The Office of Legacy Management (LM) Atomic Legacy Cabin (ALC) and the City of Grand Junction Parks and Recreation partnered again this summer to provide education programming in a unique summer camp experience.

The partnership with the City of Grand Junction, which originally formed in 2021, provides city campers with the opportunity to immerse themselves in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and history. This is the first year the campers were able to meet in-person since the COVID-19 pandemic.

ALC Camp goggles

From May 26 to Aug. 4, hundreds of children, ages 5-14, visited the ALC and enjoyed a variety of hands-on STEM activities, with topics relating to yo-yo energy, states of matter, radiation, and groundwater. Participants also toured the cabin, learning about the role Grand Junction played in the procurement of uranium on the Colorado Plateau during the Manhattan Project and Cold War eras.

“Some of my fondest memories growing up were of summer camp experiences. We at Legacy Management are thrilled to provide kids some of those summer memory-making opportunities when they visited the cabin,” said LM Public Participation Specialist Shawn Montgomery.

Ashton ALC Summer Camp

LMSP Interpretive Specialist Ashton Peterhans leading a STEM activity for the summer camps at ALC.

The Parks and Recreation summer camps were divided into four different age groups: Little Sunshines Camp (ages 5-6), STARS Camp (ages 7-11), and Tween Camp (ages 11-14). These different camps took turns visiting the ALC, where staff provided engaging activities outside and inside the cabin. Each camp held 50 to 60 kids, divided into three different subgroups. These groups rotated through three different stations at ALC every 30 minutes.

Campers with each group, at various sites in the city, had the opportunity to visit the cabin in-person. Also, LM Strategic Partner (LMSP) Interpretive Specialist Ashton Peterhans brought STEM educational activities to the children and tweens at their campsites throughout the summer. 

“One of the greatest benefits of the summer camp is that participants are able to meet and socialize with new people while also having fun and exploring their interests in STEM programming and local Colorado history,” Montgomery added. “Not only are they able to learn, but they develop teamwork skills, problem-solving, and self-awareness.”

ALC Camp Carmel Melendez

LM Director Carmelo Melendez interacting with campers at ALC summer camp.

Participants at the camp were also given the opportunity to interact with positive adult role models throughout the summer. One of those role models was LM Director Carmelo Melendez. During his visit, Melendez observed some of the campers participating in a STEM activity about solids, liquids, and gases, and demonstrated the use of a radiological detection device.

We’re happy to be back to in-person programing this summer. We are even more pleased the kids had fun during the summer camp days hosted at the cabin,” Montgomery said. “We look forward to continuing the partnership with the City of Grand Junction for many more summers to come.”