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Spring break and summer camps are a keystone program of Auburn's Kreher Preserve and Nature Center. Research has shown that time spent outdoors increases a child’s mental and physical abilities, and camps at the Kreher Preserve are a great way for children to connect to the outside world.

“Camps are one of my favorite programs that we offer children. You can really see them grow in their love and understanding of nature over the time that they are here,” said Jennifer Lolley, outreach administrator for the center, also known formally as the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve.

Spring break camps will be held March 12-14 and 19-21 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. for children in first through sixth grades. During the three-day ‘Nature Getaway’ camp, each day the campers will have a different nature experience. The first day children will head ‘to the lake’ then the next day ‘out west’ and then finally on a ‘camping trip.’ Registration includes a daily snack and is $120 for members of the center and $135 for non-members.

The summer camp theme for this year is ‘Unhuggables’ and will focus on educating children about species that are not so cute and cuddly such as lizards, spiders, snakes, frogs and coyotes. The children will study how these species along with several others serve a special role in the web of life.

Camp is offered from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. with daily drop-off at 7:45 a.m. at the Kreher Preserve entrance. The dates for camp are as follows: Camp Discovery, grades three and four, May 29-June 1; Young Naturalist, grades one and two, session 1: June 4-8 and session 2: June 18-22; and Explorers, grades one through seven, June 25-29. The ‘Auburn Adventure’ camp will be offered June 11-15 to campers entering grades five through seven and will focus on our local ecosystems and include some experiences learning outdoor skills such as archery.

Registration is $110 per student and includes a t-shirt and snack. Registration is limited and available to Kreher Preserve and Nature Center members only. Families not currently members of the Kreher Preserve may join online prior to registering their children. Membership for families begins at $35 per year and including numerous benefits.

The Kreher Preserve and Nature Center was established in 1993 with a gift of land from Louise Kreher Turner and Frank Allen Turner to Auburn University and is operated by the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences as a not-for-profit outreach program.

Questions about membership and day camps may be directed to Jennifer Lolley or Sarah Crim at preserve@auburn.edu or call 844-8091. Families may join the preserve and register for camps online at http://wp.auburn.edu/preserve/.