Just a fish… Or not!

January 2, 2024

Summer Camps

Environmental Education

Menomonee Valley

Camper Noah Hammouri caught his first fish ever at Fishing Camp. Trivial... or not!

When Noah reeled in his first fish on the first day of camp, he shouted my name and ran for joy toward me for a double high five as if he had just won the NBA finals. I had hardly known him for a few hours, and until that moment, he had been on the quiet side. I celebrated his success with equal or even higher enthusiasm as if he was my younger sibling.

When I caught my first fish, I was 6 years old. I have a somewhat unpleasant memory about it. My teenage siblings were too busy with their own fishing and, though my first fish meant the world to me, they hardly recognized my deed. I was too young to understand that it was just a fish… Or not!

Photo of Environmental Educator, Miguel Santos, teaching about amphibians at Trailblazer's Summer Camp in Three Bridges Park.

Photo of Environmental Educator, Miguel Santos, teaching about amphibians at Trailblazer's Summer Camp in Three Bridges Park.

After teaching at UEC Summer Camp for many years, I truly believe that camps are transformative experiences for children, providing them with opportunities for personal growth, new friendships, and exciting learning experiences. Unfortunately, for many kids, connections to nature and experiences outdoors are needed but not guaranteed. Thanks to generous donors, the UEC offers need-based scholarships on a sliding-fee scale based on family income and the number of children in the household. Let’s make this upcoming summer another great summer full of favorite activities for every child.

Miguel is teaching an activity to summer campers in the Menomonee River

Summer Camp brings joy and gives us a chance to slow down, get to know one another better, and make more meaningful connections, which is key to our roles as mentors and nature ambassadors.

-Miguel Santos, educator and nature ambassador

Past Employee
Guest Author
Environmental Education Manager - Menomonee Valley

Miguel Ángel Santos García-Puente was born in Valdeobispo, Spain. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in English and French from the University of Salamanca, a Master’s Degree in Education while teaching Spanish at Carthage College in Kenosha, and a Master’s Degree in Spanish Literature and Linguistics while teaching Spanish at UWM. He worked as a Dual Immersion Elementary Teacher in Fairfield, California, and volunteered as a counselor at several YMCA camps in the United Sates. Miguel is a Bilingual Environmental Educator at the Riverside branch where he is able to utilize his diverse teaching experience to foster environmental literacy and raise both local and global awareness.

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