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2023 AEGIS Summer Camp:

Project Wet'n'Wild



June 19 - July 2, 2023

This camp is made possible by: Academic

Enrichment for Gifted/Talented in Summer

grant from Arkansas Department of

Education, Division of Elementary and

Secondary Education

Note: This camp is for students in Arkansas only

Project Wet‘n’Wild will be held from June 19 - July 2 at Ozark Natural Science Center (ONSC), an outdoor science education facility located deep in the Ozark Mountains. Students at Wet’n’Wild will be able to unplug from electronic distractions and plug into the ever-changing and exciting world of field biology where evolving technology and field science merge.


This incredible opportunity offers students the chance to assist field scientists as they gather data and explore a variety of habitats in the Ozark Natural Division, including beautiful oak-hickory forests, glades, and the amazing free-flowing Kings River. The students will conduct hands-on field research in Bear Hollow Natural Area, owned and managed by the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, and in the surrounding 14,000-acre McIlroy-Madison County Wildlife Management Area, owned and managed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in the heart of the Ozarks.

Students will track reptiles using radio-telemetry, assist ornithologists as they band birds captured in mist nets, monitor bats acoustically, search for fish and other aquatic life in the pools and riffles of the Kings River, examine the night sky, and more as they spend beautiful summer days and star-filled nights among the forest and river life.


Field studies will be complemented by an exposure to conservation literature, participation in Socratic Circle discussions of the writings of naturalists, and reflective journaling. Evening reflections on the ONSC deck will allow students to share their thoughts and experiences with their peers. A capstone glade field study, canoe trip on the Kings River, and an overnight camping experience will be the highlights of this week-long experience. 


  • Students must be from Arkansas

  • Students entering 10th & 11th grade during the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year are eligible for application and selection.

  • Students who plan to graduate from high school before attending Wet'n'Wild are not eligible to apply.

  • Students who have been accepted to AGS and plan to attend are not eligible to apply, as rules prohibit students from participating in more than one state-funded summer program each year.

    • ​Applicants must demonstrate:

      • Creativity and critical thinking in the field of science

      • Above average ability in the field of science

      • A high degree of self-motivation, to satisfy the program’s demanding requirements

      • The intellectual, social, and emotional maturity required to thrive in an environment that emphasizes theoretical and process-related learning

  • Nominees must be willing to commit to the entire program

  • All qualified students will be considered for selection regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, cultural, or language differences.  

Application Process (Applications open from March 15, 2023)

The following forms and documents must be submitted by Friday, May 5th for the student to be considered by our Selection Committee:

  1. Student Application to be completed and submitted online by the student. 

  2. Teacher/Community Member Recommendation to be completed and submitted by a teacher or community member (not a parent or guardian) who has experience in a working or learning environment with the student. Students will submit the Recommendation as a PDF document by uploading it within the Student Application.

Important Dates to Remember

Mar 15, 2023 - Online Application Process Opens

May 5, 2023 - Applications and Forms Due

May 19, 2023 - Selection Results Emailed to Schools and Students

June 2, 2023 - Accepted Students Registration Materials Due (Parent-Student Assurances Form and Medical Insurance Card)

June 19, 2023 - Opening Day of Project Wet'n'Wild

July 2, 2023 - Parent Day/Project Wet'n'Wild


For more details or information: contact 

Liz Hill, ONSC Program Manager

2023 Camp Schedule


Every day will include time for recreation, readings, journaling, and Socratic circle discussions, and optional early morning bird hikes will be offered on select days.


DAY 1 - June 19th Monday 

  • Orientation for Parents and Students

  • Get Acquainted (with Each Other, ONSC, & Ecoregions of AR)

  • Wishing Rock/Overlook Hike

  • Campfire

DAY 2 - June 20th Tuesday

  • Entomology

  • Kings River Overlook

  • Ornithology Introduction 

  • Twilight Entomology


DAY 3 - June 21st Wednesday  ​

  • Birding - Dr. Joanie 

  • Radio Telemetry & Turtle Tracking

  • Pond Exploration Herpetology

  • Withrow Springs S.P./War Eagle Creek

  • Snorkeling

  • Owl Research & Bird Banding

  • Night Hike with UV flashlights 


Day 4 - June 22nd Thursday 

  • Kings river trip 

  • Safety Lesson at Riverside 

  • Paddling Lessons & Floating 

  • Riverside Journaling 

  • Riverside Camping 

  • Campfire Stories & Astronomy


DAY 5 - June 23rd Friday

  • River Trip Day 2 - Kings River 

  • Water Birds  

  • Benthic MacroInvertebrates

  • River Recreation 

  • Campfire


DAY 6 - June 24th Saturday 

  • ONSC Glade Exploration Hike & Study

  • Withrow Springs, War Eagle Creek 

  • Alumni Mingle w/current campers

  • Campfire Stories of AEGIS past


DAY 7 - June 25th Sunday

  • Archaeology presentation

  • Presentation on Geology

  • Experts/Geologist visitors

  • Arkansas Bats - w/ Christy and Mike Slay

DAY 8 - June 26th Monday

  • War Eagle Mill Riverside -Water Energy and Ecology w/clean up!

  • Swimming & Clean Up at the War Eagle Mill

  • Hobbs State Park Visitor Center

  • Night Hike


DAY 9 - June 27th Tuesday

  • Off-site Sandstone Glade exploration/study

  • Pine Creek Exploration with Waterfall hunt

  • Night Games in Rec Field 


DAY 10 - June 28th Wednesday

  • Buffalo River-Set up Camp 

  • Creek Critters 

  • Swimming and Relaxing at Campground

  • Campfire, Storytelling, Games & Astronomy

DAY 11 - June 29th Thursday

  • Early Morning Sit Spot/Birding by River

  • Breakdown camp

  • Buffalo River Exploration Hike with Park Ranger

  • Snorkeling & River Ecology 

  • Board Games Night


DAY 12 - June 30th Friday

  • Kettle/Reynolds Falls Hike

  • Primitive Skills Class

  • Project & Parent Presentation Prep

DAY 13 - Jul 1st Saturday

  • Reptiles & Rattlesnake Research

  • ONSC Snake Ambassadors 

  • Compiling and Analyzing Camp Data 

  • Parent Presentation Prep 

  • Campfire w/ S’mores and Music


DAY 14 - July 2nd Sunday

  • Pack up & Clean up

  • Parents arrive

  • Presentations

  • Departure


Note: Activities are subject to change due to weather and guest speaker availability

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