Each summer, Carlsbad Caverns National Park hosts ParKids and Teen Adventure Week camps for children going into grades two through ten. Highlights of past ParKids programs include boat trips on the Pecos River, hikes to Sitting Bull Falls, and for older ParKids, possible overnight camping trips.
Children participate in one of four week-long camps featuring fun, outdoor activities and hands-on learning about national parks and the natural world. ParKids camps are separated by grade levels, with one week each for kids going into grades two and three, grades four and five, and grades six and seven. ParKids participants hike, camp, cave, and journal about their experiences in the out-of-doors.
Teen Adventure Week is the culmination of the ParKids program. Teens going into grades eight, nine, and ten take the lessons learned in previous years as ParKids to try even more immersive outdoor experiences. Teen participants in 2013 took a two-night, three-day backpacking trip in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. On the final day of camp, they donned helmets and gloves and headed underground for a caving adventure into Lower Cave at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
Organized by Carlsbad Caverns National Park, ParKids and Teen Adventure Week are interagency efforts, with presentations, guided hikes, and demonstrations from numerous federal entities, including Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Lincoln National Forest, and the Bureau of Land Management; state agencies, including the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park; local non-profit organizations, such as the National Cave and Karst Research Institute and CARC, Inc.; as well as the city of Carlsbad.
Registration for next year's ParKids day camps and Teen Adventure Week will open in April 2014. Please contact the Carlsbad Caverns National Park Education department at (575) 785-3127 with questions.
Did You Know?
Bones from ice age animals like jaguars, camels, lions and giant sloths have been found in the entrance areas of some caves in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.