Campers wanted for outdoor adventures

Jennifer Stultz
Campers check cover traps for reptiles during last year's Nature Discovery Camp at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center near Great Bend. More outdoor adventures are planned for 2020 camps.

GREAT BEND—It’s nearly camp time at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center, when kids explore Cheyenne Bottoms’ plants and animals and their habitat. Camps for kids first through sixth grades, include nature-related crafts, games and investigative activities. Junior high campers will participate in hands-on activities, including boating safety, canoeing and engineering a solar panel.

“If weather allows, we always allow time for campers to explore the water habitat and the creatures that live there,” said Pam Martin, KDWPT education specialist. “Camps emphasize hands-on learning.”

Campers have set up trail cameras, constructed and baited crayfish traps, learned about dove banding, held fish races, constructed sample beaver dams and more, Martin said.

There is a limited number of spaces and children must be pre-registered by June 19 for discovery camps and July 6 for the junior high camp, allowing enough time to purchase supplies. Listed below is information about each camp. There is a $20 fee for each camp. CDC guidelines for summer camps will be followed and camps are subject to change, depending on COVID-19 conditions.

Discovery Camp I: 1-3 grades; July 7-9, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., (children must have completed first through third grades).

Discovery Camp II: 4-6 grades; July 14-16, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., (children must have completed fourth through sixth grades).

Junior High Nature Camp – 7-9 grades (completed grades), July 21–23, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Call 1-877-243-9268 to register. Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area is located at 204 NE 60 Road, Great Bend, Kansas.

The 19,857-acre Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area is part of a 41,000-acre natural land sink just northeast of Great Bend. During the 1940s and 50s, the State of Kansas acquired the land, and dikes were constructed to impound water in five pools.