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Summer Camp Takes Kids 'Out into Nature'
Summer Camp Takes Kids 'Out into Nature'
Posted on 08/24/2021
Students in the BCS Migrant Education Program (MEP) had a spectacular three-day adventure this summer as part of the third Science on the Move Camp!Photos courtesy of UNC-Asheville.

By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

Students in the BCS Migrant Education Program (MEP) had a spectacular three-day adventure this summer as part of the third Science on the Move Camp!

The camp, funded by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and hosted by UNC Asheville faculty, featured field trips to nearby natural areas like Mt. Mitchell and the South Toe River, as well as urban ecosystems in and around downtown Asheville. MEP students enjoyed new experiences and met new friends from around the county. They hiked, identified plants, took photos, and played in the rain.

“We just took them out into nature, and it was so much fun,” said Dr. Irene Rossell, chair of the UNCA Environmental Studies Department and one of the camp leaders. “The kids were in awe. They loved the trees, the views, the cool plants, hiking on trails in the woods. They’re like little sponges. They soaked it all up.”

At the UNCA STEAM Studio, the campers learned about specialized machinery in the green technologies field. They built their own miniature wind turbines and wired basic circuits. Later, they went downtown to study urban ecology and have an environmental scavenger hunt.

“They were so creative,” Dr. Rossell said. “It was fun to see.”

The camp’s purpose is to introduce migratory farm worker students to a collegiate atmosphere and science-related career paths. It also provides camaraderie and lots of fun activities for its sixth- through 12th-grade participants. Normally an eight-day experience, the camp was cancelled last summer because of COVID, and this summer’s camp was shortened to three days but packed with field trips.

“It’s science and environment, exploration, and skill-building,” said MEP Outreach Specialist Nancy Moore. “Our students experience a college campus, professional scientists, and professional science spaces. That gives them something to think about as they go through high school. The more they’re exposed to that, the more likely they are to move their education forward beyond high school.”

    Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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