CONTACT:  (609) 303-0706

TRENTON, N.J. - The Mercer County Park Commission is excited to announce the expansion of its summer nature camp offerings. This summer, the Commission will host six sessions of nature camps to accommodate the increasing demand for its programming.  In addition to Baldpate Nature and Aquatic Adventure camps, a new half-day camp for younger children will be introduced for this coming summer.

These camps are open to preschoolers and children entering first grade through eighth grade. Hands-on nature exploration is the foundation for every camp, with varying focus of interests including nature crafting, arthropods, habitat and freshwater ecology.

Each week of camp is specified for certain age groups. Baldpate Nature Camp I 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 Hopewell Township. In addition to hands-on explorations, Nature Camp I campers will develop their connection with the natural world during “nature play” — a time set aside during the camp day for them to explore and imagine nature their way. There are two sessions of Nature Camp I: Session A runs Monday, June 30, to Thursday, July 3, and costs $180; Session B runs Monday, July 7, to Friday, July 11, and costs $200.

Baldpate 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. Nature experiments and studies will round out camp day afternoons. Nature Camp II runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This year, there are two sessions of this camp: Session C runs Monday, June 30, to Thursday, July 3, at a cost of $180, and Session D runs Monday, July 7, to Friday, July 11, for $200.

Aquatic Adventure is for children entering grades 7-8 and is specifically designed for older children who have a serious interest in nature. Campers will spend the majority of each day kayaking on Mercer Lake. During these kayak explorations, campers will increase their understanding of freshwater ecology through experiments and nature observations. Other activities include fishing, taking part in a conservation project and exploring the lake’s tributaries and coves – by boat! One session of Aquatic Adventure will be offered this summer. This camp runs Monday, July 28, to Friday, Aug. 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Marina in Mercer County Park in West Windsor at a cost of $300.

Wild Discovery is new to the Park Commission’s lineup of summer programming.  Especially for young children, this half-day summer camp is designed as a playful introduction to the wonders of nature. Each day of Wild Discovery includes a morning story, nature-themed art project, a trail trek, snack and time for exploration. This weeklong program is hosted at the Park Commission’s headquarters, the historic Hunt House in Mercer Meadows, from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Wild Discovery will run for only one session this summer: Monday, Aug. 11, to Friday, Aug. 15. This program costs $160 per child.

Registration for camps will continue as registration forms are received. Campers will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Children will be registered for camp only when their completed registration and health forms, and full payment are received. Nature Camp registration forms can be found on the Mercer County Park Commission website at www.mercercountyparks.org. For questions regarding Nature Camp or registration, call (609) 303-0706 or contact County Naturalist Jennifer Rogers at jrogers@mercercounty.org.