There are basically, five more weeks of summer before school starts.  Still lots of time for the kids to have some summer fun, but you're out of ideas and the kids are getting restless?  Here's a fun idea.

The Howard Christensen Nature Center (HCNC), located east of Kent City, is the perfect spot to discover the joy of nature in summer (and all year round).  And, there is still a chance for your kids and grandkids to enjoy a day at Summer Camp.

Registration is being accepted now for the last two workshops on the nature center’s summer schedule. The first date, August 10, is a hands-on, day camp called “Wild Wednesday: Outstanding in Our Field!” for children ages 5-12. Campers will explore the nature center’s field habitat to see what plants and animals live there, and make discoveries in other habitats, too. The cost is $25 for the 6-hour day camp (9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.) which includes guided hikes, a snack, craft and sharing time with parents at the end of the day. Campers bring their own lunch. Give your child fond memories of summer camp close to home, and support your local nature center too! Registration is due on August 5.


If your child is 9-years-old or older, or if you are a “non-outdoorsy” person, or if you just want to learn more, then the Survival Workshop on August 12 is for you! “We Can Survive…Outdoors” is a fun opportunity for students, parents and/or grandparents ­– anyone age 9-90 – to learn about fire building, wilderness first aid, finding shelter and more. Participants can select a girls-only, boys-only or mixed group with experienced survival instructors Nova Blackburn and Tom Noreen. The cost of the 6-hour workshop (9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.) is $25 per person including lunch. Registration is due on August 8.

The Howard Christensen Nature Center day camp brochure and registration form can be found at Lily’s Frog Pad Inc. is a non-profit organization formed to operate the nature center. You can also call (616) 675-3158, or visit the Red Pine Interpretive Center (16190 Red Pine Dr., Kent City) from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday (closes at 2:30 p.m. on Thurs.). The trails are open for hiking every day from dawn to dusk.