Last week Learning Endeavors hosted our first summer camp of the season! Our June Citizen Science Adventure Camp included a wide variety of campers ranging from ages 7 to 12 years old and took place over multiple locations around Maui. Over the course of the week campers learned what it means to be not only a citizen scientist, but also a steward of the land. We explored a diverse set of ecosystems and worked together to make sure that we left these environments in better shape than we found them by picking up any ʻōpala that we stumbled upon. Learning Endeavors' Citizen Science Adventure Camps strives to create a fun atmosphere for kids to learn about the importance of taking care of our Earth, after all we only get one.
[Highlight Video of Camp]
On the first day we headed over to Waihe'e Coastal Dunes and Wetlands Refuge, where we learned about the cultural and natural significance of this specific location. Historically, this area has been home to kings, has been a backdrop to important battles and has even been mentioned in Hawaiian legends. Archaeologists have found remnants of old burial sites and fishponds at the refuge, indicating an Hawaiian fishing village once occupied the land. Scientifically, the refuge houses a variety of ecosystems, including wetlands, dunes systems, marine shoreline and riparian systems. Many stakeholders have been involved in the rehabilitation of native plant species at Waihe'e over the past years, which makes it a great location for a citizen science expedition. During our outing we explored the coastline, identified native plants species and hiked all the way to the stream, where we did some water quality testing. One of the highlights from the day was when we saw a mama peacock and her four babies.
Day two was spent at Kealia Ponds National Wildlife Refuge, where we engaged in some bird monitoring. By the end of the day the campers were pros at identifying the Ae'o, 'Alae ke'oke'o and ʻaukuʻu. We learned about the threats that invasive species impose on these
beautiful native birds and about how important wetlands are to the surrounding ecosystems.
Day three and four we headed to the North Kihei Marine Reserve to do some tide pool exploration and art projects. While we were out by the water we saw sea cucumbers, hermit crabs, fish and even a small eel! For the art projects, campers were tasked with the feat of creating their own animal puppet that we used on the last day in a performance for families.
We had such a blast on our first camp of the summer season! If you missed out on our June camp, don't fret! We are hosting a July camp from the 21-23 for ages 10-14. This camp will be held completely at Waihe'e Coastal Dunes and Wetlands Refuge and will be delving deeper into all the wonders the location has to offer. If you would like to register please head over to our Events Page and if you would like more information please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 808-793-3322. See the flyer below for more details.