The Pueblo West View

Inspire, create, learn

Pueblo Youth Naturally is hosting another action packed summer camp this month.

For those of you who don’t know, the Pueblo Youth Naturally is an organization whose mission is to introduce middle-school level youth to environmental causes and natural resource careers.

They do this through a variety of hands-on activities and that is exactly what this year’s summer camp promises to do.

This year’s camp is being hosted for children in sixth through ninth grades and will be held over three sessions each lasting three days. The first of which is July 15-17. If you have plans and can’t attend the first session never fear as the PYN has also scheduled the camp for July 22-24, and July 29-31. Each day the camp is scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. and end at 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. Participants will be able to partake in a wide array of events that inspire creativity, hands-on learning about the environment, as well as providing lots of fun.

This year’s line-up is no slouch as the youth will get the opportunity to take a GPS treasure hunt, try their hand at rock climbing in Pueblo Mountain Park, take a kayak ride down the rapids of the Arkansas River, as well as Ride the Arkansas River Trail both part of the adventures in the Arkansas. If that’s not enough, the youth will also get to travel over La Veta pass and get a chance to see one of Colorado’s natural wonders, The Great Sand Dunes National Park.

The GPS treasure hunt, and rock climbing will both be day one activities held at Pueblo Mountain Park, a truly beautiful location in the mountains just above Beulah. Here students will be exposed to some extraordinary mountain scenery, as well as be exposed to a wide abundance of plant life, and possibly even some animal life, deer being a very common sight.

Day 2 will include kayaking on the Arkansas River as well as bike riding on the Arkansas River Trail.

The trailhead itself is located near Colorado State Highway 227, and connects to both the Arkansas River trail and Fountain Creek trails. For the summer camp they will be taking the Arkansas River Trail which will end around the Pueblo Reservoir.

Benches and tables are scattered along the route so there will be plenty of places to stop along the bike ride or hike to stop and eat lunch.

While students ride the route they will be instructed in some of the history concerning the Pueblo Valley, and the Arkansas River.

Besides learning plant life, and animal life and other such fun facts students will also be presented with some of the historical information of the river itself as they complete Adventures of the Arkansas.

The third and final day will involve a two hour trip that starting from Pueblo West would take your first on U.S. Highway 50 until you hit Interstate 25. Once there turn south and drive all the way to Walsenburg. Once there turn onto U.S. Highway 160 over La Veta pass, and just before you hit Alamosa you’ll find the Great Sand Dunes home of the tallest dunes in the U.S., in fact, the tallest dune the Star dune soars up to seven hundred and fifty feet in the air.

The Dunes themselves always are a fun day, as not only do they provide wonder and amazement, youth can also enjoy sledding down the dunes, building sand castles, as well as learning about the natural occurring wildlife in and around the Dunes. Finally, Thursday will end with a celebration for the completion of the camp with a Pizza Party for the participants.

Yet these just barely scratch the surface of what the summer camp has to offer.

For PYN aims to educate as well and so the youth will also be participating in educational activities. This includes learning how plants and animals protect themselves from predators, and bicycle maintenance and water safety with CSU-Pueblo’s outdoor pursuits. The camp also offers more hands on learning such as digging for water at the sand dunes.

While many may believe this great camp is sure to cost a pretty penny this is thankfully not the case as registration is only $25.

However, registration is done on a first come first serve basis and space is limited for each camp. Also participants may only take on three-day session of the camp. Once accepted into the program the PYN will send the families of participants a detailed letter covering everything they need to know about the camp.

Already signed up but have to cancel That’s not a problem as full refunds are given as long as the cancellation is made 14 days prior to the session you’re enrolled in. In order to obtain a copy of the registration you can simply visit pueblo.colostate.edu, stop by the office at 701 Court Street, Suite C, Pueblo (from Pueblo West take U.S. Highway 50 down to Interstate 25 and take the 1st Street exit to downtown Pueblo, then proceed to court).

You can also simply call 583-6566 for all the information you need.

The PYN will provide transport for all participants by the way of Pueblo County Vans. Details about drop off and pick up are included in the welcome letter you will receive after registering your child.

The PYN also provides adult supervision and instructors for all activities. Once registered your child must attend all three days of the sessions, and will be expected to partake in all activities offered. Admission to all locations will also be covered by the PYN, so no need to worry about extra expenses outside of the $25 cover fee.

Students will need to bring their own lunch as well as a refillable water bottle for each day of the camp.

Students are allowed to bring their own insulated lunch bag, though the Pueblo Youth Naturally organization will also provide several coolers to hold perishable items as well. Other recommendations include sunscreen and bug-spray. Also such items as a hat, sunglasses and rain gear would not go amiss either, as each day’s activities are entirely outdoors. On the last day of each session the PYN will be providing a Pizza Party Dinner.

Snacks will also be offered during each day’s activities, though a sack lunch is still required by each attendant.

Pueblo Youth Naturally takes a great deal of time and money to plan this event, therefore they ask anyone who wants to register to be serious about attending when they do so. This means attending all planned activities for a session and all three days of the session.

Also the PYN purchases supplies based on the number of participants, just another reason they ask that once registered your youth attends all sessions.

This is a truly unique opportunity offered by Pueblo Youth Naturally, and one that your youth will not only enjoy immensely, but also one from which you will be able to benefit in a variety of ways.

Whether it be from the physical activity, learning something new about nature, making friends, or even just the thrill of adventure it’s a guaranteed blast and the memories your youth makes while in attendance will last a lifetime.

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