ST. JOHNSBURY -- A summer camp which will see students in grades 6-8 from Caledonia North Supervisory Union towns -- Burke, East Haven, Lyndon, Newark, Sheffield, Sutton and Wheelock -- use GPS to help with two community service projects is now accepting registrations. The camp is being offered through the University of Vermont Extension in St. Johnsbury, and is called the 4-H Tech Wizards Summer Science Day Camp, said Geoff Whitchurch, coordinator for the UVM Extension and director of the camp, which will be co-led Americorps VISTA member Fred Gonzales.

There will be two one-week sessions offered for the camp, from July 9-13 and July 16-20 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. The camp will be held at Lyndon Town School and in the surrounding area; the two community service projects involving GPS skills the students learn will be at the Lyndon Town Forest and in East Burke working on GPS mapping in a project for Kingdom Trails, said Whitchurch.

"Local youth will learn to use GPS technology while providing a service to local organizations," said Whitchurch this week. "This summer we will be helping the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources map the boundary of and trails through the Lyndon Town Forest. We will also help Kingdom Trails map in a new network of biking trails," he said.

"We will locate and map trails and document the location and historic nature of early Civilian Conservation Corps camp remnants located on the property," the camp flier states. The Lyndon Town Forest, marking its centennial this year, is located off New Boston Road in Lyndonville and is "little known.".

On the Kingdom Trails piece of the summer camp GPS project, the flier also says that students may get to help with light trail maintenance and get a chance to ride on the trails as well.

The program is in need of mentors to volunteer, said Whitchurch, and anyone interested in finding out more can contact him at the UVM Extension Service at 751-8307, ext. 355 or via email at geoffrey.whitchurch@uvm.edu.

The deadline for students to register for the camp, for which there is a small fee, is July 2. There are limited scholarships available by contacting Whitchurch at the above information.

According to a flier for the camp, "The 4-H Tech Wizards Summer Science Day Camp serves to improve scientific fluency in Caledonia County youth while serving the community. The camp is open to students from CNSU towns in grades 6-8 who want to learn and make a difference in their community. Youth must be willing to learn and have fun in an enriching environment and be able to commit to the entire week-long session for which they enroll."

To request a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program, contact Whitchurch at the above number or at 1-800-545-8920 by June 25 so the program may assist you. Snacks will be provided by the camp for all participants.

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