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RiverQuarium to host camps

ALBANY, Ga. -- In collaboration with Thronateeska Heritage Center, the Flint RiverQuarium will be giving schoolchildren on summer break new and exciting things to explore.

The RiverQuarium will be hosting five four-day camps beginning in June for children ages 5-11.

The programs featured in the camps are expected to include hands-on activities, exhibit exploration tours, Imagination Theater movies, crafts, games, up-close animal encounters and guest speakers.

"Offering a place for kids to go in the summer is a good thing," said RiverQuarium Education Manager Melissa Martin. "They are not only fun, but educational. There are a lot of hands-on things going on."

The first session, "Dino Camp," will take place from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. June 7-11 and has been designated for ages 5-8. It will include an overview of fossils, dinosaur eggs and volcanoes as well as a visit to the dinosaurs' closest living relatives at the RiverQuarium's aviary. The cost is $100 for non-members and $90 members.

From 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. June 14-18, the "Wild Ocean" camp will be conducted for children aged 7-11. It will include a visit to the Imagination Theater as well as an overview on ocean habitats. The cost will be $100 for non-members and $90 for members.

The "River Rats" camp, to take place from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. June 21-25 for children aged 7-11, will feature an in-depth look at what lies beneath the surface of the Flint River -- including pollution. The cost is $100 for non-members and $90 for members.

"Wild and Wacky Science II" will take place from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. July 5-9 for children aged 7-11. It will allow participants to learn the secrets behind creating atomic slime, making tornadoes and launching rockets. The cost is $100 for non-members and $90 for members.

The final session, "Small Fry," will take place from 9 a.m-noon July 12-16 for children aged 5-6. Participants will have opportunities to engage in animal encounters, crafts and games. The cost is $60 for non-members and $50 for members.

This will be the second year the summer camps are being held in partnership with Thronateeska Heritage Center. They are working together for two sessions -- "Dino Camp" and "River Rats."

"The camps add to the elements we can offer," said Heritage Center Executive Director Tommy Gregors. "We had a very good response last year. We are hoping to fill up again and give kids a great educational opportunity."

The camps have been offered by the RiverQuarium since 2005. They have continued to gain popularity over time.

"It just grows and grows each year," Martin said. "This year, we have had takers quicker. We are really encouraged by the response so far."

Payments are expected at the time of registration. In the event of a cancellation, full refunds will only be given two weeks prior to the start of each camp. Refunds will not be made should participants voluntarily withdraw from any of the camps. Roughly 20 spots are available for each camp, and officials expect to continue to take registrations until the sessions are booked.

For more information, call (229) 639-2650.