Every year, the local recreation center teams up with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (KLGO) to create a few days full of summer camp activities for the local youth. As an education intern, I was tasked with creating the program for the first National Park Service summer camp. I decided to structure a program that would focus on macroinvertebrates, because it was a topic that I was very familiar with and it had been a hit with kids in my past summer camp experiences.

Recreation Center employee, Lara, watching as kids observe insects through magnifying cubes. Photo courtesy of KLGO.

I began the summer camp with a quick run-down of what macroinvertebrates were and what to expect find in a pond bed. From there, kids were tasked with building their own macroinvertebrates, with an explanation as to why they created their macroinvertebrate’s characteristics. After covering the basics, kids were transported to a local watershed and taught how to use sweep nets, aspirators, and magnifying cubes. Even my site supervisor, Jason Verhaeghe, joined in on the fun. Jason sported a pair of waders and jumped into the pond to look for aquatic macroinverts. Ultimately, the kids enjoyed the activities, and I enjoyed having the experience of teaching them something new!

Education Specialist, Jason Verhaeghe, using a dip net to find macroinvertebrates. Photo courtesy of KLGO.

Showing the kids how to use mouth-operated aspirators. Photo Courtesy of KLGO.

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