DULUTH, MN — It’s the time of year where kids are out of school and into the outdoors, and Hartley Nature Center is bustling with young minds exploring the outdoors.
“Our summer programs are nature based camps for ages three through 12. And programs are either three hours in length or seven hours in length,” says Tiffany Smith, the Education Director for Hartley Nature Center.
Hartley has numerous summer camps. Last week, one group was able to learn the important skill of fishing.
“They use both cane poles which are just a long pole with a line off the end of it if they’re not confident casting. And others, they’ve learned to cast this week but some aren’t as confident yet, and others are casting for full on yards and yards and yards,” says Smith.
Kids got to try their hand at casting from the dock, or getting into a boat and hitting the calm waters of Hartley Pond.
“I hope to catch mostly perch and sunfish but they’ve also caught a few bull heads and Chubs.”
The fish they catch might be small, but the smiles were immeasurable. They learned how to bait a hook, and get the fish back to their home.
“They are also learning how to safely remove the fish from a hook be respectful for that life to get it back in the pond so it can live another day and be caught by another person,” says Smith.
Smith says this program, and others at Hartley, play a big role in developing our communities youth as outdoors enthusiasts.
“You know, without a program like ours there are kids that maybe would spend very little of their summers outdoors. So, having a teacher guiding and inducing some play can be really helpful in getting kids outdoors and connected to nature,” says Smith.
Smith says they still have openings for camp through mid-August.