From Camp Cooper & The Cooper Center.
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Director's Update from the Cooper Center

Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Read on our website

I hope that this message finds you and yours safe and healthy as we all do our best to manage the effects of the pandemic on our families and friends, and the communities that we share. We are living in incredibly challenging times, and our thoughts are with all that are in harm's way, especially healthcare providers and their support staff.

On a personal note, I truly hope you are finding ways to get your 'nature fix' this summer and maybe even beat the heat with a trip to higher elevations.  I am grateful to have had the opportunity to visit Yellowstone National Park earlier this summer with my wife and kids. Above is a picture of me, in my happy place :)

I'd like to take a moment to share what's been happening at the Cooper Center this summer and our outlook for fall 2020:

  • Save the Date! Our Crowdfunding Campaign, originally scheduled for April, will now launch Tuesday, September 1st and run through the end of the month! Our crowdfunding goal is to raise $30,000 or more this year, so that we can have a full team of educators ready to return with more programs educating more students and serving a wider age range than ever before. 

  • Our summer Camp Cooper Online series has nearly 500 student subscribers. We are very excited with the responses we've gotten from the videos and activities we have shared with families. Coming in early August we will be leading our first Camp Cooper Live event via Zoom where students can dissect owl pellets along with our educators Herb, Cliff and Butterfly.  Sign up now for Camp Cooper Online and find out more about Camp Cooper Live!
  • Our plans for fall 2020 are still being crafted, as we are dependent on what happens in our public schools and at the University of Arizona. We are currently expecting that there will be limited or no field trips to Camp Cooper in the fall, so we are making plans for virtual experiences with classrooms for the beginning of the school year. Stay tuned for specifics and info on virtual experience registration later in August.

  • Our new preschool and high school education programs are nearing the pilot phase. We are working closely with classroom teachers and volunteers and look forward to testing the programs when our in-person experiences at camp start up again.

  • Our work to combat racism at Cooper Center is leading to some incredible conversations and a lot of new ideas. We are listening to people and groups that work with and represent the Latinx, Black, and Indigenous communities that we work with, and planning to build deep relationships in these communities that recognize and address their needs.

  • Two of our educators have moved on this spring and summer, one to begin grad school and the other to relocate with her family to Northern Arizona. Because of the pandemic and limited opportunities to fund raise right now, we will wait to fill these positions once we can safely return to in-person teaching at camp.  Ryan & Kellie - thank you and we miss you!

  • Camp Cooper bathroom and shower improvements are moving forward, and we expect to have architectural designs and construction documents by September. We still expect to build next summer, and we'll be sharing more details on this project in the coming months.  Below is one architect's vision of our shower and bathroom complex.

As you can see, we've been very busy this summer and will continue to be so in the coming months. Please contact me if you have any questions or ideas related to our work, and thank you for staying connected to Cooper Center during these challenging times! 

We are so grateful for your support.

Colin Waite, Director

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