Unfortunately, due to the continued Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings, Summer Camp is cancelled this year. 

Field Activities for Kids in Southern Humboldt and Northern Mendocino Friends of the Lost Coast

Summer Adventure Camp (SAC) is a science and nature day camp for children 4–13 years old. A program of Friends of the Lost Coast (formerly Lost Coast Interpretive Association), SAC has been providing outdoor opportunities for children in Southern Humboldt and Northern Mendocino counties since 2014. SAC takes place for five weeks during the summer, with participants divided into three different age groups (4–6, 7–9, and 10–13).

7- to 9-year-olds hiking north in Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. by Michele Palazzo

A variety of diverse ecosystems in Southern Humboldt and Northern Mendocino counties provide wonderful locations to explore and learn about the natural world. The teachers continue to scout new locations to introduce to the children to keep things fresh year-to-year. By hiking in forests, meadows, and mountains; observing the life in and around creeks, rivers, and the ocean; being introduced to restoration projects; performing service projects; and journaling and doing nature-inspired arts, crafts, and games, the children are exposed to a plethora of experiences that broaden their perspectives of the environment.

The excitement that children share and the wonder they exhibit when having adventures in the wild is enough to give instant gratification to the teachers. However, when you factor in their intelligent questions, their concern for the future, and their curiosity about life cycles and beyond, it becomes exponentially rewarding for all involved. It is so much fun and so educational to have nature as your classroom, and the children thrive when they are in an outdoor learning space.

7-to 9-year-olds enjoying the Eel River at Richardson Grove State Park. by FoLC

Summer Adventure Camp 2020 will visit several new locations to explore different aspects of our area and introduce a variety of new projects in which the children will get involved. Some places that we will re-visit are Richardson Grove, Hidden Valley, the Southern Humboldt Community Park, Shelter Cove, Bridge Creek, Avenue of the Giants, The King Range, Benbow State Park, the Mattole River, and Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. All these places have a variety of hikes and areas to explore that appeal to each of the age groups, plus some of them have splashing and swimming opportunities as well.

Friends of the Lost Coast has developed a native plant garden in Whitethorn that continues to expand and has the benefit of having two barns that provide teaching space and storage space. In conjunction with BLM, Friends of the Lost Coast is creating a wonderful learning center for the community that Summer Adventure Camp utilizes. At the native plant garden, children are able to learn about native plants and pollinators, help in the garden by sheet mulching or potting up plants in the nursery, create arts and crafts projects in the education barn, and enjoy Bridge Creek, which is adjacent to the garden down a flight of stairs through the forest.

The dates and times for Summer Adventure Camp 2020 are as follows:

  • Week 1: June 22–26, ages 4 – to 6,
    10 am – 3 pm
  • Week 2: July 6–10, ages 7- to 9,
    10 am – 4 pm
  • Week 3: July 13–17, ages 10- to 13,
    10 am – 4 pm with a possible overnight from Friday to Saturday
  • Week 4: July 20–24, ages 4- to 6,
    10 am – 3 pm
  • Week 5: July 27–31, ages 7- to 9,
    10 am – 4 pm

The cost for each week is $150–$250 on a sliding scale, and there are scholarships available. Summer Adventure Camp is supported by the Monroe Tobin Family Fund, a fund of the Humboldt Area Foundation, as well as the Bill Graham Foundation of the Jewish Federation and Endowment Fund.

4- to 6-year-olds climbing in an oak tree in Hidden Valley. by Michele Palazzo

To register, call or email Michele Palazzo at 707-223-0112, [email protected], or Reta Willmore at 707-223-1927, [email protected]. There is also information at lostcoast.org and on the Friends of the Lost Coast Facebook page.