Every Kid Belongs in Summer Camp

Written by Beth Heller
    Monday, 25 February 2013
Every Kid Belongs in Summer Camp

Eight year old Sammy has just found a soft-shelled turtle along the Milwaukee River. It is visible only because it was startled when the group of summer campers came just close enough to this very well-camouflaged Riverside Park resident for it to make a run for the more protective waters.

Sammy calls to his new friend, John, saying “Look at this turtle. What a weird nose!” The two excitedly watch as the turtle looks back for a moment then dives into the river. They giggle a little as the carapace disappears under the surface of the water.

Even though this "From the Archive" post was orginally published in the May/June 2008 edition of our newsletter, our Summer Camps are still going strong this year! Click here to register your child (or yourself, we have a Summer Camp for Parents!) today! Scholarships are available to give everyone the opportunity to participate in our summer camps. Click here for apply for a scholarship. Questions? Call Sarah Rohe at (414) 964-8505, x125.


Every week summer campers share memorable experiences like these, experiences that will likely bring them back to the park and will be a connection between the campers that they may not otherwise have. Why not? Because they come from different backgrounds and two sides of the Milwaukee River

As a community Center, serving diverse neighborhoods, we are blessed to be able to bring community members together from varied cultural, economic and social backgrounds. For kids exploring public green spaces, the amount of money their family makes absolutely does not matter, nor does the color of their skin or the lifestyle choices of their family. The joy of discovery and sharing in awe of nature’s quirks and beauty are what it’s all about.

Because building more connections between diverse communities in Milwaukee is so critical, and getting urban kids outdoors is at the core of our mission, the Urban Ecology Center offers scholarships to low-income families. If you are a low income parent or know of low income families with kids through your neighborhood, work, church or through volunteering who would benefit from a scholarship to summer camp, contact Sarah Rohe at (414) 964-8510. With your help we can fill our camps to capacity with a diverse group of kids to enjoy the wonders of summer outside in nature right here in the city!

Beth Heller

Beth Heller

Senior Director of Education and Strategic Planning, Beth received her Masters in Business Administration from UW-Milwaukee in 2005, where she received the Outstanding Business Plan award for a plan to launch a branch of the Urban Ecology Center in Washington Park. She graduated from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI in 1994 with a B.A. degree in Biology and Education. Beth began working at the Urban Ecology Center in 2000 to combine her love of the city with her appreciation of nature. Beth loves to sail, bike, sing and hike.

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