Adventure, Connection, Play at Summer Camp

By Ian Abraham, Youth Programs Manager

Bird Alliance of Oregon Summer Camps take your child on a journey that they will remember for a lifetime. Each week-long program, led by our expert educators, helps children be their authentic selves while learning, playing, making friends, and connecting to the natural world.

The San Juan Island Adventures (Weeks 1, 4, or 9) might reveal the Marine Biologist in your child, while our art camps, like Sketching from Nature (Weeks 1, 2, or 3), help your child discover their inner artist. If your child is in need of a search for Forest Fairies (Week 4), then we have their imagination covered, and if your developing tween (10-12 years old) wants to understand food systems in an accessible and fun way, Forest to Farm (Week 9) is just for them. Whether we are getting our hearts pumping with a long hike (Hit the Trail, Week 10) or slowing down to hear the song of a Pacific Wren (Language of the Birds, Week 7), Bird Alliance of Oregon camps create a community of care and adventure for each and every week.

We have over 60 week-long offerings for grades 1-12 to help your child discover how nature is an integral part of their life. Our east-side location continues to serve those in need of a shorter commute (Bird Alliance of Oregon East, Weeks 3-5), and both Bird Alliance of Oregon East and Wallace Park (alternate pick-up locations) are accessible by public transportation. In partnership with Hacienda, Bienestar, ROSE, and IRCO, our community camps bring free summer camps to kids who might otherwise have limited access.

Our programs are fun, safe, and inclusive and offer a hands-on approach that allows campers to express themselves through art, poetry, crafting, play, and team building. For all of our camp offerings, we focus on the health and wellness of each participant, creating a culture of care and reciprocity, allowing nature to be the ultimate teacher.

The way our camps immerse youth in nature can be a transformative experience, connecting kids to themselves, each other, and the world around them.

Don’t take our word for it, see Tyler’s letter, an 8th grader who spent a week of camp exploring our Marmot Cabin and its surrounding forest.

Dear [Camp Staff],

I can’t even begin to thank you for all of the amazing and benevolent things you did for me and my [camp]. First of all, I want to thank you deeply for the opportunities in nature that you provided for us. I had no idea that a forest that seemed so quiet could be teeming with life if you only listened. I didn’t know that a bird could tell you if it was happy or upset just by changing its call. But most importantly, I had no idea of the multitudes of resources that the forest provides us with, most of which are much too often taken for granted. You taught me that clean water doesn’t come from some magical never-ending source, but that it is something that can disappear…if we don’t take steps to preserve it.

A note given to environmental educators by Amy Robbins, a 5th grade teacher at Forest Park Elementary.

I saw and discovered things I had never seen before. I saw my very first Barred Owl, or owl of any sort, I learned to test pH, or “pffff” levels in water. I learned how to build a fire in the wild, and I learned about Joe and Amy Miller and their amazing contributions to Bird Alliance of Oregon. But the most valuable thing I think I learned while at camp was the value of silence.

When you are silent, a whole new world opens up in front and within you. You can listen to your heart beating and hear yourself breathing. It makes you appreciate those rare moments of calm we have in our lives, where we can take a couple of minutes to just be quiet and within ourselves. Of all of the things I learned at camp, that is the one lesson I would like to most bring back with me.

Many, Many Thanks,

Tyler, 8th Grader
Bird Alliance of Oregon Camper