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Posted on: March 16, 2017

Burlington Kiwanis Sponsor Environmental Education Programs At Starr’s Cave Nature Center


With the help of Kiwanis, Starr’s Cave Nature Center will offer three additional summer camps and increase fall classroom programing. Kiwanis is a global organization dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time. Every year parents and teachers ask for more camps and classroom programs and until now we haven’t had the resources or funding to do so. The Burlington Kiwanis group has awarded Starr’s Cave Nature Center a grant to help expand its Environmental Education programing for 2017.


Getting students outside is probably the most important aspect of our education model. Research shows that children are spending more than six hours a day interacting with “screens” and less than six minutes outside in free play. This grant will allow Starr’s Cave Nature Center to bring on additional seasonal staff to help teach and lead EE programs, including summer camps. More programs and camps gets more kids outside! Several resources including the No Child Left Inside Coalition describe how environmental education increases students’ engagement in science, improves achievements in core subjects, increases engagement and enthusiasm for learning, and can even reduce discipline and behavioral problems. It has been proven that increased outdoor time benefits cognitive functioning, reduces symptoms of attention deficit disorder, and increases self-discipline and emotional well-being. Starr’s Cave Nature Center summer camps and fieldtrips address the growing need to introduce and engage today’s youth in the natural world. Camps are designed to be fun and active and to provide high quality environmental learning experiences through games, crafts, stories, and in-depth nature exploration.

This year with the help of Kiwanis Starr’s Cave will offer additional dates for Adventure Camp. During Adventure Camp students learn about the natural and human history of the land and acquire valuable outdoor-living and safety skills. Campers learn to work together to accomplish goals and challenges, building confidence and trust both in themselves and in others.

SCNC will be offering two new camps this year for students ages 13-15. Explorer Camp and Survival Camp. The new camps will introduce new elements to a new age group. Camps will be longer and off site. Explorer Camp will focus on Iowa’s outdoor recreation opportunities. Campers will canoe a section of the Iowa River, climb at the University of Iowa, and explore Maquoketa Caves State Park. Survival camp will focus on outdoor skills. Students will get a day of orientation and team building in preparation for a two-day expedition into the Big Hollow Recreation Area. Local experts will guide us as we fish and forage for food, build shelters, canoe, track wildlife, and camp out under the stars.

For more information regarding 2017 summer camps or other environmental education programs at Starr’s Cave Nature Center, call (319) 753-5808.

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