In today’s fast-paced, hyper-connected world, it’s nice to know that there are still some places where kids can unplug, relax and connect with nature (and one another!), specifically The Nature Place Day Camp. This ACA-accredited, non-competitive day camp is located on a gorgeous 200 acres in nearby Rockland County, NY, and draws kids ages 4 to 16 from Bergen, Rockland, Westchester, Manhattan and Brooklyn to their fields, forests, farm, gardens, ponds and streams to have a nature-oriented summer of fun.
The camp is all about being in and connecting with the natural world, so kids (in co-ed groups based on age, grade and friend requests) hike through Harriman State Park, swim in a nature enclosed zero entry pool, muck in the stream, camp, canoe, farm, garden, meet all sorts of animals and do nature-oriented craft projects, plus play games and enjoy storytelling, music, archery, drama and more. Older campers are challenged with overnight camping experiences focused on canoeing, backpacking and rock climbing.
Being non-competitive means that the activities and games focus on cooperation, teamwork, communication and collaboration, offering the benefits of physical activity without being centered around competitive athletics. The camp does not have soda or candy machines, a camp store, loudspeakers, movie screenings, video games, awards, color wars or pressured daily schedules. The Nature Place Day Camp sets itself apart by focusing on fostering children’s confidence to connect in-person because they believe connecting with others and establishing a healthy sense of self through outdoor play, challenge and learning lays the foundation for a life filled with wonder, flexibility, perseverance and gratitude. They choose their staff carefully, hiring skilled counselors (often former campers) who share their philosophy and enthusiasm for working with children.
This camp is offered for three, four, five or six weeks (but enrollment for two or even one week is almost always possible, just call and check availability), and busing is available. In addition to regular day camp, the Nature Place Day Camp offers several one-week themed camp experiences including one focused on art, one on farming/gardening and one overnight wilderness experience for teens ages 13 to 16.
The Nature Place Day Camp has several open houses and free events coming up, so you can visit and see what has made this place special for the past 33 years, including a maple sugaring day on February 24 where you can learn all about maple trees and making syrup and even tap a maple and have a taste. Click here to learn more.The Nature Place Day Camp 285 Hungry Hollow Road Chestnut Ridge, NY 845-356-1234 www.thenatureplace.com