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Camp Russell offers experiential learning

Published: Saturday, May 25, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

For 19 years, University of Illinois Extension has offered Camp Russell each summer season for children ages 7 to 11.

Camp is held in the Russell Woods Forest Preserve one mile west of Genoa on Route 72. The camps are focused on nature and the outdoor things kids love the most. Camps about birds of prey, insects, endangered species, and many more are summer highlights. Campers spend a week learning about a nature-related topic, doing hands-on experiential learning, and physically moving in activities that relate to the curriculum of the week.

“The campers are basically in an outdoor environment all week and don’t realize it is curriculum based just like school,” Peggy Doty, University of Illinois Extension Educator, said in a news release. “They learn many things that will apply in their classrooms next fall.”

There are three camps just for the 7- to 9-year-olds. June 10 through 14 will be Birds of Prey camp where campers will learn about birds and may even have a few special large guests to visit with the campers. June 17 through 21 is Incredible Insects where campers will collect, study and discover all there is to know about bugs and insects. Finally, for this age group, there is the Endangered Species camp. Activities will focus on special animals in Illinois and around the world while they learn how to protect and preserve their favorite animals.

“We keep our camp size small giving more time for campers with plenty of staff to support their needs,” Doty said in the release. “Our first concern is the child’s emotional and physical safety while presenting solid research-based nature education. Children learn best when they trust the people that support their learning through experiential experiences.”

Camp starts at 9 a.m. and the teaching ends at 3 p.m. Each camp costs $95 per week. To register go to

For more information, call the Natural Resources Education Center at 815-784-2000 or email Connie Handel at

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