Connecting with communities: creating a sense of place in Alaska
The 24 kids from around the world look shyly at each other from inside the tent.
“Hola!” says a boy from Iraq. He speaks English and Arabic, too, but he wants the three girls from Mexico to feel welcome.
The girls giggle into their hands. “Hola,” they say together.
As they imprint alder leaves and aster flowers on their nature journals, someone asks the question on everyone’s mind.
“Are we going to see a bear?”
The kids, ranging in grade level from kindergarten to high school, are refugees who have found a new home in Alaska. They have come to the BLM Campbell Tract, 730 acres of forested public land in Anchorage and home of the BLM Campbell Creek Science Center, for the three-day learning- and adventure-based Eco-Explorers program.