Salmon has long pervaded the culture of the Kodiak Archipelago, so it’s no wonder that art shows up as an important part of the popular summer Salmon Camp run by the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge.

During week-long sessions throughout the summer, children of different ages in town and the villages take part in a range of nature- and ecology-themed activities.

On Wednesday, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders in this week’s group took to the beach for a day of tidepooling, beachcombing, beach cleanup and nature photography.

“We typically do some kind of craft project in each session of Salmon Camp,” said camp director Karen Leatherman. “It’s just another way to get kids looking at their surroundings and involved.”

The donation of 18 cameras has made the new photography sessions possible. KNWR outreach has brought photography to Kodiak students during the school year.

“It something we just started doing now that we have the cameras,” Leatherman said.

Campers learned basic camera operation and how to use some of the different options, like the macro setting for close-ups of bugs and flowers. Instructors also went over concepts of framing, like how to place the horizon for the best effect.

“Every camper has gotten a really phenomenal shot — at least one, if not more than one,” Leatherman said. “And they’re all different.”

The whole Salmon Camp session set for next week has an art focus. Extra projects will include block printing and plant etchings, in addition to photography. Campers will display the results in an art show at the KNWR Visitor Center on Friday, July 29, at a time to be announced.

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