The past four years, Green Camps has won a grant from the McHugh O’Donovan Foundation to attend the National American Camp Association Conference to connect with camp professionals from around the country.
As part of the grant, we want to demonstrate our educational focus of how we support camps in modeling sustainability to inspire green behavior change in the millions of campers and staff impacted by the camp experience each year. With the decline of bees and other pollinators that are responsible for much of our food production, we decided to focus on encouraging camps to create pollinator friendly zones.
When you think of pollinators you probably think about honeybees. Honeybees are on the decline due to industrial agriculture, parasites/pathogens and climate change. The loss of biodiversity, destruction of habitat and lack of forage due to monocultures and bee-killing pesticides are particular threats for honeybees and wild pollinators.
I have visited many camps that have successfully brought honeybee hives to their facilities. While this may not be an option for all camps or programs, I found a cool eductional hive that I purchased to display in our exhibit booth. For $114 I received a hive box, frames with images and facts about honeybees and a beekeepers hat.
Signage is one of the most powerful education tools used to inspire behavior change. Images, quotes, infographs and other data can help the reader make informed decisions about the choices and actions they make everyday.
One of our sponsors, Sir Speedy Statesville, produced the following wood signs that we displayed in our exhibit booth to share facts and beautiful images of the pollinators that are so important in food production. These educational resources will continue to be used for future outreach education for Green Camps.
While signage is a great way to provide passive education, Green Camps likes to focus on providing engaging hands-on learning that camp staff can use to highlight simple solutions to address environmental issues. To go along with the theme of pollinators, we developed an activity guide and support resources on seed bombs.
Download these resources by clicking on the following links. We’d love to hear how you use them and the response from your campers and staff. Send us an email or share your stories on social media @gogreencamps.
Thank you again to the McHugh O’Donovan Foundation for your continued support of Green Camps. Your support has enabled us to connect directly with camp professionals at the country’s largest annual camp conference.