SOLAR YOUTH SUMMER CAMP (July 5th to August 5th 2011)
] Sea Kayaking at Lighthouse Point
Program Outcome Report “I learned how to work as a team when doing the Community Service Action Project” Youth Camper
I. PROGRAM SUMMARY Solar Youth’s Summer Camp provides positive educational and youth developmental opportunities, free of charge, to youth ages 4-13 from across New Haven. Like all Solar Youth programs, the main goal of the Summer Camp is to nurture youth who are happy, healthy, community-oriented and environmentally conscious. Summer Camp is comprised on two mainstay Solar Youth programs, Steward Teams, for 9-13 year olds, and Citycology, for 4-8 year olds. Each program is co-led by an adult staff member and teenage Youth Educators, who are hired via a competitive process and participate in training prior to and during the season. Youth Educators are paid interns and often have participated in Solar Youth programs as younger kids. Summer Camp is held from 9am to 3pm five days a week for five weeks. Steward Teams and Citycology are core programs of Solar Youth’s “Cycle of Stewardship,” a menu of programs that allows youth to build on their experiences, maintain relationships, progressively gain more leadership skills, become positive change agents in their environments, and then serve as role models for younger children. Both Steward Teams and Citycology, like all programs, follow Solar Youth’s unique program model: Kids Explore! Kids Do! Kids Teach! Following this model, youth investigate the local ecology of their community (Kids Explore!), identify environmental issues that affect the health of people and the natural environment, and seek solutions through a process of problem-solving and youth led action (Kids Do!), then teach what they have learned and accomplished to others through public education projects (Kids Teach!). The expected outcomes for our Summer Camp are: x A demonstrated development of, at minimum, nine of the Search Institute's 40 Developmental
Assets (the building blocks of positive youth development, the possession of which has shown to have significant effect on youth's ability to resist negative influences and achieve success in adult life). The Developmental Assets we will measure are within the categories of 'constructive use of time,' 'empowerment,' 'commitment to learning,' 'positive values,' and 'social competencies.' x A demonstrated increase in environmental knowledge and commitment to environmental stewardship. Summer Camp curriculum aligns with Connecticut State standards for science learning and complements what youth are learning in the classroom during the school year. In addition, outcomes for Youth Educators include: x A demonstrated increase in understanding of best principles and practices of youth
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x A demonstrated development of employability skills, such as timeliness, public speaking,
personal financial management, work ethic and a commitment to excellence. Finally, as a result of implementation of youth-led Community Service Action Projects (C-SAPs) and Public Education Projections (PEPs), our Summer Camp contributes to an ecologically healthier and more environmentally conscious City of New Haven and its environs.
II. SUMMER CAMP BY THE NUMBERS x x x x x
Offered more than 150 hours of program; Hired and trained 10 teenage Youth Educators; Had a total Summer Camp enrollment of 77 youth; Organized 11 out-of-neighborhood adventure trips for participants; Implemented 3 youth-led C-SAPs and 2 Public Education Projects.
Steward Teams Campers canoeing on the Mill River in East Rock Park
III. SEASON REVIEW The theme for the 2011 Solar Youth Summer Camp was Connecticut’s Watershed. A watershed is defined as” the area of land of which water flows from the highest point to a common body of water.” Connecticut’s watershed is one of great importance to both people and wildlife of Connecticut. This summer we explored the New Haven Watershed and how it is connected to the larger watershed. Page 2
Youth learned about the relationship between CT’s Watershed and Long Island Sound. They looked at the human impact on our watershed and individual as well as group actions we can take to protect our watershed. Environmental topics addressed and activities conducted during the 2011 Summer Camp included: Adopt-a-Tree All the Water in the World Balloon Rockets Bio magnification Bird Watching Blubber Deep Sea Creatures Ecosystem Web Farming; Food Web Fred the Fish Habitat Loss Invasive Species
Jungle Animals Long Island Sound Habitats Micro and Macro Invertebrates Nature Safari Night Experiments Planetary Art Raft Making Sand Art Shelter Building Solar System Space Jeopardy
Telescope Making Tides Tree Health Tree ID Tree Survival Watersheds Water Conservation Water Cycle Water Molecules Water Pollution Water Properties Water Quality
Kids Explore! Each week, campers went on themed adventures, at Clarence Rogers Elementary School, where our Summer Camp is based, and around Connecticut. Each theme had its own set of lessons and fun activities, and every Thursday ended with Lights, Camera, Action!—a fun, performance-based way for kids to show off their learning from the week! Steward Teams Theme Week 1 – Wonderful Watersheds (Intro)
Week 2 – Wild Wetlands
Week 3 – Rivers and Lakes
This week campers learned about the New Haven Watershed and the three main rivers through hands-on lessons like songs and chants, building their own watershed and my watershed. On our hiking trip to West Rock Ridge State Park, youth explored the West River watershed and viewed other parts of the New Haven Watershed. We kicked of this week with a trip to our local treasure, Edgewood Park. There, youth explored the wetlands near the hiking trails. Youth learned about the importance of wetlands to birds and other wildlife. They also learned about the flora and fauna of local wetlands. At Hammonasset Beach, we explored the salt marsh and other ecosystems, where youth learned about invasive and native species of Long Island Sound. We discussed how salt marshes help humans and the Long Island Sound. This week we explored river and lake ecology. Youth learned how rivers and lakes provide us with water and how run off and pollution may affect these ecosystems. They also did sea kayaking at Light House Point Park.
