Michigan Young Birders Camp
June 21–26, 2020
Now accepting camper applications!
After a successful inaugural camp in 2018, Michigan Audubon continues to connect young people with the diverse bird communities of the Great Lakes Region for a third year with the 2020 Michigan Young Birders Camp. Together with partners Alma College and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Michigan Audubon hopes to reach more middle and high school students during this week filled with exciting bird and conservation adventures.
MYBC campers spend their time at camp assisting with point counts and bird banding, touring critical habitats for Michigan birds, learning about wildlife rehabilitation, studying bird biology, and birding, of course! Each year campers have seen nearly 100 bird species during the week, and all have checked at least one lifer off their list.
The MYBC promotes the development of young birders who will be the next generation of birders, scientists, and conservation-minded citizens. Camper experiences help them to:
- Develop expertise in avian natural history;
- Foster connections with their birding peers;
- Discover careers in bird conservation and ornithology;
- Establish a foundation upon which they can successfully grow their passion for the natural world.
We encourage young birders and naturalists of all skill levels to participate — curiousity and enthusiasm will make it a fun week for anyone who enjoys the outdoors.
The MYBC is based out of Alma College, centrally located in Michigan, near forests, grasslands, wetlands, and even the core breeding range for the rare Kirtland’s Warbler.
Camp is open to those who will be 13 to 18 years old. Camp cost is $500 per student and includes lodging, travel during camp, food, and supplies. Full and partial scholarships are available through generous donations. All scholarships are based on need and availability.
The application deadline is March 31, 2020.
Contact Education Coordinator Lindsay Cain at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 580-7364 with any questions.
My favorite experiences at camp were when I realized that everyone there was like me, and every person there knew so much and loved to share. At camp I could be myself and talk as much about birds as I wanted, and I met so many people who were kind, and included me in a way that I felt like close friends would do. I also learned so much about why conserving birds is important, and the experience was incredible. Holding wild birds and getting the chance to learn different ways to identify them was so cool. I will definitely go next year! (Update: She did!)
This camp was definitely the highlight of my summer! Having the opportunity to meet new people just like me and share my experiences with kids my age was so exciting and astonishing! Before I applied for the camp, I had the thought that there was no one out there my age who enjoyed birds as much as I do, and it turned out that there was a whole group of extraordinary individuals. My favorite part of the camp was sharing my skills and knowledge among the campers and learning loads of new information about birds. Knowing that I was going to be a part of a new and fresh program, I had faith that everything was going to run smoothly, and it did! Overall, it was one of the most fun and exciting activities of my life. It’ll definitely be a memory I won’t forget.
I learned a lot, had fun, and made new friends!! So hard to pick a favorite thing but I liked learning about banding and doing hands on set-up and handling birds, I also loved the raptor rehab center and hearing the director of Michigan Audubon. My favorite educational speaker was the raptor presentation! I learned so many useful things about raptors and raptor ID that I didn’t know!
I loved camp and never thought that I would meet other friends that loved and knew about birds like me! I thought going out into the field was very educational and made me feel like a biologist. I would participate in this camp again!
The camp was an amazing experience, where I not only got to have fun with birding and related activities, but met so many awesome people. Before the camp I barely knew any young birders, or even people my age interested in the natural world, but now I do. It’s definitely worth it, even if you’re not sure at first whether it’s for you.
My favorite experience was going up to Grayling and seeing the Kirtland’s Warbler, a bird that mainly breeds in Michigan. We got great views and that was amazing. Another great experience was going to Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge and seeing Black Terns flying right above me. The Black Tern was a bird I had been trying to see for a while and finally seeing them was unbelievable.
Through experiences that develop expertise in avian natural history, native ecology, conservation values, and special topics in ornithology, camp participants gain a rich foundation on which to successfully nurture their passion for the natural world while fostering lasting relationships with their peers and mentors in conservation and birding.
Engaging young people in these meaningful, impactful ways is work we are absolutely committed to within our education initiatives. You can help us deliver on our commitment to education by supporting the Michigan Young Birders Camp with a monetary gift that will keep our camp fueled so that we can continue reaching young minds, offering scholarships, and keeping costs as low as possible.
Your generous donation will:
- Ensure that future campers will continue to enjoy quality educational programming that covers more than just bird identification, but topics related to our pillars of conservation, education, and research;
- Help fund our scholarship program in 2020 to offset camper costs and provide access to enthusiastic young birders who would otherwise not be able to attend;
- Introduce campers to a network of experts, educators, and guest speakers, who will lead them on a deeper exploration of careers in conservation and other roles as environmental stewards in their communities.
This is an investment in the future, in young people, and in connecting them with the birds we love and want to see continue to thrive in our state and beyond. Please consider making a gift to support our young birders — we see them as our hope and as hope for birds as they grow into potential future scientists, naturalists, educators, volunteers, and advocates for the natural world.
$1,704.36 more to go
updated Jan. 7
Will you be the one to take us past the finish line in 2020?
Bird by Bird — Bringing birds to classrooms and classrooms to birds
The Bird by Bird Michigan program connects young people with birds and the natural world through classroom-based bird feeding and monitoring activities. This birding and conservation curriculum enhances health and well-being, fosters respect for wildlife and their habitats, and prepares young people to develop responsible long-term environmental behaviors as conservation-minded citizens.
Each Bird by Bird school helps to install and maintain a bird feeding station where students can learn to identify and observe birds and collect citizen science data for eBird. The participating teachers work to incorporate birds and conservation into their curriculum while providing a library of bird identification and resource guides.
Bird by Bird facilitators help teachers with curriculum, visit the classroom monthly, and assist with lessons, activities, field trips, walks, teacher/student equipment training, and special projects.
Bird by Bird Michigan is facilitated by passionate and knowledgeable Michigan Audubon volunteers and staff. No funds are required of participating schools. This program was developed from a preexisting Idaho Bird by Bird program.
Michigan Young Birders Club
The Michigan Young Birders Club (MiYBC) is open to youth ages 12–18. It is a club run by young birders, for young birders, and focuses on educating young birders about the avian world and conservation. An Advisory Board sets the schedule of programs and the division of tasks amongst the members. The goal is for members to create their own online newsletter and help administer the club’s social networking sites. If you or someone you know is interested in joining MiYBC, please contact Education Coordinator Lindsay Cain at email@example.com or (517) 580-7364 for more details.