Some of my favorite memories from my childhood include climbing trees, playing in puddles and feeling the delicious freedom that comes from being outside. It’s important to me that my kids grow up feeling connected to nature, so I was curious what nearby camps offer a really great outdoorsy experience. Here are eight nature camps that still have openings…
The Greenburgh Nature Center Camp has several different programs for grades 4-7 from July 9 to August 10. Each camp is designed around exploring the great outdoors, discovering different habitats, interacting with live animal exhibits, all while playing games and having lots of fun. Price is $375 per week for members and $425 per week for non-members. 99 Dromore Road, Scarsdale, NY; 914-723-3470 (Above photo courtesy of Greenburgh Nature Center.)
Rye Nature Center’s Camp is set on 47 acres of forest and trails. Campers 3 1/2 to 13 years old experience weekly themed sessions starting June 25 – August 10. (The first week is filled but there are openings for the rest of the sessions.)
The “Explorers” group (Pre-K or K) explore the nature center’s forest, ponds and gardens and discover animals in a safe, nurturing environment. Camp is 9:00am to 12:00pm. Price is $265 per week for members, $315 for non-members.
The “Discoverers” group (Kindergarten – Fifth Grade) experience gardening, hiking, natural history, science lab, art as well as games like slip and slide. Camp is 9:15am to 2:45pm. Price is $365 per week for members and $415 for non-members.
Middle school kids, what they dub the “Naturalists in Training,” experience daily nature activities that develop outdoor life skills, cookouts, hikes, star gazing and outdoor movies. Camp is 9:15am to 2:45pm and on Thursdays camp is until 9:45. Price is $385 per week for members and $435 for non-members. Check out their website for their super cool theme weeks. 873 Boston Post Road; 914-967-5150
(Above photo courtesy of Rye Nature Center.)
Sheldrake Environmental Center’s Nature Camp includes eco-crafts, science, gardening, story time and more for ages 3 and up. Camp is July 2 – August 10, from 1:30pm to 3:30pm. Price is $160 per week for members and $180 per week for non-members. The first week will be pro-rated because of July 4th. 685 Weaver Street, Larchmont 914-834-1443
(Above photo by Dorothy Dietz, courtesy of Sheldrake Nature Camp)
The Summer Ecology Program at Lenoir Preserve is all about adventure, fun and fresh air. Learn about the preserve, create eco-crafts, cook with a solar cooker, explore their forest, and visit the butterfly garden. Camp sessions are July 16-20 and July 23-27. $225 per week, per child. Monday – Friday, 10am – 2pm. 19 Dudley Street, Yonkers, NY; 914-968-5851
Westchester County Parks Ecology Camps are located at Cranberry Lake Preserve, Marshlands Conservancy and the Trailside Nature Museum. Kids (grades 1 – 9) explore the hidden world of pond and stream animals, study birds, bees, bugs, bones and botany. Weekly sessions starting July 2 – August 10. $275 per week. (The first week is pro-rated because of July 4.) Three weeks maximum per location. All three locations have availability, but Cranberry Lake has only a few spots left. Camp times differ slightly by location. Marshlands and Cranberry are 10am to 3pm. Trailside is 10am to 3:15pm. Cranberry Lake Preserve: 1609 Old Orchard Street, West Harrison; 914-428-1005. Marshlands Conservancy: Route 1 Rye; 914-835-4466. Trailside Nature Museum: Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, Reservation Road, Cross River; 914-864-7322.
Weinberg Nature Center Ecology Camp is for ages 3-10 and runs August 13 – 17. With a different theme every day, campers will experience kooky science projects, animals, hikes, crafts and more. Cost is $360. For questions and details, call the Weinberg Nature Center and to register call the Village of Scarsdale at 914- 722-1160. 445 Mamaroneck Road, Scarsdale; 914- 722-1289
(Above photo courtesy of Weinberg Nature Center.)