Summer Wildlife Day Camp Connects Hundreds of Area Students With Ohio's Native Wildlife

With support from Honda of America Mfg. and other donors, the 2012 Wildlife Explorers summer camp program presented by the Ohio Wildlife Center has expanded this year to provide additional area students with unique opportunities to engage with and learn about native Ohio animals and their behavior.

The Ohio Wildlife Center is celebrating its 10th year offering children the opportunity to interact with wild animals in a safe and educational setting.  The program is designed to create awareness and understanding of the animals living in our communities.  In addition, the children make new friends, learn new skills and have fun in the outdoor environment.

The programs expanded this year to serve 300 students as the result of a recent grant to upgrade the center's Dempsey Wildlife Display and new funding to train additional instructional interns.  Enrollment in recent years has consistently ranged between 180 and 220 students from Delaware, Union, Madison, Franklin, Logan and Fairfield counties.  To support this growth, Honda of America Mfg. provided a $15,000 grant this year, making available curriculum materials, aquatic study pond equipment, additional camp counselors and other educational items.

"We are pleased to work with Honda and other organizations to enhance environmental and science education among our students in Ohio," said Barbara Ray, Director of Education for Ohio Wildlife Center.  "These camp experiences bridge a learning gap in both urban and suburban schools when it comes to understanding and appreciating the wild neighbors in our immediate environment."

As part of the program, young wildlife explorers are given the opportunity to connect with nature, and the camp students participate in hands-on activities and animal care with the center's wildlife residents.  In addition, the campers enhance their socialization skills, self-awareness and team-building skills.

Representatives from the center and Honda recently visited with students at the day camp, including Caroline Ramsey, manager of Honda of America's philanthropy initiatives.

"Honda is pleased to support this program, which brings together students from diverse backgrounds and locations to learn together and broaden their understanding of the environment and the wildlife that exists all around us," Ramsey said.

The week-long day camp sessions take place each year from mid-June to mid-August at the Ohio Wildlife Center, located at 6131 Cook Road, with programs for students ages 7 through 12, and a half-day camp for pre-school students ages 4 to 6.
Openings are still available for this summer.  Registration forms can be downloaded from Ohio Wildlife Center's website.

More About the Ohio Wildlife Center

Since 1984, Ohio Wildlife Center (OWC) has been dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation for Ohio's wildlife through rehabilitation, education and wildlife health studies.  OWC operates a free wildlife hospital in northwest Columbus as well as a 20-acre Nature Education Center in Powell.  Each year, concerned citizens bring approximately 5,000 injured, ill and orphaned animals to our hospital for care, and we provide conservation education opportunities for hundreds of children each year.  Visit www.ohiowildlifecenter.org for additional information or www.SCRAMwildlife.org for information about OWC's SCRAM! Wildlife Control, which provides the only 100% humane animal control service in Ohio.

Honda Philanthropy in Ohio

During more than 30 years in Ohio, Honda has been dedicated to improving the communities where Honda associates live and work. Since 1979, Honda's charitable giving programs have supported numerous local needs, education and other programs.  These include major grants to hospitals, community centers, theaters, food banks, after-school programs, nature preserves and parks. As a result of this shared commitment, Honda and its 13,500 associates in Ohio have contributed more than $75 million to local community organizations throughout the region.

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