YMCA Camp Sloper gets donation from Southington Education Foundation for Nature Cabin Project

YMCA Camp Sloper gets donation from Southington Education Foundation for Nature Cabin Project


For the last few years, a true community collaboration between the Southington Board of Education, the Southington Education Foundation and YMCA Camp Sloper has been the key to giving every fourth grader in town the opportunity for a hands-on science experience. The program, called Science At Sloper, started as a pilot program funded by SEF to enhance the educational opportunities of our students in Southington.

Talks began about building a large scale 4,000 square foot STEM Center that featured lessons on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math at YMCA Camp Sloper. Instead, SEF began a virtual STEM University program in the local schools, allowing the staff and volunteers at YMCA Camp Sloper to go back to the drawing board and revise some plans.

YMCA officials put together plans to enclose an existing pavilion and transform it into a 750 square foot Nature Center with a small addition for storage of supplies.

Pooler met with Dawn Miceli, past president of SEF, to inform her about the intentions of a smaller scale building, allowing opportunities for expanded programming with Science At Sloper and other outdoor programs. Miceli brought the idea to the SEF Board about continuing the partnership with the YMCA and a unanimous decision was made to make a large donation toward the project.

Nearly four years later the Science At Sloper program has proven to be a huge success and the partnership has just been expanded. Future plans include looking into the possibilities of a winter visit which would allow students to spend time looking at animal tracking in the snow, and then provide a place to go back inside and get warm.

Construction has begun on the building and completion is scheduled for late May, in time for use in the day camp program. A ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony is also being planned around that time to thank all the local funders.

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