This summer, more than 350 campers explored, examined, investigated and discovered the habitats, marine animals and waters of Long Island Sound as they experienced first-hand the natural world in a joyful and educational outdoor setting.
The unique location of SoundWaters Coastal Education Center in Stamford’s Cove Island Park multiplies the range of outdoor activities available to campers. Through the generosity of SoundWaters donors, one-third received full or partial scholarships, which provided shared opportunities for every boy and girl to feel connected to the Sound.
Depending on their ages, some campers used seine nets to gather plankton, went on scavenger hunts and engaged with Long Island Sound animals during “creature feature” sessions in our Teaching Aquarium. Others studied populations of crabs and small fish they found at the shore, and conducted scientific experiments such as dissecting squid in the Learning Laboratory.
Canoists learned the parts of the boat, paddling techniques and boarding and maneuvering a canoe. But canoeing was not their only objective: After paddling across Holly Pond, they discovered the animals of the salt marsh and while aboard performed water quality tests using scientific equipment.
Each day, Opti and Pico sailors rigged their boats and raised sails, developing both confidence and proficiency. Lessons in sail theory, navigation and currents, combined with a direct realization that they shared the Sound with living marine animals, enhanced their sailing experience.
A summer camp would not be complete without daily swimming sessions, outdoor games, and of course, camp songs.
The campers often shared their experiences at night with their families, sometimes persuading parents to sign them up for additional sessions. One 6-year-old has already told her mother that she loves “science camp” and wants to have her next birthday party at SoundWaters.
“I cannot thank SoundWaters enough,” said one mother whose son received a scholarship. “This was the best summer because of your camp. I am so grateful.”