TRENTON, N.J. - The Mercer County Park Commission is excited to announce the development of its Summer Nature Camp, running for the first time starting this June. The Park Commission’s Nature Camp will be held for five weeks throughout the summer and is open to children entering first grade through seventh grade. Hands-on nature exploration is the foundation for each week of camp, with varying focus of interests including nature crafting, arthropods, or habitat.
“Mercer County has much to offer in the realm of natural beauty, including it’s native plants and animals and diverse ecosystems” said County Executive Brian M. Hughes. “I am confident that children who enroll in the nature camp will learn valuable lessons about maintaining the health of the global environment while gaining new knowledge and appreciation for their hometown.”
Each week of camp is specified for certain age groups. Nature Camp is for children entering grades 1-3 and runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at Baldpate Mountain. In addition to hands-on explorations Nature Camp II campers will develop their connection with the natural world during “nature play”—a time set aside during the camp day for campers to explore and imagine nature their way. Nature Camp I, Session A runs from Monday, June 28 to Friday, July 2 and Session B Monday, July 19 to Friday, July 23, each at $185 for the week.
Nature Camp II is for campers entering grades 4-6 who will spend their mornings going on “exploratory hikes”, setting foot on a new trail each day. Camp afternoons will be filled with nature experiments, pond studies, and identifying birds. Nature Camp II Session C runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 6 to Friday, July 9 at Baldpate Mountain for a cost of $150, while Session D runs Monday, July 26 to Friday July, 30 for $185.00.
The final week of Nature Camp (Session E) is for children entering grades 5-7 and is specifically designed for older children that are seeking a “natural summer adventure”. Armed with kayaks and paddles, campers will increase their understanding of freshwater ecology as they explore Mercer Lake. Stream studies, hiking to beaver lodges, fishing and searching for lake reptiles and amphibians are just a few of the week’s adventures. Session E of Nature Camp will be held 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. from Monday, August 2 to Friday, August 6 at the Mercer County Marina in Mercer County Park at a cost of $260.
Registration for camps began on February 1, 2010 and will continue as registration forms are received. Campers will be accepted on first come, first serve basis, so please submit your child’s registration, required health forms, and full payment as soon as possible. Nature Camp registration forms can be found on the Mercer County Park Commission website at http://nj.gov/counties/mercer/commissions/park/natureprog.html. For questions regarding Nature Camp or registration, call (609) 883-6606, extension 112 or contact Mercer County Naturalist, Jennifer Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org.