Grownups can be kids again during June and July at MDC’s St. Louis region summer camp for adults

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St. LOUIS, Mo.—Everybody grows up eventually.  But being adult doesn’t mean a person can’t still be a kid . . . at least sometimes.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is inviting adults in the St. Louis region to become kids again and experience a bit of what it felt like to be out of school for the summer, just one more time. 

MDC is hosting Camp Hellbender, a series of six events in June and July that recreate the fun of a day at summer camp for those age 18 and over.  Each camp session is free and will be held at a different MDC site in the St. Louis region.  Adult summer campers can register for one session, all sessions, or any combination.  Each session will have a different agenda that will highlight the resources its site has to offer.

“All the events will culminate in a closing campfire at Busch Conservation Area in St. Charles at the end of the summer,” said MDC Naturalist, Sabrina Hansen.  “Everyone who participated in at least one session will be invited back for s’mores and to reflect around the campfire on their time at camp.”

Hansen also explained that the summer camp sessions will give out a sticker “badge” for each activity in which attendees participate.

“We encourage you to participate in as many Camp Hellbender days as you’d like,” Hansen said.

A list of the dates, locations, and highlights for all sessions of Camp Hellbender series for adults follows.  Participants can find more details and register at the links provided for each camp.

Sunday, June 25:

August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.,

  • Paddling and fishing, herp meet and greet

Saturday, July 8:

Tower Grove Park in St. Louis, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.,

  • Geocaching, tree ID and craft, history tour

Tuesday, July 11:

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.,

  • Tree climbing, wild edible cooking, guided hike

Friday, July 14:

 Rockwoods Reservation in Wildwood, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.,

  • Archery, stream survey, sun prints, animal tracks and scat

Saturday, July 22:

Columbia Bottom Conservation Area, Spanish Lake, 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.,

  • Birding walk to the confluence, bumblebee survey in sunflower field, owl pellet dissection

Friday, July 28: Closing Campfire—Private event for previous participants

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