Submitted by: Izzy Endsley
The chilly drizzle did not stop the large crowd of excited kids and dune lovers of all ages from visiting the Dunes Learning Center Open House this past weekend. Cowels Lodge, located off of Howe Road, was welcoming with music, activities, information on upcoming events…and even cookies!
The Dunes Learning Center is open all year round, holding camp and classes for thousands of school children, but what some may not know is that it is also open to the public for both day and overnight summer camp. Registration is now open , so if you are looking to give your child an unforgettable summer…continue reading!
The Dunes Learning Center summer camps are for children ages 6 to 17 and run June through August. Summer Camp options last from either 1 full day or 3-4 nights. The kids will discover wild life and experience adventure while they hike through the dunes, enjoy a splash in Lake Michigan and end their fun-filled days around the campfire, reflecting their adventures with camp counselors and new friends.
While at the open house, we were able to get a tour of the campus from Executive Director, Geof Benson and Marketing and Development Manager, Anicia Kosky. The cabins here are top notch. Since camp is in session all year round the cabins are well equipped with air conditioning and heat. Geof was also excited to tell us about their new on-demand, high efficiency water heaters that are also installed in every cabin, saving them 65% in energy usage!
At the open house, kids were learning how to build wigwams, the shelters of the Potawatomi Indians, (shown above) who are native to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Anicia mentioned that the main goal at the Learning Center is for the children to not only have fun, but to have fun learning! From the history of the dunes to plant and wild life to not only protecting themselves, but protecting the dunes. To help spread that message, naturalist Enrique Pulido, was teaching the kids many important survival skills from properly packing a backpack to how and where to build a shelter if ever lost and stranded on a hike — and how to clean up your mess once you leave.
If you’d like to get a tour of the campus, meet staff, and participate in fun activities, there will be a free Summer Camp Open House on Saturday, April 9th from 11am to 3pm located at the Dunes Learning Center at 700 Howe Road, Porter, Indiana. You can also learn more about the 2016 Dunes Summer Camps and other events and activities the Dunes Learning Center has to offer right here.