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Summer Experiences 2024

3 All-Day, Multi-Week, All Encompassing Experiences

Summer Experience 2024

Community Projects + Experiences + Skill-Building


Ages 5 – 18

$25 – $310 per week

See Summer Fee Sliding Scale for rate based on your income TIER

Ames High School

8:30 AM to 3:30 PM Monday through Friday

June 10 – 28, 2024

July 8 – 19, 2024

July 22 – Aug 2, 2024

During Summer Experience 2024, participants will have amazing experiences, meet new friends and mentors, get out into nature, learn new skills and information, connect with our community, have fun, and make a difference.

The Community Academy students are currently collaborating with several local partners on long-term projects that make a difference, and Summer Experience participants will have the opportunity to get involved.

Participants will be involved in many types of experiences each week from hiking and canoeing to growing and harvesting food. There will also be opportunities to personalize their day based on their preferences.

Experiences may include:

  • Long-term Collaborative Community Projects
    • Farm to Table – growing and harvesting food
    • Gardening, cooking, and food preparation
    • Foraging for local edibles
    • Campfire and cooking
    • Improving Local Ecosystems
    • Monitoring wildlife at the Ames High Prairie (small and large mammals, birds, butterflies, dragonflies, frogs and toads, etc.)
    • Collaborate with the City of Ames to plant Iowa Native Plants at the Ioway Creek Restoration area near South Duff Avenue
    • Collaborate with the City of Ames to manage a Bioretention Cell to improve water quality
    • Learn to report news and create radio content as part of a collaboration with KHOI radio
    • Collaborate with the Iowa Wildlife Center to learn about rehabilitating animals and start a collaboration to help contribute to these efforts.
    • Explore local history
    • Learn about local Native American culture
  • Exploring Nature
    • Wildlife viewing (frog calls, beaver ponds, owls, bats, etc.)
    • Hike woodland, water, and prairie trails
    • Explore wetlands
    • Explore and canoe rivers and water resources in our community (Peterson Pits, Ioway Creek)
  • Experiences
    • Indoor and outdoor mindfulness practice and reflection time
    • Creating art (Observational drawings, clay sculptures, recycled art, etc.)
    • Visit public art and local art galleries
    • Collaborate with local artists
    • Get behind the scenes at local businesses

Community Project Sessions

Nature and Place


Ages 8-18

$30 – $300

10 Weekly Sessions

See Fee Sliding Scale for rate based on your income TIER

The Main TCA Site

Greenhouse, ISU Arboretum, etc.

February 6th – April 16th

Excluding March 12th


4:30 – 6:00 PM

Want to connect with your community and make a real difference now? Then sign up to be part of a TCA Community Project Team! Register anytime and your cost will be prorated!

Our current projects and future plans include:

  • Collaborate with the City of Ames to grow over 10,000 Iowa native plants in an ISU Greenhouse for planting throughout our community to restore our ecosystems.
  • Monitor wildlife in a variety of natural areas

Project groups will work to determine feasible goals and collaborate with professionals and community members to make an impact that lasts!

90 minute Community Project Sessions are held once per week, on Tuesdays, from February 6th to April 16th.

Skill-Building Sessions

Youth Voices on Community Radio


Ages 10 – 18

$36 – $180

For 6 Sessions

See Fee Sliding Scale for rate based on your income TIER

KHOI 89.1 FM Studio

622 Douglas Ave, Ames, IA 50010

April 4th – May 9th


4:30 – 6:00 PM

TCA is beginning a new partnership with Ames Community Radio Station.  It will start on Thursday, April 4th and continue every Thursday from 4:30 to 6 PM through May 9th).  Because this is our first collaboration with KHOI, we will limit this course to 6 students aged 10+ years of age.  SPOTS ARE LIMITED!

In this course, students will:

  • Gain experience with Civic Participation/Advocacy that helps them discover the importance of their own voices – that their experiences and stories matter.
  • Improve Digital/Media Literacy (technical, general literacy skills and legal dimensions)
  • Practice Interviewing/Storytelling Skills including creative expression, gaining empathy for others and the importance of listening.
  • Gain an understanding of Community Radio (organization, purpose, government oversight)

Students will be working with TCA teachers and KHOI volunteers and staff to create at least one audio story to be aired on the radio in May 2024.

Experience Sessions