This summer, in addition to our traditional Discovery Camp and Naturalist Leadership Program options, MMA also offered community service camps for 10 – 12 year olds and 13 – 16 year olds. In these camps, participants had the opportunity to gain service hours needed for school, scout, and honor society requirements while exploring Nantucket and learning about the importance of land conservation. Campers spentan hour or two in the morning completing a community service project and then would enjoy fun summer activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, geocaching, and more in the afternoons.
For many years, our campers have enjoyed exploring the diverse properties of the Nantucket Conservation Foundation (NCF) and the Nantucket Islands Land Bank (NILB) and so this was an opportunity for us to give back a little and provide opportunities for our campers to learn more about our partners as well. We were able to launch this program with the help and support of NCF and NILB and for that we are most grateful. As it turned out, we were able to help a number of other community partners including the Nantucket Food Pantry, Safe Harbor for Animals, the Nantucket Community Garden, and the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church. I am so proud of all of our instructors and campers and the inspiring projects they completed throughout the summer which include:
Invasive species removal
Shorebird enclosure removal
Roadside litter removal
Community Garden/Food Pantry
Weeded two garden plots
Harvested and delivered vegetables for the Food Pantry
Made up-cycled bags from old t-shirts as part of their program to help the food pantry
Safe Harbor for Animals
Painted canvasses for their art show to educate the community about the humane treatment of animals
To raise awareness about this effort, with help from the MMA’s Aquarium staff, campers also began building a large shark with scales made from cans collected around Nantucket. After this art project is completed in 2016, it will become an exhibit at the MMA Aquarium and there is still time for you or your child to be a part of it. We hope you will join us next summer as we continue to pay it forward in the Nantucket community.