is a beautiful center, running from the ocean to the bay. It is a great camp.” Thorsen called the Barnegat Bay Coast Camp much more economical that typical summer camps which average $250 a week.
“The children come from pretty much all over the area from the island to Manahawkin and Barnegat,” said Sister Pat. “They love it. They just eat it up. There are so many outdoor activities. They get to investigate what is out in the ocean and the bay.
“They observe (marine) creatures and we also have a bayscape garden with plants that are indigenous to the island.”
A real aim of the camp experience is to foster a commitment to the fragile coastal environment in this upcoming generation. “This is a generation of kids that hopefully will help the water. So many forms of life depend on it.”
For information, call Thorsen at 732-291-0055 or email her at [email protected][[In-content Ad]]