At Nature Camps, children and teens choose what activities they want to do each day.
Activities include hiking, nature journaling, nature crafts, challenge courses, singing, swimming, canoeing, and more. Each session, we also host a Family Overnight and Concert in the Woods for all campers, families, and staff. Learn more about these activities below.
Sense of Wonder
Nature provides the setting and inspiration for children to nurture a sense of wonder. NC facilitates ways for children to experience the beauty, marvels and intricacies of nature. Children are given
opportunities to feel their environment. To draw it close to them. To love it. To understand it is an intrinsic part of themselves. They build an understanding of and an appreciation for the natural world and their place in it,that they are part of nature. Children who better understand their place in the environment become something else - they become environmental stewards. What a person connects to to, they care for.
Swimming in the pool is offered as an activity every afternoon, with two certified lifeguards present.
Canoeing instruction takes place on Prettyboy Reservoir with specially-trained staff members. Children and staff wear Type II personal flotation devices at all times.
Family Overnights & Concerts
On the second Wednesday evening of each session, Nature Camps hosts a Family Overnight and Concert in the Woods. Campers of all ages plus their families and friends come together to share time at camp. For all the dates and details, please check out the Family Overnight & Concert in the Woods page.
We offer all-day and half-day hikes exploring the 230 acres of beautiful woods surrounding camp and the nearby Gunpowder and Little Falls Rivers. Examples of past hikes include “All day stream hike”, “Half day hike to be wizards”, and other imaginative adventures!
Campers and staff alike make their own cloth-bound nature journals that they use throughout the session during small circles time with their groups and during activities. Campers use ink and stick pens to write and draw, and many add leaves, flowers, and other discoveries to their journals.
Nature Camps has two ropes courses: the Lower Ropes Course, which is an individual challenge course, and the Upper Ropes Course, comprised of various team challenges. Participants learn and experience respect, trust, team building, enhanced communication skills, conflict resolution, self-esteem, empathy, and solution-focused techniques. The ropes course experience is rooted in our Challenge By Choice philosophy.
One of the most amazing things about Nature Camps is that children have the ability to choose their own activities. With this in mind, children and counselors come up with original and silly activities every day, ranging from "Half day hike to be upside-down" to "Nature bureaucrats!"
Throughout the summer, we offer pottery, soapstone and wood carving, rock paint making, slate tool making, leprechaun/fairy houses, friendship bracelets, dreamcatchers, cordage, and more. Counselors often go beyond our typical crafts and introduce new ones, like printmaking and embroidery.
At the beginning of each day, after lunch, and before leaving, we gather in Big Circle to sing songs, both silly and meaningful, and reflect on our day. Big Circle is a whole-camp circle of togetherness and gladness. The Circle Song by Harry Chapin was our camp song in the 1970s. Then along came Jean Ritchie's Bluebird Song, which remains with us today.
Each Thursday we offer "Bicycling on the NCR (Northern Central Railroad) Trail" as one activity to choose. Children and their bicycles will be taken in the camp van and trailer the short distance to the White Hall Junction. Older children head north to PA and younger children bike south to Monkton.