2014 Summer Eco-Camps at VIERS

Thanks to support from Friends of Virgin Islands National Park and a number of committed sponsors, more than 100 Virgin Islands youth are offered the opportunity to participate in camps focused on learning about coastal ecology.

Summer Eco-Camps will be held at the University of Virgin Islands Environmental Resource Station (VIERS), located in the Virgin Islands National Park on the south side of St. John in Lameshur Bay, which is operated by Clean Islands International. This is the twelfth year that Friends of Virgin Islands National Park has supported Clean Islands International in presenting summer Eco-Camps at VIERS. “This is an opportunity for VI youth to spend several days in Virgin Islands National Park enjoying the outdoors and learning about the diverse eco-systems that exist on St. John,” said Friends president Joe Kessler. “In these times of thin budgets, which are rendering summer learning opportunities scarce, Friends is proud to be involved in the Eco-Camps program, which remains strong, and provides a fun, interactive and safe environment in which to learn.

 

Along with Friends, sponsors for 2014 include Paul M. Angell Foudnation, Lana Vento Charitable Trust, Disney Cruise Line,

 International Capital & Management Company, R & I Patton Goldsmithing, Innovative, and Rotary Club of St. John. “Once again, we are proud to the have the continued support of these highly regarded corporate and foundation partners; they provide the financial means that allow our community’s youth to receive the environmental education they deserve. Our sponsors commitment to this program and our youth is a fine example of outstanding corporate and community leadership,” said Heather Ruhsam, Friends’ development director.

This summer, like last, 3 different types of camps will be offered. The traditional 3 day/2 night Eco-Camp for 7-12 year olds will return for its eleventh year. Also on the schedule is the 5 day/4 night Science Camp for 13-17 year olds which in entering its fourth year, and 5 day/4 night Ranger-in-Training Camp, also for 13-17 year olds, which is back for a third year. Eco-Campers are introduced to terrestrial and marine eco-systems with an emphasis on awareness and preservation. Science Camp has an increased science component with emphasis on interaction with marine researchers at the VIERS waterside lab. And Ranger-in-Training Camp provides the youths with a hands-on look at the different disciplines of ranger service there are for VI National Park.


In addition to the environmental education curriculum, there will be hiking, swimming, snorkeling, eco-art and fun environmental learning activities. Trained counselors and educators strongly emphasize the preservation of the natural and cultural resources that are found in the Virgin Islands. Space is limited to 30 students per camp for Eco-Camps, and 12 per camp for Science and Ranger-in-Training Camps. Parents are welcome to join their children as space is available.

The coastal ecology oriented camps are offered to U.S. Virgin Islands residents at no charge and are scheduled as follows:

Camp 1: Eco-Camp
July 7, 8, 9 
7- 12 year old children

Camp 2: Eco-Camp
July 10, 11, 12
7-12 year old children

Camp 3: Eco-Camp
July 14, 15, 16
7-12 year old children

Camp 4: Eco-Camp
July 17, 18, 19
7-12 year old children

Camp 5: Science Camp 
July 21, 22, 23, 24, 25
13-17 year olds

Camp 6: Ranger In Training Camp
July 28, 29, 30, 31, August 1
13 - 17 year olds


Eco-Camps include:

  • lodging
  • meals
  • snacks
  • bottled water
  • a copy of the new publication “Island Peak to Coral Reef”
  • camp t-shirt 
  • transportation from Red Hook or Cruz Bay.

Science and Ranger-in-Training Camp include the above, as well as camp specific educational tools.

Campers will meet at the Red Hook Ferry Dock or Cruz Bay Ferry Dock at 9 a.m. on the first day and be returned to the same location on the third day(fifth for Science and Ranger Camps)  by 5:20 p.m. A camp registration form, proof of U.S. Virgin Islands residency and $30 registration fee (which is refundable upon completion of the camp) must be received prior to acceptance into the program. Each camper must provide a copy of some type of proof that they are a current resident of the Virgin Islands (such as report card or school ID). The cost for non-residents is $250 for the Eco-Camp, $450 for Science Camp and $600 for Ranger-in-Training Camp. For registration information, please visit our website at: www.islands.org or call Randy Brown at VIERS at 340-776-6721 or e-mail Randy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an information packet.

“In addition to learning about coastal eco-systems, campers will learn more about what are their daily responsibilities in protecting, preserving and conserving natural resources. We appreciate the support from Friends and the other sponsors to be able to offer these camps.” said Randy Brown, VIERS Administrator.

The Virgin Islands Environmental Resource Station (VIERS) is a facility of the University of the Virgin Islands located in the Virgin Islands National Park on the south side of St. John and is operated by Clean Islands International, a U.S. IRS 501(c)(3) and USVI nonprofit organized exclusively for educational, scientific and charitable purposes. If you are interested in sponsoring this camp, please contact Karen Vahling at 340-779-4940 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

   

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