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  • Top 5 Reasons Parents Love Nature Museum Winter Camp

    Created: 11/26/2018      Updated: 11/30/2018

    The winter cold has settled in, we’re in the midst of the holidays, and Winter Break is just around the corner. This is always a special time of year for our staff, because this is when we are gearing up for Winter Camp. Every year, we give campers the opportunity to spend up to four days with us during this special Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum day camp and every year, we welcome more and more campers into this special program. We asked our camper families what makes this camp so special and they came up with this top five list that shows why the Nature Museum is the best winter camp destination.

    Top 5 reasons parents love Nature Museum Winter Camp

    • Winter campers

      1. Nature Museum Winter Camp works with your schedule.

      Register your child for one, two, three, or all four days of camp according to you and your camper’s needs. Our schedule works with yours.
    • Winter campers in snow

      2. Snow, snow, snow!

      We love exploring all that nature has to offer, even in our coldest months. What’s winter camp without a little fun in the snow?
    • child looking at butterfly

      3. Keep in touch with daily parent pages.

      Crafted by our camp staff, these emails provide a snapshot of the day’s activities, along with fun photos, and guiding questions designed to help spark camp conversation around the dinner table.

    • children viewing butterflies

      4. Science rules!

      Guided by our campers, our daily science activities connect back to your child’s classroom learning while encouraging investigation, curiosity, and wonder.

    • Child touching turtle

      5. Up-close animal encounters.

      From turtle to snakes to butterflies. There are over 50 species that call the Nature Museum home and our campers get the chance to interact with a selection of them every single day.

    Want to join us? Learn more about Nature Museum Winter Camp here.

    Nicole Juppe & Rebecca Brokaw
    Nature Museum Camp Directors

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  • Studying the Smallest Creatures Makes a Big Impact

    Created: 11/2/2018      Updated: 11/2/2018

    A few Chicago monarchs in research study due at Day of the Dead this week in Mexico

    Their journey is precarious. It requires evading predators; enduring severe weather and food shortages; and crossing nearly 3,000 miles, one flutter after another. Yet they persist, and this week monarch butterflies from our Chicago region begin arriving in Mexico, just in time for Day of the Dead, when families remember those who have died and support their spiritual journey. The arrival of the long-traveled monarchs seems to magically coincide with this annual observance.   

    We hope that a few of the monarchs arriving in Mexico include some specially tagged butterflies that we released here at the Nature Museum during our Flutter into Fall festival on September 22.  As part of a collective research study of monarch migrations, tiny stickers with information to assist in scientific data collection are attached to the wings of a select few butterflies, that may be found in Mexico. The research helps us learn more about the mysteries of the monarchs and their great migration to the mountainous butterfly reserves in Central Mexico where they winter.

    This is just one of the many butterfly research projects our science team members at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum / Chicago Academy of Sciences manage and support. We also are doing critical work with other Chicago-region species which you may know.

    Earlier this summer I put on my waders and joined our team in the field when they monitored a wood frog study and smooth greensnake reintroduction and research project in Chicago area natural areas.

    While tiny brown frogs, slender greensnakes, bumble bees and fragile butterflies may seem small in the world of wildlife, they each represent an important species that is threatened by changes in the environment and by loss of safe places to live. Our conservation research team is committed to doing all we can to saving these beautiful, vulnerable, and amazing creatures, and I invite everyone who cares about nature to join us.

    When you visit the Nature Museum you can see these amphibians, reptiles, and insects up close and learn about what we can collectively do to protect them here in our region. Perhaps even in your own backyard.

    And while our Chicago region’s monarchs are wintering in Mexico, remember that there are always butterflies to experience in the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven.

    I look forward to seeing you here soon!

    Deborah Lahey, President & CEO

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