Creating Lasting Memories for Young Birders

By September 1, 2016Education

Leader-in-Training Mati, facilitating an activity with the Young Naturalists Day Camp.

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies Summer Camps run from early June to mid-August in Brighton, CO. and give kids of all ages an opportunity to enjoy single-day and overnight camp experiences as well as Leaders-In-Training (LIT) programs. Our summer camp programs focus on encouraging ownership and love for the outdoors thorough engaging activities, games, stories, and of course, birds!

As an Outdoor Educator, summer camps are my bread and butter, and this summer was no exception. Here are a few of my favorite moments from this season…


Biologist Nancy Gobris and On the Wing camper Andrew Devlin send a Warbling Vireo back on its way.

During On the Wing overnight camp, Nancy Gobris, one of Bird Conservancy’s banding coordinators, came along to conduct share her expertise with us. While banding, one participant had the opportunity to release his favorite bird, the Warbling Vireo, after many days of hearing the bird around camp  and trying to locate it. This certainly a magical moment. When the camper released the bird, it remained surprisingly calm, and was not quick to leave his open palm. The look on the young birders face was priceless. Moments like these demonstrate the power of the nature-conservation connection through interacting with birds.

Nature Investigators Day Campers showing off their bugs with two LIT’s.

Nature Investigators Day Campers showing off their catch with two LIT’s.

In addition to overnight camps, the Education Team leads day camps at our Old Stone House. We played a game called “Migration Hurdles”, in which campers become migrating birds who must complete a relay style obstacle course. Obstacles represent the real-life hazards faced by migrating birds. It’s an exciting challenge for the campers. During the game, one camper was repeatedly “eaten” by the house cat, deceived by the windows, “electrocuted” by the power-lines and had to start the game over many times. After all of this, he was understandably frustrated. Soon, the rest of the campers in the group came together to cheer him on until he crossed the finish line! Seeing these kids come together to support one another is a great example of how teamwork and leadership skills are fostered.

Sky and Earth Day Camper in a fort that they built at the Old Stone House while learning about habitat.

Sky and Earth Day Camper in a fort that they built at the Old Stone House while learning about habitat.

This year we put a lot of energy into our Leaders-In-Training (LIT) program and saw great results. LIT is one way for overnight campers to give back a little of what they have gained through Bird Conservancy. We had a total of 17 teenagers volunteer with us during our LIT program this summer. These wonderful, aspiring leaders helped educate younger campers throughout their experiences.

On the Wing Campers after a long hike in the mountains.

On the Wing Campers after a long hike in the mountains.

Each of Bird Conservancy’s popular summer camps and programs are growing and expanding every year, and we are already looking forward to next summer! Our Education Team cannot wait to see new and familiar faces come out and spread their wings with our summer camp family!

-Lily Hynson, Community Education Coordinator


Thank You to all of the people who helped make Summer Camps in 2016 a great success!

To learn more about these events and find out how to participate next year click here!

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Many of our Educational Programs are made possible by the Science and Cultural Facilities District.

To learn more about SFCD and all that they do please visit