Tennessee Aquarium Gearing Up For New Summer Camp Programs

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - by Nancy Henderson

Does your child love to doodle images of flowers and trees? Has she shown a strong interest in math? Is he a natural problem-solver?

For the first time ever, the Tennessee Aquarium is offering eight specialty summer camps to satisfy—and stimulate—the curiosity of budding scientists, engineers and artists age 2-14. In Nature on the Page, for example, young storytellers will write and illustrate their own books, while STEM Around Us will show children why, among other things, fish swim so well. Animal Detectives (formerly Mommy and Me, piloted last year) will allow parents and grandparents to have fun alongside their toddlers and preschoolers in separate age groups.

The main camps will also look different this year, with four different pick-and-choose themes each month: Wonderfully Weird and Wacky, Mad Scientists, Keeper for a Week, and Animal Olympics.

Aquarium member registration is underway for all camps, which run June 1-July 31.

Non-members may register beginning on Monday, March 9.

The new age-appropriate specialty camps will offer the variety kids crave, said Danielle Pope White, an educator at the Tennessee Aquarium. “We’re trying to keep up with the times. We have really tried to see if we could do anything extra, and better, and really focus on the Tennessee Aquarium as an institution for these kids to be able come to camp.”

Other new programs, including one on turtle telemetry, will focus on the shelled stars of the Aquarium’s Year of the Turtle celebration, which runs throughout 2020. The special turtle logo will appear on all summer camp t-shirts.

Some popular camps, like Nature’s Wonders, which is conducted in partnership with Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center, and the high-adventure Concerning Conservation for young teens interested in careers in biology, ecology, conservation and environmental science, fill up fast, Ms. White said.

“We are truly living and teaching out our mission here at the Tennessee Aquarium,” she said. “We are connecting and empowering these kids to learn how to not only care for water and wildlife, but to be able to go out and do something on their own and know that what they do absolutely affects our surrounding backyard and ecosystems, and how they can go out into that habitat and help. It’s also about teaching nature play: Put down the technology and let’s go play in the dirt.”

Due to the July 4 holiday, no camp sessions will be held June 29-July 3. Please note that each camper in Animal Detectives must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Visit www.tnaqua.org/events-programs/summer-camp for more information and to register now, or email questions to summercamp@tnaqua.org.


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