. . . an early childhood program for four year old children!
Over the years parents have requested outdoor learning experiences for their younger children comparable to the experiences their older children have been enjoying for years.
Responding to this need, NC Early Childhood educators have developed an exciting program, called Camp Wonder.
Two Camp Wonder Staff take eight four year olds under their gentle wings, exposing them to all aspects of Nature Camps: small hikes, swimming, natural crafts, making their own special and smaller version of an NC journal to draw and print in, exploring the stream, and more.
It's all about "A Sense of Wonder!"
Camp Wonder will run depending on enrollment. "Wonder's" may be incorporated into the camper program.
So, Tell Me About Camp Wonder.
Camp Wonder is an early childhood program for four year old children.
Over the years, parents have requested outdoor learning experiences for their younger children comparable to the meaningful experiences their older children have been enjoying for years.
Responding to this need, we developed an exciting program, called Camp Wonder. Developmentally, four year olds are a wonderful age to teach (AND to learn from!) -- especially outside. In the woods, fields, and streams at NC they bring their never ending questions to all they see, smell, touch and feel. As parents know so well, their remarkable curiosity is unquenchable. They are simply grand, wonder-full children to share a day with.
In a two week session, two Camp Wonder Staff take eight four year olds under their gentle wings, exposing them to all aspects of Nature Camps: small hikes, natural crafts (pottery, weaving, corn husk doll making, and more); making their own special and smaller version of an NC journal to draw and print in; exploring the endless streams; swimming in the shallow end of the pool (CW staff are Lifeguards); and joining the older campers in the early morning and afternoon for singing and delighting in one another.
Brooke, a Camp Wonder counselor shares the following thoughts:
Four year olds are constantly absorbing information through all of their senses. Everything is new, nothing is tainted. They have a magical gift, if your heart is willing to receive it, of changing the world through imagination. They have the ability to give a "grown-up" the gift of childhood again. I have seen faeries on the backs of butterflies, monkeys leaping on tree limbs, multi-colored elephants tromping through the woods, and I've befriended slugs. Four-year-olds are full of pure love, and they have insight into truth. They impart their knowledge at all times, whether it be about bugs, trains, princesses, or life lessons.
There was a time I was taking a four-year-old on the ropes course and she said, "I hope I'm not too scared to do the next part." She accomplished the feat of crossing from the bridge to the net, and I asked, "How does it make you feel that you did that?" She answered, "Brave." A little ways later she said, "Before you know it, you keep getting braver and braver. You're more brave than you know." Her words meant something to me, and she said them just when I needed to hear them.
Learning can be a mutual gift. It is the innate wisdom of a four-year-old to know just how life works, in it's purest form. When Big Circle time comes, the four year olds are there without reluctance. Sometimes they sing, sometimes they don't, but they are always watching and observing, taking it all in. The Wonders take their time because everything becomes captivating and important. Anything they stumble upon becomes a microcosm; thus becoming their world for long periods of time. They love slugs, worms, butterflies, and mud.
Because of their purity, they are in touch with nature, and by sparking their interest and curiosity, we can produce adults who will take care of the earth. Their innocence permits an innate connectedness and respect for nature that needs to be nourished. Children need to touch, smell, taste, and hear in order to learn, understand, and grow. Every summer, I can't help but smile when the Wonders are taken to the mud pit for the first time, "Of course you can play in the mud and get dirty." Their eyes widen, a smile creeps onto their face, and they either jump right in and laugh, or they hesitantly feel the mud and wind up covered by the end. Even the children who don't like to get dirty are still fascinated by the wonders of nature.
Camp Wonder provides four-year-olds with a safe and delightful outlet in which to celebrate their unquenchable curiosity and sense of wonder, while growing and learning about the natural world in which they are an integral part.