A “Virtual” Summit

By Ellen Lambeth

Congratulations to Sidney Rice, 12, the winner of the 2020 Craig Tufts Educational Scholarship!

This scholarship pays the way for one nature-loving kid and an adult family member to attend the Family Nature Summit, a week-long outdoor education camp. Last summer, the Summit was supposed to be in the coastal redwoods region of northern California. Here’s Sidney’s story:

“Earth Day 2020 was a very special one that I will remember forever. I had a surprise Zoom call and found out that I had won the scholarship contest. I was so honored to be chosen.” Sidney was also a little shocked and very excited! “Unfortunately,” she adds, “I was not able to go to the 2020 Summit. It had to be cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Instead, Sidney joined a “Virtual Summit.” On this special Zoom call, she learned more about the program and saw pictures from past summits. “Now I get to be excited for this coming summer when I go with my mom,” Sidney says. She’ll also be joined by the 2021 scholarship winner!

Even though Sidney was looking forward to exploring coastal tide pools and the ancient redwood forests, she’s not easily discouraged. “Nature has been a very big part of my life,” she says. “For as long as I can remember, I have been exploring bugs, butterflies, and birds in my yard and in parks across the country.” Here she is, with some of her favorite wild friends. Just think of all the new bugs, butterflies, and birds she’ll discover at the 2021 Family Nature Summit!


Craig Tufts was the chief naturalist at the National Wildlife Federation, the group that publishes Ranger Rick. Learn more about Craig.

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