What happens you combine Edmonton Area Land Trust, their Species at Risk Activity Booklets and some eager John Janzen Nature Centre daycamp kids? Why you get a “Save the Species” campaign!
Over the course of the summer the Nature Centre offers a wide array of daycamps for children of all ages, but one daycamp holds a special spot in the heart of some interpreters at the centre. The Eco-Warriors Daycamp has an eco- awareness theme through the course of a week, and the children registered for this camp usually have an interest and passion to care for wildlife, plants and this planet we call home.
The Save the Species campaign got kids to tap into their creative and intellectual sides as they picked one of Alberta’s Species at Risk (as provided by EALT) and were told to find a way to captivate people into wanting to learn more and even want to save the species they have chosen.
The project was a huge hit! From interactive posters, campaign pins and animal recreations; daycampers blew the minds of the daycamp leaders in just how imaginative they could be. Some of the children even spent time at home in the evenings doing research on their species so they could add more information the next day at camp.
One in particular that was a heart melter was a young girl who wanted to save Swift Foxes. She made a poster, pin and even her own hashtag. She decided to name her fox Oliver and soon the hashtag #saveoliver spread like wildfire through the camp. Even daycamp volunteers got on board with it!
At the end of the week, daycamp leaders awarded prizes for each campaign for areas such as most creative, most interactive and most eye grabbing.
So what can us adults learn from a simple daycamp activity? I would like to believe that our younger generations have the potential to really grasp the idea of saving our wildlife and even our planet. They also want to affect change….. so lets give them the tools to get there! I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the Lorax to think about.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothings going to get better its not.”
By Michelle Holland, EALT Volunteer & John Janzen Nature Centre Staff
Check out our Species at Risk guides and other resources for exploring nature in our Resource Library.