DiscoverE Programs Scheduled at Parker Dam this Summer

PENFIELD – Parker Dam State Park is again offering DiscoverE programs to youth at the park this summer.

Do you know a child who enjoys exploring the outdoors or who constantly asks questions about nature?

If so, the DiscoverE programs will help these youngsters learn about the natural world around them.  This series of “fun and exciting programs” allow young people to explore their environment with others of the same age and abilities.

Youth who progress year to year from one program to the next in the series will continue to grow in their understanding of the environment and their role in it.

Pennsylvania state parks’ natural resources and historic sites are discovered through “exciting programs” provided by trained educators and interpreters.

By combining recreation and education, staff members hope to motivate children to learn more and return often, leading to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment and conservation leadership.

DiscoverE offers a variety of activities to meet developmental levels and social skills of different age groups.  Younger learners will explore the outdoors through structured play, reinforced by stories and crafts.

Older youth will be challenged by gaining recreational skills, conducting special projects and participating in valuable experiences.

DiscoverE programs at state parks have been developed for young people ages 4-17.

Hide-‘n-Seekers is for children 4 and 5 years old, Outdoor Explorers is for kids 6-8 years old and Penn’s Adventurers is for youth between 9 and 12 years old.

Young people between the ages of 13 and 17 can participate in Conservation Leaders, an independent study program where participants work with park professionals to accomplish a project or activity, while developing a sense of stewardship and responsibility for the park’s resources.

The Penn’s Adventurers program is open to children ages 9-12 and is comprised of 12 hours of programming over three days.  The Penn’s Adventurers theme this year is “Sustainability.”

Participants will learn about the importance of being sustainable, the different technology and techniques people employ to become more sustainable and the effects that living more sustainably can have on the environment in which we are all a part.

There is no requirement for a parent or guardian to remain with the child during this program.  The program will be held July 23, 24 and 25, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. each day.

The Outdoor Explorers and Hide-N-Seekers programs at the park will follow a different format this year.  Each of the two programs will have a number of Friday afternoon sessions throughout the summer.

Children can attend one or all of the programs for their age group, but would need to complete at least six hours of programming to receive the corresponding badge and certificate.

The Outdoor Explorers (children 6-8) theme this year is “It’s an Animal Planet.”  Children participating in the program will learn through activities, walks, games and crafts about a variety of animals that inhabit the world and specifically Pennsylvania.

There is no requirement for a parent or guardian to remain with the child during this program.

The Outdoor Explorer programs (seven sessions total) will be held May 31, June 14, 28, July 12, 26, Aug. 9 and 23, from 3 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.

This year’s Hide-‘n-Seekers (children 4-5) theme at Parker Dam State Park is “Sensory Awareness.”

Children participating in the Hide-‘n-Seekers program will learn how to safely explore their natural surroundings and how to find answers to their questions about the outdoors through activities, walks, games and crafts.

Please note this program does require one parent or guardian to be present with their child during the entire program.

The Hide-N-Seekers programs (seven sessions total) will be held June 7, 21, July 5, 19, Aug. 2, 16 and 30, from 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.

There is no fee to participate in the DiscoverE programs.  However, class size for Penn’s Adventures (children 9-12) is limited and participants must be pre-registered.

Parents can pre-register their children by calling the Parker Dam State Park Office at 814-765-0630, daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and extended hours on Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

No pre-registration will be required for the Hide-N-Seeker or Outdoor Explorer programs – just meet at the park’s Environmental Education Classroom for scheduled sessions.

If you would like more information about any of the DiscoverE programs at Parker Dam State Park, contact the Environmental Education Specialist at Parker Dam State Park by phone at 814-765-0630, or by e-mail at parkerdamsp@pa.gov.

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