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Summer camp explores Suffolk waterways

The Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society and Suffolk Art League started their TideWATER Camp this Monday.

The camp has given children the opportunity to experience waterways in the area and have a creative outlet.

“This year the camp is centered around water, and we are just showing students the different waterways and the history,” Suffolk Art League Executive Director Linda Bunch said. “We show them how important they are historically and what roles the waterways play in the area.”

The students have already had a field trip to Chippokes State Park, and on Wednesday they went canoeing on the Nansemond River with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

On Thursday, the group will travel to the Great Dismal Swamp for their final field trip.

“I love exposing the kids to things they might not otherwise experience,” said camp director Sandra Councill. “I want them to have new experiences and be aware of their community.”

Along with these trips to different waterways across the area, they have also been flexing their creative muscles with Bunch at the Suffolk Art Gallery.

Before they went on any excursions, the students at the camp spent the day making journals. These journals were made for them to document everything they experience and learn during the week.

On Friday, the students will return to the Suffolk Art Gallery to make a final art project to finish their summer camp experience.

They have the opportunity to make a clay plaque they can paint to commemorate the week.

“They get to take what they see and do and be creative in some way,” Bunch said. “These projects make it more meaningful.”

Bunch appreciates that these students not only get to experience Suffolk and create, but they also have the chance to meet new people and make new friends.

“Summer camps are good, because it puts people that don’t normally know each other together,” Bunch said. “They get to make acquaintances and be creative together.”

The TideWATER Camp was free to all of the students participating thanks to funding from the Birdsong Trust.