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Camp Gets Kids Off the Couch

Summer is here and for many kids that means endless hours of video games and sleep. Alternatively they could take a cue from Emily Bennetts and Kaitlyn Flinn and actually go outside.

"They both came out of our program. They've spent years at Earthplace," said Becky Newman, as Bennetts and Flinn led day campers in round after round of silly songs. Newman is, among other titles, the summer camp manager for the nature center.

Newman said the best parts of summer aren't sitting around with a controller in hand watching a screen. The experiences that come from playing outside and exploring and even, as kids are apt to do, picking up bugs are the real essence of summer, according to Newman. "I think part of it is just building memories and relationships. Some of our counselors used to be campers here. Now they're college kids and counselors and still having fun," said Newman.

Earthplace's camps operate on a week-to-week basis with new topics and themes each session. Last week was "Nature Olympics." The camps are also divided into age groups, from 3 to 15, with different activities for each. Newman had just come back from taking the older kids kayaking.

It was important to her to stress that counselors at Earthplace are not randomly pulled high school kids. They have all had training and, as pointed out, many came up through the camp's own programs.

Newman said anyone interested in more information about the camps should call her at 203-227-7253, ext. 107, or visit www.earthplace.com .

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