Youngsters take part in a Scripps Nature Camp outing. (courtesy of Rene Wischhusen)
Scripps Nature Camp Offers Outdoor Adventure
The Scripps Nature Camp may be the solution for parents in Scripps Ranch who find their children seem to be aching for adventure.
The idea is based on Scandinavian forest schools, where preschool-aged children spend the bulk of their days outdoors.
“Unlike most American preschools, the focus of this type of early education is not to teach academic facts, but to give kids the opportunity to play freely in nature,” according to the Scripps Nature Camp website.
The camp, targeted toward 3 to 5-year-olds, brings this notion close to home. Co-founders Ivan Flores and Pamela Enciso started the camp in Scripps Ranch in hopes of giving children new ways to explore their communities and learn unconventionally.
“Scripps Ranch has a lot to offer and many people in the community have no idea,” Enciso said. “It is an introduction to learning and exploring for the children.”
The duo takes children to different locations weekly, with some of their favorite sites being Lake Miramar and the Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. Days out include light hikes, with fun stops along the way.
“At Lake Miramar we like feeding the ducks and we’ll bring some vegetables to feed the ducks. We like climbing the trees and we’ll teach the children what (natural fruits) they can eat or can’t eat,” Enciso said.
The program also has an emphasis on introducing children to the Spanish language, however children of all cultural backgrounds are encouraged to enroll.
“The main lessons and curriculum are done in English,” Flores said. “We do songs, we do stories, we do circle time and we teach kids different things via Spanish as well.”
While the program does not focus on academics, Enciso said one of the big benefits of the camp is allowing the children to exercise their independence. This shows even in the small things, such as having the kids carry their own backpacks.
“All the children carry their backpacks and water, so they’re learning about independence,” Enciso said. “They bring their own water, their own lunch and their jacket.”
To enroll in the program or learn more information, visit the Scripps Nature Camp website at www.ScrippsNatureCamp.com.