Hull, IL – Gardner Camp and John Wood Community College JDUB Academy have teamed up to develop self-directed, local online resources and activities for families to use to enjoy nature and the outdoors during this special summer.  Spending time outdoors decreases anxiety, helps build muscles and fosters independent exploration.  Each online lesson includes a video lesson, hands-on activities to do outside and a live webinar with Gardner Camp environmental educators.  Activities are geared toward children ages 6-12 and family participation is encouraged.

“Going outside could mean simply going to your backyard; biking or walking to a neighborhood park; or visiting a trail or creek near you,” states Amy Lefringhouse, Gardner Camp Executive Director.

Two sessions are offered — Starry Night and other Nighttime Adventures (July 20-24th) and Feathered Friends (August 3-7th).   Within the Starry Night adventure, youth can learn about constellations, telescopes, the moon, and what kind of creatures come out at night.  Birds and waterfowl will be the focus of the August session, Feathered Friends, where they will study feathers, see how and why Gardner Camp works with Illinois Department of Natural Resources to band wood ducks, and learn about birds of prey like eagles and owls.

“John Wood Community College and Gardner Camp have partnered together during JDub Academy the past several summers to offer outdoor programming for children.  Gardner Camp classes are some of our most popular options and we often have a waiting list for them,” states Kathleen Rodgers, Manager of Career Services and Community Based Outreach at JWCC. “We are pleased to partner with Gardner Camp again this summer to offer complimentary online workshops to the community.  It’s so important for families to spend quality time together outdoors and this program is a tremendous resource to help with that.”

There is no cost to participate, however, registration is necessary. To register for any or all sessions, please visit

“John Wood Community College is the educational link between business and community.  JWCC collaboratively creates innovative and relevant academic and training programs with business leaders to educate young people and the workforce for today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities.  JWCC has centers in Quincy, Pittsfield, Baylis and Mt. Sterling, Illinois.  Programs include a comprehensive baccalaureate transfer curriculum, customized business training, career/technical degrees and certificates and personal enrichment courses.

Gardner Camp, located outside of Hull, IL, is a not-for-profit, private foundation established by the generosity of the late John Willis “Jack” Gardner, II.  Mr. Gardner appointed State Street Bank Trust Department to develop Gardner Camp into an outdoor education and recreation center for youth organizations.  Guided by a local advisory board, Gardner Camp offers mentored youth hunting, shooting sports and outdoor education year-round.