Sponsors secure future of Dino Camp in 2005

TUMBLER RIDGE ? The future of the popular ?Dino Camp? program in Tumbler Ridge is all but guaranteed to run this summer, with eight sponsors thus far confirmed for the 2005 season.

McElhanney Geomatics, Suncor Energy, Western Canadian Coal, Burlington Resources Canada Energy Ltd., the ?Mineral Resources Education Program of BC?, the District of Tumbler Ridge, the City of Dawson Creek and British Petroleum have each committed $1000 to the program. As sponsors they receive name recognition on camp tee shirts and certificates, and one spot in Dino Camp for a student of their choosing.

After dinosaur bones and tracks were discovered in Tumbler Ridge, the Museum Foundation and Northern Lights College joined forces to deliver the 5-day science education program, designed to allow children aged 8 to 13 to explore palaeontology and geology through class and field activities. Even as it enters its third year, the program relies on community and corporate support to keep tuition affordable for parents. In 2003 and 2004, almost 200 children graduated the program.

Dino Camp runs in July and August from NLC?s Tumbler Ridge campus, instructed by university students with palaeontology or geology backgrounds. New in 2005 is the addition of a third-tier camp called ?Pterosaur Camp? for students who have completed Raptor and Tyrannosaur camps. Western Canadian Coal of Tumbler Ridge will sponsor Pterosaur Camp.

Program coordinator Carolyn Golightly says, ?This new approach to sponsorship appeals to organizations because they receive something tangible for their investment. We?ve been very fortunate to attract progressive organizations that are enthusiastic and generous in their support of an innovative program that has it all: kids, education and the great outdoors. It doesn?t get much better than that.?

Fort St. John branch manager Walter Johnson said McElhanney chose to sponsor Dino Camp because ?we feel it?s important to support the communities we work in, especially when it benefits and inspires young people. This is a unique, locally developed program that speaks to the spirit and innovation of the people who deliver and support it.?

For a slide show of the Dino Camp program, visit www.nlc.bc.ca/trce