National Park Service Will Be Hosting Free Nature Camps This July

BROOKS, WV (WOAY) — New River Gorge National River is hosting free overnight nature camps for children 9-11 years old at the Camp Brookside Environmental Education Center in Brooks, West Virginia this July.

Campers will spend four days exploring the woods and waterways of the park, including the 32-acre Brooks Island that houses the Camp. Kids will experience the outdoor environment through hands-on activities that teach them about the many plants, animals, and even insects, that live in different habitats throughout the park. Campers will fish, hike, learn about water safety, play games, and enjoy nightly campfires. They will also learn the importance of protecting the environment while participating in service learning activities at the park.

Three sessions of camp are offered this year: July 8-12, July 15-19, and July 22-26. There is no cost to attend the camp, and all 9-11 year old children, from West Virginia and beyond, are invited to apply at Camp sessions will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, and campers must register by June 1, 2018. Camp costs are provided through a grant from the National Park Foundation, through generous support of partners like Disney, the lead sponsor of Open Outdoor for Kids, and other donors throughout the country.

Campers will stay in the newly renovated historic cabins at Camp Brookside Environmental Education Center. Originally opened in July of 1947, Camp Brookside provided a residential summer camp for the children of families who worked at the Union Carbide plant at Alloy, West Virginia. Boys and girls from ages 5 to 15 attended two week camp sessions on this “Isle of Fun” on the New River. Today the camp has been refurbished and is operated by the National Park Service as Camp Brookside Environmental Education Center.

For more information about New River Gorge National River, visit

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