The Dunes Learning Center has been serving the youth of Northwest Indiana for nearly 20 years. Each year, their programs grow and expand to accommodate and reach more students so that everyone can get an environmental education. At times, they partner with other organizations to give even more opportunities to NWI kids.


One of those instances is the partnership between Dunes and the Foundations of East Chicago (FEC). Dunes and FEC partner on a variety of projects and programs throughout the year that allow East Chicago students to learn about their local environment with fun, hands-on Dunes programs.


This summer, Dunes has been offering its various summer camps to children all across the region. However, these summer camps come with a tuition of several hundred dollars that some families cannot afford. This means that some students would not have the same summer fun and educational opportunities as others who may live just a town over.


This is where FEC stepped in. While Dunes offers a number of ‘camperships’, or scholarships to attend the camp for free, each summer, there are many students who are nominated by teachers across both Indiana and Illinois for a very limited number of camperships. This year, FEC donated money to Dunes to cover the cost of nine camperships, provided that those camperships be awarded to East Chicago students. This ensured that some East Chicago nominees would get to attend summer camp and learn about the science of where they live.


The nine donated FEC camperships went to School City of East Chicago students: Aazarria Fluellen, Kelly Hinton, Edward Brown, Deon Timms, Jr., Raquel Franklin, Ralph Franklin, Deon’Ta Timms, Deon’Dre Timms, and Phillip Derry.


These students and all other Dunes campers have been learning about the environmental make-up of the Northwest Indiana region through hiking, swimming, fishing, insect identification, daily lessons, and more. Not only are the camps educational, but they provide children with the opportunity to explore natural areas that they may not often see if they live in a particularly urban landscape, like much of northern Lake County.


To learn more about how East Chicago students benefit from Dunes Learning Center all year-round, visit



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Photo taken from Dunes Learning Center Facebook page