Back in person for the first time since 2019, DNDA’s Spring Camp offered a variety of programs that encouraged youth to engage with the natural environment at West Seattle’s Camp Long through restoration and education, creating art, and enjoying outdoor activities in the company of their peers. The 12 youth who participated are High Point residents living in properties owned by the Seattle Housing Authority. With a wide range of activities, enthusiastic instructors, and plenty of time outdoors, participants showed up each day excited to participate in spite of the cold weather.
Some highlights from the camp, which ran from April 12-15: building temporary shelters from found materials with Caroline and Tyler from DNDA’s Nature Program; restoring an area of the park by removing English ivy; observing and identifying birds on a nature walk with Camp Long’s Nicole Parish-Andrews; creating cyanotypes using found materials and photographing the environment; creating dance sequences inspired by the flora and fauna at Camp Long with teaching artist Madison Bristol; and learning how to identify local animals by their tracks with Ben and Tyler. Participants were also able to contribute to the wetland mural, which is well underway, by painting tiles with native animals with teaching artist Molly Duttry. The week ended with an exciting rock climbing session on Schurman Rock, which was led by Camp Long educators.
Spring Camp was a clear success. The program allowed kids to enjoy their spring break by reconnecting with nature, tapping into their creativity, and forming friendships. The camp ultimately got High Point youth involved in something meaningful while also supporting families who may have been unable to take a vacation or afford other activities during spring break. The positive feedback we’ve received from the youth participants and their families reflects the positive impact DNDA has had in the High Point community. DNDA’s Spring Camp was a huge success thanks to the support of our Nature team, Camp Long, and our teaching artists. And big thanks to the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and 4Culture. It could not have happened without them!