ARC provides scholarships to fight outdoor deficit disorder
Back to Critter Camp!
Last year, ARC provided scholarships to urban youth from underserved communities in Atlanta so they could attend Critter Camp for an entire week for only $25 (normally $275-350). This year, in large part because of support from our community, we were able to send more kids to camp for free!
Without these scholarships provided by ARC and our partners at the US Forest Service, the kids that we’re able to send to Critter Camp may never get exposure to the amphibians, reptiles, or their habitats, and we believe that exposing children to the outdoors early and often fosters a greater respect for the environment and a greater investment in protecting these places and the species that rely on them throughout their lives.
Camp founders and teachers, Crystal and Mark Mandica from the Amphibian Foundation teach kids about over 100 different amphibians and reptiles from around the world, how to safely handle them, and how to identify frog species by their calls and tadpoles.
Even the kids who are squeamish about touching the animals at the beginning of camp, gladly let a snake coil through their fingers by the time they leave at the end of the week!
Eliciting excitement and curiosity about herps with hands-on experience at camp is creating a whole new generation of conservationists. Not only that, but we’re taking the first step in enriching diversity, equity, and inclusivity in our community.
With more scholarships, more camps, and more avid conservationists joining the ranks, we’re excited to see how programs like this can impact the future of amphibian and reptile conservation.