Young campers to get first look at bay life

South County group wants pupils to learn to protect environment

July 22, 1999|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,SUN STAFF

Three youngsters, including two Shady Side Elementary School pupils, will be tutored in the ecological wonders of the Chesapeake Bay as part of a program sponsored by a south county environmental protection group.

As part of its Junior Ecologist Program, designed to educate children about the bay, South Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development (SACReD) is paying for the children -- Shannon Crowner, 9; Darnell Green, 9; and Christina Santiful, 10 -- to attend United Methodist West River Camp at Chalk Point.

"We thought it would be a great chance to get kids who are landlocked exposed to the bay," said Marie Nolan, a SACReD member and a project coordinator.

Crowner, who will be a fourth-grader at Shady Side Elementary in the fall, will arrive at the camp Sunday night. She, like Green and Santiful, has never been in a boat, gone crabbing or fishing -- activities that symbolize life in south county.

Green, who will be a fifth-grader at Shady Side in the fall, will begin a week after Crowner. Santiful, who lives in and attends school in Baltimore, will begin camp Aug. 8.

SACReD raised the money -- about $700 -- to send the children to camp as part of a new program to train environmental activists. The children, recommended by their churches, will be tutored in nature, marine life, boating, crabbing, fishing and swimming.

This is the first year for SACReD's Junior Ecologist Program, aimed at teaching youth about the environment in south county and the need to protect it. Next year, the group hopes to raise more money to pay for more children to attend the camp, Nolan said.

"By learning about the bay at a wonderful place like the West River camp," said Amanda Spake, SACReD's acting president, "we think these and other kids like them will be on the road to becoming concerned, informed adults."

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