VERO BEACH — The Environmental Learning Center (ELC) is offering a new hands-on, feet wet Lagoon Island Adventure Camp for summer 2021.

Each week starting June 2 and running through August 6, the ELC’s lagoon island campus in Vero Beach and the surrounding Indian River Lagoon will offer an adventure land for kids entering 1st grade to 6th grade.

The camps run from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, with aftercare available until 4 pm.

Camp activities may include a pontoon ride to Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge and a stop at a spoil island for a splash in the water. Back on campus, campers will go dip-netting in the ELC pond and canoeing through the mangrove forests of the Indian River Lagoon. Campers can cool off indoors while exploring the touch tank, aquariums, and exhibits in the ELC Discovery Station.

“Summer camp is an experience that allows children to build lifelong memories, develop strong social and leadership skills and make new friends,” says Barbara Schlitt Ford, Executive Director of the ELC. “We are excited to be once again offering a safe and welcoming outdoor summer camp environment for all children.”

The 2020 summer camp season at the ELC was canceled due to the pandemic.

For summer 2021, the ELC has created a new style of camp that will offer the best activities to get kids outside and having fun while still learning and interacting with our natural world.

“We hope that our community sees the ELC as an extension of their own backyard and our camps as a summer ritual for their kids to come back to year after year,” says Schlitt Ford. “We aim to provide a fun, supportive, and convenient option for parents to know their kids are safe and happy over the summer months.”

Outdoor summer camps offer kids fun screen-free activities, promote independence, and foster growth. Time in nature helps to reduce anxiety and stress in kids and encourages creativity. Group activities help kids develop lifelong skills like teamwork and listening. When kids are outdoors, learning becomes fun, and knowledge grows without realizing it’s a lesson. Outdoor nature-focused summer camps at the ELC in Vero Beach offer an opportunity for fun and learning in the beautiful nature of the Treasure Coast.

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