YMCA Camp Erdman Nature Room

Our camp is located in Ke'ana Point State Park on the North Shore of Oahu and a Nature Room would share the immense value of parks with kids. Parks, like camps are safe places for kids to go, are some of the best places for discovery and play, provide places for families to connect and a sense of adventure, and are close-to-home nature places. A Nature Room would allow us to show the importance of this specific area of the island with our guests.

We would like to turn an unused indoor space into an interactive nature center to use with all of the clients we serve at camp. The most important thing we teach during our environmental education classes for school programs is the connection between people and the islands. We have classes about native plants and animals, the albatross, beach ecology, the mountains, zoology, and even a nature art class. The Nature Room would provide an easy way for kids to visualize, connect, and interpret the environment. It is a perfect sensory experience for all learners.

The biggest appeal for our school programs students is that we provide outdoor education which is a welcome alternative to the classroom experience they get on a daily basis. Having the nature center would allow us to further the depth of some of our classes by having concrete specimens to show the kids following their outdoor experience. Many of the classes we teach involve us instructing about the plants, animals, and creatures of Hawaii but we are not always fortunate enough to have anything more visual to show than a picture. Our nature center would have taxidermy animal specimens, hands-on and interactive activities, coral, shells, an albatross station for bolus dissection, sea turtle shells, and native/endangered plants.

During Summer Camp, we get many children that are not from the islands. A culturally significant nature center would allow those campers to learn about Hawaiian environment.

Funded by Oahu, HI (January 2015)