Camp Cooper celebrates 50 years of learning in Southern AZ - Tucson News Now

Camp Cooper celebrates 50 years of learning in Southern AZ

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(Source: http://coopercenter.arizona.edu/content/food-truck-roundup) (Source: http://coopercenter.arizona.edu/content/food-truck-roundup)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Cooper Center for Environmental Learning, more commonly known as Camp Cooper will be celebrating a milestone this weekend - 50 years of teaching.   

Camp Cooper is located in the foothills of the Tucson Mountains and has helped create lasting memories for more than 130,000 children, since its opening.  The camp is managed by a partnership between U of A's College of Education and the Tucson Unified School District.  It is where students from kindergarten through eighth grade have camped overnight and learned about the Sonoran Desert.

To help celebrate this milestone, Camp Cooper is hosting a 50th Anniversary Kick-off and Food Truck Roundup on Saturday, March 29.  The celebration is from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is free and open to the public.  There will be not only the food trucks, but demonstrations, live music and stargazing with the National Optical Astronomy Observatories.

"Our history is made up of the experiences that children have enjoyed at Cooper over the years," said Colin Waite, the camp's director, in a recent news release. "We want to celebrate the role Cooper plays in sharing the wonders of the natural world and in molding the environmental leaders of tomorrow."

Environmental learning programs at the Cooper Center are ongoing during the school year. Through the partnership, TUSD maintains ownership of the center and is responsible for its facilities, while UA College of Education employees coordinate programming and manage the daily functions of the site.

"As someone who's done environmental education in Tucson for the past eight years, I've discovered there's no substitute for getting kids out into the desert," said Moses Thompson, a Manzo Elementary School teacher and counselor, in the same release.  

"The sense of scale and assault on your senses can't be mimicked," Thompson said. "Cooper Center taps into the desert's potential not only through its unparalleled location but through the quality programs it delivers."

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