BLACK SWAMP BIRD OBSERVATORY IS PROUD TO PARTNER WITH VICTOR EMANUEL NATURE TOURS TO PRESENT YOUTH BIRDING CAMP OPPORTUNITIES
In 1986 Victor Emanuel Nature Tours (VENT) inaugurated its youth birding camp program with a two-week camp in southeastern Arizona, Camp Chiricahua. Nothing like this camp had ever been done, and the idea behind it was to connect young people more deeply to birds and nature and to other birders their age.
Every summer since then, VENT has conducted youth birding camps. These camps have been staffed by outstanding leaders who have been eager to share their enthusiasm and knowledge, among whom are some of the most respected people in modern birding including Victor Emanuel, Pete Dunne, Kenn Kaufman, Michael O’Brien, and Roger Tory Peterson. During the past 29 years over 400 young birders have attended these camps.
Many former campers have pursued careers in science, conservation, teaching and professional tour leading. Our camps have touched the lives of many young people; for some, attending a VENT youth birding camp has been a life-changing experience. We look forward to providing more programs for young birders.
BSBO is honored to join the VENT team and be part of this legacy.
CAMP CHIRICAHUA A unique summertime youth program centered on the wildlife-rich ecosystems of Southeastern Arizona’s Chiricahua Mountains.
Camp Chiricahua presents young birders with an extraordinary opportunity to share a mutual love of birds and nature in one of the greatest natural history locations in North America. The camp is designed for boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 18 to become familiar with the flora and fauna of Southeast Arizona.
The primary focus of the camp is on the rich birdlife of the region, but we will also explore all aspects of nature, and spend time learning about habitats and ecosystems. Campers do not need to be expert birders, but should possess an interest in birds and nature.
Campers should expect to see most of the special birds of Southeast Arizona, including such sought-after species as Elegant Trogon, a good variety of hummingbirds, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, and Red-faced Warbler. Evening night drives will provide additional opportunities for mammals, reptiles, and insects.
Through the years, Camp Chiricahua has endured as a testament to VENT’s dedication to employing nature as a vehicle for learning, and positively influencing the lives of young people. Many campers have gone on to successful careers in a variety of fields, and many of them cite their time spent at Camp Chiricahua as a defining event in their lives.
Long, learning-filled days emphasizing the region’s birdlife and varied habitats; lots of hiking and camping; cool mornings and warm to hot days with afternoon thunderstorms.
CAMP CASCADES A unique summertime youth program explores the biologically rich ecosystems of Washington State’s majestic Puget Sound and incomparable Mt. Rainier National Park.
Camp Cascades offers young birders between the ages of 14 and 18 the unique opportunity to experience the beautiful Pacific Northwest with their peers. Focusing on two spectacular parts of Washington State, the camp provides a comprehensive survey of the flora and fauna of the Puget Sound region and the dramatic Cascades Mountains.
Daily activities will be based around thorough exploration of each of the distinct regions we visit, and campers will be educated on all forms of nature. Several lengthy hikes, birding field trips, and discussions will complement free time during which campers will have the luxury of exploring and discovering their natural surroundings on their own or in small groups.
Campers should expect to witness some of the finest coastal and mountain scenery in North America. Along the shores of Puget Sound, we’ll experience the renowned temperate rainforests—a mixture of mighty, ancient conifers and lush, riparian forest, often festooned in a fantastic living carpet of mosses, liverworts, and ferns. Amid the forests, glaciers, and tundra of Mt. Rainier National Park, we’ll encounter magnificent vistas, plunging waterfalls, and meadows carpeted with wildflowers.
A sampling of the characteristic birds of the region includes Tufted Puffin, Rhinoceros Auklet, Marbled Murrelet, Harlequin Duck, Sooty Grouse, White-tailed Ptarmigan, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Varied Thrush, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, and Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch. Outstanding activities include hikes in ancient old-growth forests, a trip to the tip of the Olympic Peninsula, half-day hikes to spectacular Comet and Narada waterfalls in the national park, a hike on Mt. Rainier’s Skyline Trail for more world-class alpine scenery, and a grand finale day-hike to Mount Fremont Lookout from the park’s Sunrise area. Long, learning-filled days emphasizing the region’s distinct birdlife and habitats; lots of hiking and some camping; elevations range from sea level to 7,000 feet; cool mornings and mild days with some precipitation possible.