Wilderness survival, team building, environmental conservation, and outdoor challenges are in store for participants in the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown’s third annual Junior Naturalist Outdoor Adventure Camp (JNOAC). Offered in partnership with the American Adventure Sports, the camp is open to children ages eight through 12, and will be held Monday, June 23 through Friday, June 27.
“Over 500 kids have participated in the JNOAC program. This is our third year with UPJ and it is one of the most successful programs we’ve run. We try to bring something new every year. UPJ is great with its unlimited space. We can go on a nature hike for two hours and not see the same areas,” said Doug Crytzer, founder and President of American Adventure Sports.
Rappelling down the side of the UPJ Living/Learning Center, performing a Tyrolean traverse, and learning basic survival skills are just a few activities for campers. By building a foundation of trust with the campers, mentors encourage children to go outside their comfort zones. UPJ’s beautiful, natural setting provides the ideal location for children to explore the outdoors, achieve team building skills and challenge themselves.
“We’re really excited about the new program we’re bringing this year, ‘Survival Kid.’ With the growth of the survival shows on television, we saw that children were really into that concept and we were excited to work on this program and bring this opportunity to the camp. We’ve even created a survivor handbook for the kids,” said Mr. Crytzer.
The “Survivor Kid” concept will teach participants about fire starting, shelter building and food gathering. Campers will also receive their very own Junior Naturalist Survivor Handbook.
Other activities for the week include fresh-water snorkeling; using maps and a compass; orienteering course; wilderness trekking; leave-no-trace camping principles; CPR familiarization; canoeing and water safety/rescue; “You Build it Make a Float” design; Junior Naturalist training; group environmental enhancement project; wilderness survival; and recycling and environmental conservation.
The program is being presented by Pitt-Johnstown’s Outreach Office and Conference Services. The fee is $279 per child. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The registration deadline is Friday, June 6. Space is limited, so register early.
For more information about the Junior Naturalist Outdoor Adventure Camp, call the Outreach Office at 814-269-2099. For additional information, visit the Outreach website at www.upj.pitt.edu/outreach and click on the Junior Naturalist Outdoor Adventure Camp link.
Founded in 1927, UPJ is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. A vital knowledge center and a foremost contributor to the area’s educational, social, cultural, and economic environment, UPJ offers a high quality educational experience that is purposefully designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century.