- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 5, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A Lincoln man who competed on a survivalist reality show is now teaching kids about nature.

Sam Larson finished second on a television show called “Alone” in 2015, the Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/2sxTRlM ) reported. This summer, he is leading the Wilderness Nature Camp sponsored by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

“My real passion was spending time in the outdoors, spending time in nature and learning about nature,” Larson said. “A lot of people call it being a naturalist or guiding. I like to call it being a nature translator. I want people to experience nature in a more intimate way.”

The camp teaches kids how to enjoy the natural setting and how to work together. He says hiking, education and exploring nature as well as creativity are the focus of the camp experience.

It’s almost entirely held outdoors unless the weather is dangerous.

“I feel like we have more resources than an inside camp,” he said. “We are not restricted by walls or hallways. And we never run out of fun things to do.”

Larson spent 55 days in the Canadian wilderness as part of the TV show. He brings his love of the outdoors and his skills to the camp. For example, he can make a fire by rubbing two cottonwood sticks together.

“His positive attitude is huge. In the dead of the summer, when it is humid and buggy, you gotta be a little tough,” said Andrea Faas, Pioneers Park Nature Center coordinator. “He can help them with that mental toughness, building that self-confidence,” she said.

The Wilderness Nature Camp’s 30 to 60 campers each week are among more than 700 children who participate in the department’s weekly day programs. This type of camp activity has been offered since the mid-70s.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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