In cooperation with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Wild Birds Unlimited Pathways To Nature for Kids® initiative has granted the National Audubon Society $100,000 to be used for scholarships for young people to attend summer camps at Audubon Centers across the United States. With this grant, at least 200 deserving children will have the opportunity to connect with nature and learn more about the environment people share with birds.

With more than 40 Audubon Centers across the country, Audubon has a long history of providing life-changing experiences in natural settings. From Strawberry Plains in Mississippi to the Starr Ranch in Orange County, CA, Audubon Camps shape stewards for a sustainable future. Audubon's Hog Island Camp off the coast of Maine, begun in 1936, made vivid impressions on such conservation leaders as Rachel Carson and Roger Tory Peterson.

"It will fall on the shoulders of our next generation to address the huge environmental problems of today and the new challenges that lie ahead," said Audubon President John Flicker; "It is critical that we narrow the divide between young people and the natural world." To bring attention to the growing gap between young people and nature, this year the prestigious Audubon Medal was awarded to author Richard Louv, who coined the phrase "Nature Deficit Disorder" in his book Last Child in the Woods.

Parents, teachers and caregivers should apply now to give children the opportunity to attend one of these camps. Eligibility is determined by each Audubon Center. For more information about applying, plus general registration, camp programs and scholarships visit this page on the Audubon website

Remarks from previous campers:

"I liked going to catch fish and going to the river. I was happy because it was my first time going fishing. At first I was a little scared…I want to come back next year to be a Busy Beaver."

"In camp I learned about arthropods and insects. My favorite orders are Ordinata and Lepidoptera. I know now that insects are not scary. I was afraid because I didn't know anything about them. I guess that's why they have bug camp."

Wild Birds Unlimited, the original and largest franchise system of backyard birdfeeding and nature specialty stores with nearly 300 locations in the United States and Canada, specializes in bringing people and nature together with their birdfeeding and nature products, their expert advice and educational events. www.wbu.com