The present summer camp program consists of one-week camp sessions delivered in partnership with community-based and educational organizations, including Syracuse City School District, Girls Inc., Spanish Action League, Syracuse City Parks and Recreation, CNY Works, and Catholic Charities of Onondaga County. Each session enrolls 25 middle school students with instruction provided by the ESF Science Corps and direction and support from ESF staff and faculty. The program focuses on urban ecology and ecosystems, and each session includes at least one day on the ESF main campus.
In addition to building a solid foundation for environmental education and discovery for its participants, ESF SCIENCE provides important linkages to other programs designed to enhance students’ academic and career opportunities. The summer camp serves as an introduction or launching point for many of its participants to several programs available to them, including school-year apprenticeships, school-year mentoring from ESF Science Corps for curricular and extra-curricular activities, and participation in the ESF/SCSD Environmental Challenge. In addition, environmental stewardship initiatives introduce students to the mission and responsibilities of several public, private and non-profit environmental organizations, including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Central New York Wildfowlers, and Trout Unlimited.