It’s been one big adventure this week at Pitt-Johnstown.
The 7th annual Junior Naturalist Outdoor Adventure Camp, which is presented by UPJ’s Office of Community Education and Outreach, has been going on since Monday.
It provides kids ages 7 through 12 with an opportunity to get outside and participate in sports, conservation education and environmental enhancement programs.
Forty-two children from Cambria County and surrounding areas, along with eight junior leaders, are taking part in the program.
The theme, “Understanding the Environment: Mother Nature and Me,” places an emphasis on the importance of watersheds and conservation.
“This camp gets kids outdoors and do things they normally wouldn’t be able to do on their own,” said Tammy Cash, a staff member with the camp.
Activities include rock climbing, rappelling, kayaking, canoeing, nature hikes, swimming, water safety and rescue, fishing, fresh water snorkeling and wilderness survival skills.
Campers also spent some time at the Quemahoming Reservoir.
In addition, participants are doing a variety of challenges that have them working together in teams to solve problems.
“Hopefully, the skills they learn here they can carry with them throughout their life,” Cash said.
Henry White, 12, is attending camp for the second time and said it’s a good way to spend some time over summer break and be active.
“I’ve been learning a lot about plants and animals and I just really enjoy it,” the junior high pupil from Richland Township said prior to climbing the rock wall in the Wellness Center. “There’s so much great stuff to do and you get to see your friends and hang outside.”
Stacee Glass enjoyed her years at camp so much she decided to become a junior leader to assist with the program.
“We do the odds and ends and set up equipment. All the behind-the-scene work,” the 16-year-old Westmont Hilltop High School student said.
She admitted that prior to coming to camp she wasn’t an outdoors person, but that quickly changed and she now participates in outdoor activities as often as possible.
“I did things I never did before, so it was an introduction to a new lifestyle, plus it’s a good way to conquer your fears,” Glass said.
The camp wraps up Friday.
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