Rochester Garden Club Sends Four Students to 4-H Science Camp

Michigan 4-H Camp Scholarships

Members of the Rochester Garden Club are happy to support students who are eager to get outside and learn about the environment. This year the club sponsored four eighth grade students from the Pontiac International Technology Academy, Britlynn Veliz, Nicole Bermudez-Alvarado, Kayla Rodriguez, and Sandra Castro, who enjoyed a week of environmental science activities at the 4-H Great Lakes and Natural Resources Camp.

The four young women sit on an outdoor bench at Lake Huron

Students from the Pontiac International Technology Academy (left to right), Britlynn Veliz, Nicole Bermudez-Alvarado, Kayla Rodriguez, and Sandra Castro all attended the 4-H Great Lakes Camp.

Nestled between the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Esau in Presque Isle, the camp is hosted by the Michigan 4-H, in conjunction with the Michigan State University (MSU) Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Archeology, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, among others. While at camp, students hike trails, kayak and sail on Lake Huron, and wade in wetlands. They evaluate water quality, study the negative effects of invasive plants and animals, go on a charter fishing adventure, and investigate evidence of pollution. More details on the Michigan 4-H Great Lakes and Natural Resources Camp can be found on-line through the MSU Extension service.

The four scholarship recipients said that at camp they developed a new respect for nature because the camp exposed them to experiences and ideas that were exciting and new. From a first-time fishing experience, hiking through wetlands (even though their shoes got all soggy), learning about watersheds and lakes, and doing projects with others, the campers were amazed at what they were able to learn in just a week. “The camp gave me confidence to talk to people and do different activities,” said Kayla Rodriguez. “It made me more aware of nature and what’s happening around me,” said Britlynn Veliz. Sandra Castro’s experience has encouraged her to want to go to college.

As a local nonprofit, Rochester Garden Club is pleased to offer these experiences to encourage our future environmentalists. In addition to scholarship programs, the club serves the community in the areas of conservation, education, horticulture therapy, and civic improvement. Funds for these projects come from sales at the annual Gifts and Greens Market, held this year on November 29, 30 and December 1 at the Rochester Schools Administration Center.

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