University of Iowa Statewide Camp Aims to Get Kids Outdoors

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BOONE, Iowa  --  The University of Iowa Recreation Services has held a successful nature camp near Iowa City for over 20 years. Now, the university is bringing the camp around the state, this week conducting the camp at Ledges State Park.

During the camp, kids are given challenges to get out in the creek, prairie, or woodland to see what they can discover.

“It’s tempting to stay indoors on the computers and iPads in the TVs, and it's easy to do that, probably a little bit more natural for kids now to do that than to be outdoors,” said Jay Gorsh of the University of Iowa Recreation Services. “We want to try to get them outside.”

On Tuesday, one group was working to measure changes in the water flow of a tiny creek in Ledges State Park. The kids found a place where they could get small boats to float Monday. When they floated the boats Tuesday, they found a faster current, due to overnight rain.

“When it rained last night it made the water faster, and when it's deeper the water goes faster,” said Madelyn Grothus, a third grader from Madrid.

“I like going down to the creek every morning,” said Will Atkinson, also a 3rd grade student from Madrid.

The camp has already been held at Springbrook State Park in Guthrie County, Viking Lake in southwest Iowa, and George Wythe State Park near Waterloo. The camp will next visit Maquoketa Caves State Park and Mines of Spain near Dubuque.

This is the first year of the statewide camp.

For more information on these camps click here.