‘Nuts for Nature,’ Nature Explorers International Kicks Off Summer Science Camp

Nature Explorers International and the Benzie Conservation District teamed up to kick off their summer science camp on Monday in Benzie County.

The camp is taught by Amalia Fernand, Director of Nature Explorers International. Fernand is an educator who’s spent her life teaching children about the importance of science and the environment.

“I think it’s important to introduce kids to the environment… have them be more interested and kind of raise their comfort level… and to be excited about learning outdoors,” she said.

The location of the camp was home to Fernand Footwear, which was owned by her Dad. Her and her sister bought the property four years ago. Now, it’s home to her business — Nature Explorers International, where she hosts the summer camps.

“This is a summer day camp for kids ages five to ten,” Fernand said. “This week is called ‘Nuts for Nature.’ It’s a collaboration with Benzie Conservation… brings in different scientists to do activities with the kids.”

Fernand did the same type of environmental camps for kids in over twenty counties and six continents. She also wrote a Michigan wildlife book that touches on history, coloring pages, and nature knowledge.

The camp brings kids from all over Northern Michigan.

“We try to present things in a multifaceted format so there’s a lot of different ways for kids to learn,” Fernand said. “They can learn through actually exploring and experiencing it… there’s opportunities for all different types of learners.”

The kids get the chance to explore by going on nature walks, doing different experiments, gardening and more. They even get to play with reptiles. She said she learned a lot and loves all the animals at camp.

Nine-year-old Audra Piechotte has been coming to the camp for a few years. She said she learned a lot and loves all the animals at camp.

“This is a Tiger Salamander named Slimy,” she said. “I like all of them. Even us — we’re animals. ”

Categories: Michigan This Morning