Word is spreading about Dino Camp in Tumbler Ridge; not only are groups like the Boy Scouts booking entire camps, but students from as far away as Kitchener, Ontario and Grover Beach, California have registered for the 2004 summer program.

In the case of 12-year-old Eric Tattersall, who attended the pilot ?Raptor? Camp last year, the fact that her family has relocated to Nevada isn?t stopping her from registering in the second level ?Tyrannosaur? camp this year. In fact, 59 of the 78 students registered to date are from outside Tumbler Ridge ? a significant change from 2003, when 75% of the students were local.

The 2004 program is expanded to accommodate over 200 students, young and old, through Northern Lights College?s campus in Tumbler Ridge. CE Coordinator Carolyn Golightly is encouraged by the response to date and is confident the program will be better than last year. ?The Dino Camp coordinators have been hired, the program has been polished; our registrations are already at 35% and it?s only May. We?ll be in Fort St. John promoting Dino Camp on May 27 and 28, and once the momentum starts to build, I?m sure we?ll sell out.?

Camp coordinators for 2004 are Janet Proos and Melanie Dame, both from the University of Alberta. Janet is a student of paleontology, as was last year?s coordinator Marisa Gilbert. Melanie, originally from Fort St. John, majors in history, with courses specific to dinosaurs and mass extinction. Katie Gurnsey, a grade 11 student from Tumbler Ridge, will assist the coordinators and learn on the job in her position as student trainee.

Parents can register online through NLC?s website, www.nlc.bc.ca ? something that has really helped to streamline the process. ?We get emails every day for Dino Camp. The parents submit the information we need, and we call or email them back with a confirmation. It?s convenient, it?s easy and leaves less room for error.? Application can also be made online for a bursary, funded by the Vancouver Foundation, which is intended to assist children who could not otherwise attend Dino Camp. A panel will determine bursary recipients.