Monica Beckett is right. It doesn't take much to have a great day in the Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park.

There's so much to explore and enjoy, and that's what makes the expanded summer camp offerings of the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation so exciting.

This year, they are able to accommodate 300 youth in full-day camps throughout July and August plus they now have the ability to offer camps for two different age groups simultaneously.

The Rocky Mountain Rotary Club has played a big role in helping the foundation provide more opportunities for youth to enjoy the park. They recently made a second $10,000 installment on a five-year commitment of $50,000 for summer camps.

Club president Ryan Baum says they wanted to give back to youth by allowing them to enjoy the park we're so fortunate to have at our doorstep.

Michelle Delorme, executive director of the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation (GRPF), says they appreciate the support provided.

"It's a huge contribution to our summer camps. We're able to keep our programming costs down for our participants, which is kind of nice, with this donation," she says. "As far as what we're able to do with the money is really providing us a lot of our summer camp supplies and helping us with our staffing."

For those 6 to 8 years old, there are four-day camps entitled Wild About Wetlands, The Mystery of Archaeology, and Mini Ecologists.

Those 9 to 12 can enjoy Bike Glenbow, Environmental Leadership, and Jr Ecologists.

Monica Beckett, GRPF education and events coordinator, says the themed camps will allow youth to enjoy exploring the park in many different ways. 

For instance, the Mystery of Archaeology camps. Youth will be able to connect with the Indigenous history and that of the settlers of Glenbow, which was a going concern in the early 1900s.

And then there are the two ecologists' camps.

"The junior ecologists and mini ecologist camps really get into the ecology of the land. They'll get their hands on the science and even citizen science," says Beckett. "They get to do some real-world research that will go to researchers across Canada to help our bumblebee populations."

Completely new is the Bike Glenbow camps for those ages 9 to 12.

"The thing about Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is that we've got all these beautifully paved pathways and some of our pathways are granular, but you can still bike on them, and it's a way for our campers to get so much further," she explains. "It's a beautiful place to bike ride. When the little legs are walking, they can only get so far, but on bikes, they get to go down to the Bow River, and they get to go through Badger Bull, so the adventure and discovery of that are elevated by their ability to bike there."

She says hands-down, the park's all-time favourite camp is Wild About Wetlands.

"We still offer it because kids like to play in the water. We have a beautiful little pond, and all of the camps get to go to the pond and do some critter catching. Those in Wild About Wetlands get to go there a couple more times and do a little bit more in-depth studying about the tiny critters that are in there. It's like sci-fi. They're so strange.

"The one favorite critter that everybody is excited to find is a dragonfly nymph because they actually suck oxygen in through their backside and they move by pushing it back out. So they are fart-powered, which is a highlight for campers of all ages."

Makes you want to be a kid again, right?

The camps are starting to fill up and it's recommended you register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Details are available here.

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