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Week 4 - Estuaries
Week 5 – Teach Week & Camping Trip
Citycology Theme Week 1 – Under the Sea
Week 2 – Mother Nature
Week 3 – Space Jam
Week 4 – Long Island Sound/Urban Ecosystems
Week 5 – Welcome to the Jungle
The youth also began the C-SAP process by brainstorming a list of problems affecting Connecticut’s Watershed. They then choose three problems to address then began planning their projects. It was all about the Long Island Sound our dynamic local estuary. Youth learned what makes an estuary and the significance of estuaries to humans and wildlife specific to the Sound. At Lighthouse point we explored and learned about the seaweeds and animals of the Sound. The end of the week was dedicated to the youth preparing for their presentation at our end-of-season Public Education Forum. The last week of camp was about “ending with a boom” with a week full of trips planned. Youth biked along the Sound on our West Haven Beach Biking trip; they also learned safe biking tips. The youth also went kayaking on the Sound at Lighthouse Point Park. Camp was brought to an end with our end-of-season overnight camping trip at Devil’s Hopyard State Park in East Haddam, Connecticut. Activity Description
This week featured everything beneath the great BLUE! Down Under the Sea campers learned about Whales, Dolphins, Sharks, Coral Reefs, and a whole lot more. Citycology had the opportunity to learn by exploring the habitats of local sea creatures at Lighthouse Point Park! This week we explored the beauty of nature and talked about the amazing planet we live on, from trees, to clouds, to how plants grow and where our food comes from. A trip to Massaro Farm helped campers build connections between farm and table, and showed them how important it is to keep the earth healthy! Campers spent this week far, far away—in outer space! Exploration of our solar system (with homemade telescopes and balloon rockets!) helped campers understand just how big our universe really is. Festivities included a trip to the Peabody Museum’s Hall of Earth, Minerals and Space! From sea to land, this week featured everything in our local ecosystem, from animals to their habitats. To better understand our own effect on the ecosystems around us, and learn creative ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle, we visited the Stratford Garbage Museum and did a clean-up at Short Beach! Monkeys, tigers and snakes, oh my! To round out our amazing summer, we took a trek through the jungle. Complete with safaris, bird-watching, and adventure raft building, campers found themselves in awe of this complex ecosystem, and had a chance to see a little piece of it at the Beardsley Zoo. Towards the end of the week, we created Community Service Action Projects that helped raise awareness about throwing
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garbage into bins (instead of on the ground) and the importance recycling. Kids Do! As a group, the camp brainstormed a list of problems related to Connecticutâ€™s Watershed. They then choose three problems to address. The problems were raffled to the three different camp groups. These groups were named after the three main rivers of Connecticut: Thames, Housatonic and Connecticut. Each team planned a C-SAP but the whole camp participated in each one. Steward Teams Theme Thames River Team- Water Conservation Campaign
Housatonic River TeamLittering
Connecticut River TeamHabitat Loss Leaders-in-Training Team
Citycology Theme Group ALittering
Group BCommunity Stewardship & Recycling Page 2
Community Service Action Project Description
