For the twelfth year, RiverLink’s French Broad RiverCamp seeks to provide an engaging, educational and active summer camp experience with a week of river and watershed exploration for youth entering grades 3–8. Guided by RiverLink staff, campers engage in hands-on environmental education, river recreation and service-learning projects. The experience also fosters a newfound respect and love for the watershed.
“There are many physical, emotional and psychological benefits associated with time spent in nature,” says RiverLink database and communications coordinator Rose Keyes. “Hopefully, these experiences foster a life-long appreciation for the environment and clarify the importance of being good stewards of the land and water.”
Camp activities include learning about stream ecology while searching for fish and bugs, testing for water quality and creating a river using an interactive stream table. Campers swim, hike and explore the Cradle of Forestry, Graveyard Fields, urban streams and rural stretches of river. New experiences this year include touring a local reservoir, learning to paddle a canoe and playing games on a lake. An adventure day caps off the week.
“Our campers love the day we go rafting or tubing,” says RiverLink education and outreach manager Justin Young. “We see kids walk away from RiverCamp with new friends and a new appreciation for the river.”
Camps for grades 6–8 run the weeks of June 15 and July 6. Camps for grades 3–5 run the weeks of June 22 and July 13. Daily sessions are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aftercare is available until 5:30. A limited number of scholarships are available.