Summer is upon us and it is time to fill up those months while the kids are out of school. What better way to keep your children active and engaged than by signing them up for a Lee Richardson Zoo Edventure? Zoo Edventures are week-long day camps for children entering first through eighth grade which include games, crafts, animals and more. Each week has a unique theme so don't hesitate to bring your child twice!

"It's Easy Being Green" is our first Edventure of the summer which will run June 11 through 15. First- and second-graders will follow the journey of the ingredients that make up soda from their origins around the world into our homes. We will experiment with dry ice carbonation and make our own gum and chocolate. At the end of the week campers will decide how much of an impact they have on the world around them and come up with ideas to help create a greener future.

Third- and fourth-graders will join us on our next Edventure June 18 through 22. Someone or something has been stealing items from places around the world. We will travel to each continent to explore its biomes and solve the mystery of the "Biome Burglar." Campers will not only learn about the variety of places and animals in the world, but they will also use their deductive skills to capture our elusive thief.

June 25 through 29 we will show fifth- and sixth-graders "The Big Picture." This is our first-ever photography camp and we are excited to explore the natural world through the lens of the camera. Each camper will receive a digital Canon SX150IS for use during camp. Campers will learn the basics of digital photography and build up to advanced techniques in the classroom as well as out in the zoo. At the end of the week campers will take their pictures home and choose their favorites to enter into the Finney County Fair's photography contest.

"There and Back Again" will welcome first- and second-graders back July 9 through 13. This time they will help a young "Truleep" discover how the world works and what it truly is. Campers will meet plants and animals from around the world to build a complete picture of how things work.

For the first time ever we will be offering seventh- and eighth-graders the chance to become "Junior Zookeepers" from July 16 through 20. These campers will work side by side with our zookeepers as they perform the daily tasks it takes to care for the many exotic animals housed at our zoo. This camp is perfect for animal lovers, budding zookeepers or those just looking to have fun. At the end of the week we will build a special enrichment item which will act as a reminder of this great summer for years to come.

Our last Edventure of the summer will show third- and fourth-graders how "We All Grow Together" July 23 through July 27. The world is an amazing place full of diverse and unique plants and animals. Campers will discover how they are connected to life all over the world as they realize that they can make a difference.

Each Zoo Edventure runs Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon. Registration for the entire week costs $40 ($35 for zoo members) and includes all crafts, games and snacks each day. For more information or to register, visit www.leerichardsonzoo.org or contact Tarra Tyson, manager of educational outreach and camps, at 276-1250 or ttyson@garden-city.org. It's going to be a wild summer! We hope to see you here.