The youth from this team choose Wasting Water as a problem affecting our watersheds. Youth decided to create posters to encourage people at Lighthouse Point Park to use less water and to teach them water conservation facts. Youth created 7 posters with water conservation facts. Youth had 93 conversations with people about ways to use less water at home and why it important to do so. Youth decided to organize a litter clean up of the West Rock Neighborhood to prevent trash from entering the water. Youth collected 11 and a half bags of trash. Youth also found 3 tires and 5 election campaign signs Youth Identified habitat loss as a problem affecting migratory birds. They decided to build three bird houses to provide homes for birds in New Haven Parks. The Leaders-in-Training Team, a group of Steward Teamers identified as having strong potential to become Solar youth interns as teenagers, also led a C-SAP. Youth identified litter in the rivers that eventually flow into Long Island Sound as a problem they wanted to address. The solution they chose was picking up litter as they canoed the Mill River. The camp was split into three groups, with LIT participants leading each group. The New Haven Parks Department brought us out on canoes, one group at a time, and youth removed any trash they could find. The other two groups hiked along the trails next to the river, picking up trash as they went. In total, we collected 4 large trashbags of litter. Community Service Action Project Description
Citycology campers in group A identified littering as a serious problem in the area surrounding the camp. They chose to do a garbage clean-up to fix the problem. All morning, they worked together with gloves and orange safety vests to make the neighborhood shine! Group B also noticed the pervasiveness of littering all around them, and decided to focus specifically on teaching others about alternatives. They
Group CLittering & Habitat Health
Group DCommunity Stewardship
created awareness posters on the hazards of throwing trash on the ground, the importance of keeping the neighborhood beautiful, and the different products that can be recycled. The posters were full of colorful artwork and were hung around the camp. In Group C, youth took the problem further, and identified littering as a primary factor in the destruction of habitats and the animals that live in them. Awareness postcards on littering (and why NOT to do it!) were distributed to teach people about the issue. Campers from Group D chose community stewardship as the most important message to get out. Beautiful posters, telling the story of what kids had learned about garbage, and what they wanted their community to do about it, were posted around the neighborhood.
Kids Teach! We declared Wednesday of Week 5 as our Summer Camp “Teach” day. During the day Steward Teams visited Cityseed’s Farmers Market and the New Haven Green and downtown area for the youth to teach people about their C-SAPs. Youth walked around the green displaying their posters which taught people what they did and learned. Meanwhile, Citycology participants hung posters and passed out postcards, both of which they designed on issues covered during their C-SAPs, at the school and in their communities. We invited all the parents to come to the Public Education Forum on August 3rd so that the campers could show off what they had learned throughout the summer, and during their projects, by performing songs, skits and presentations. We capped off the season with an outrageous, Hawaiianthemed end of the season celebration!
Taylor and Curtisy playing field games at Clarence Rogers
Mba and Kyheem during Lights, Camera, Action!
Devonte exploring at Short Beach.
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IV. OUTCOMES Solar Youth’s Evaluation Process Solar Youth measures its programs with a combination of evaluation tools, including Pre/Post surveys, Portfolios (evidence and examples of youth community service and public education work), Youth Feedback Forms, Family Feedback Forms, and Community Feedback Forms. The feedback forms are based on best-practice evaluation tools developed by the Search Institute. Our pre/post survey, which measures ecological literacy and leadership knowledge, aligns with Connecticut State standards for science learning. Citycology participants do not take the pre/post survey or fill out feedback forms.
Feedback from Participating Youth and Parents CATEGORY
% OF YOUTH WHO % OF PARENTS AGREED (ST) WHO AGREED (ST)
% OF PARENTS WHO AGREED (CTY)
Youth Development Outcomes Empowerment
Because of Solar Youth, the community values Solar Youth participants Because of Solar Youth, participant is given useful roles in the community
Commitment to Learning
Because of Solar Youth, participant is actively engaged in learning Because of Solar Youth, participant wants to do well in school
Because of Solar Youth, participant places a high value on helping others Because of Solar Youth, participant is more accountable for his/her actions
Because of Solar Youth, participant’s planning and decision making skills have improved Because of Solar Youth, participant has learned to be a better friend Because of Solar Youth, participant is more sensitive to the feelings of others
Because of Solar Youth, participant’s knowledge about the environment improved Because of Solar Youth, participant is more responsible about the effect
he/she has on the environment
I would recommend Solar Youth to my friends/other parents I would like to (see my child) attend Solar Youth next season
Mariah getting ready for her team’s CSAP clean-up
The whole team at our final trip to the Beardsley Zoo
Intern Feedback CATEGORY
% OF PARTICIPATING INTERNS WHO AGREED Steward Teams
Youth Educator Skills Outcomes
Participation in Solar Youth prepared me to use a lesson plan to deliver lessons through experiential (hands-on) education. Participation in Solar Youth prepared me to practice positive behavior management. Participation in Solar Youth helped me to develop skills as a group facilitator. Participation in Solar Youth prepared me to implement activities that involve multiple intelligences. Participation in Solar Youth helped me to attain greater knowledge of principles of environmental education. Employability Skills Outcomes After being an intern in Solar Youth, I feel that my timeliness has improved.
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After being an intern in Solar Youth, my preparation skills have improved. After being an intern in Solar Youth, my public speaking skills have improved. After being an intern in Solar Youth, my personal financial management skills have improved. After being an intern in Solar Youth, my work ethic has improved. After being an intern in Solar Youth, my commitment to excellence has improved. Environmental Outcomes After being an intern in Solar Youth, I know more about the issues and concepts affecting the environment. After being an intern in Solar Youth, my commitment to environmental stewardship has increased. Long-Term Impact of Solar Youth My overall experience with Solar Youth, both this season and in the past, has prepared me for future employment. My overall experience with Solar Youth, both this season and in the past, has encouraged me to continue my education. My overall experience with Solar Youth, both this season and in the past, has encouraged me to live a healthier lifestyle. My overall experience with Solar Youth, both this season and in the past, has motivated me to seek out opportunities to help my community. My overall experience with Solar Youth, both this season and in the past, has helped me to develop a more positive sense of self. My overall experience with Solar Youth, both this season and in the past, has taught me to consider the impact of my actions on the health of the environment.
100% 83% 50%
Pre/Post Survey Results As part of Steward Teams (Citycology youth are too young to take the test), Solar Youth measures environmental knowledge gains of participants. We do this in part by administering a survey at the beginning of each season, and then the same survey at the end, that asks questions associated with environmental topics, which align with what youth are learning in science class at school, and leadership topics covered during that season. During Summer 2011, pre/post surveys revealed that 76% of survey participants registered a 20% or greater increase in environmental knowledge, while 93% registered a 10% or greater increase. Surveys also revealed that 93% of youth registered a 20% or greater increase in leadership knowledge, including 31% with a 50% or greater increase.
Quotes and Testimonials I really think Solar Youth was good for (Taylor) this summer. I really appreciate the time all the interns and educators took on making it a fun learning environment. THANKS! Citycology Parent [My favorite part of the program was] "learning about new things and getting to see what differences we make." Steward Team Participant Page 6
I hope Solar Youth is a permanent program for our community. To all the camp workers I just want to say great job and continue the great work. Hope to see you guys next year. Citycology Parent [Because of Solar Youth] "I enjoy being at school more and I will have better grades this year." Steward Team Participant Destiny has taught me how to go green and recycle, plus she has a love for the beach and its habitat. I thank you for choosing my daughter to be in your program. We look forward to seeing you guys in the future. Citycology Parent Because of Solar Youth, Isaiah comes home with a fun story every day. Citycology Parent [From doing my CSAP I learned] "what is right way.â€? Steward Team Participant I want to make a change to take care of the world and not litter because that would make the world sick and not healthy. Citycology Participant Because of Solar Youth, I became more independent and open-minded. I also have become beyond mature. Standing in front of a group or on stage in front of an audience is not that hard. Odessa, Citycology Program Instructor
Khalid, showing off a leaf he found at Lighthouse Point Park
Destiny, posing at Massaro Community Farm
Michael, planting beans at Massaro Community Farm
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IV. ENROLLMENT/DEMOGRAPHIC DATA (INCLUDES INTERNS) Steward Teams
Citycology campers using recycled materials to create space-inspired costumes during their Alien Trash Bag Fashion Show!