2015 North Branch Nature Center
Day Camps for Curious Kids
Ages 4 to 14
Woods and water explorations, games, hikes, live animals, nature study, crafts, friends and fun! The North Branch Nature Center has been offering fun, exciting and educational nature camps for children for nearly 15 years. Catching frogs, watching hawks, following grasshoppers, making new friends - isn’t this just what a child’s summer should be?
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We’ll investigate the many forms water takes as it moves in and around NBNC. Expect many wet and wild adventures as we experiment with water and explore the pond, the North Branch of the Winooski River, and all things aquatic!
Calling all young entomologists! An endless variety of insects are hiding just about everywhere outdoors, waiting for us to find! From the tiny springtail to the giant water bug, we’ll flip logs and swing nets high and low as we discover the amazing world of these often overlooked creatures.
North Branch Trekkers
Spawned out of our popular afterschool program, North Branch Trekkers the summer camp will explore the mighty North Branch of the Winooski River. From its confluence with the Winooski in Montpelier, to its headwaters in Elmore, we’ll wade in its waters as we search for signs of wildlife, identify wild edibles, learn outdoor living skills, and practice Leave No Trace principles. We’ll build our skills towards an overnight primitive camping trip to C.C. Putnam State Forest on Thursday. Sign up soon – this camp is limited to just 10 kids.
People say that everything in nature is connected, but how? We will explore a wide range of habitats around NBNC and investigate their connections through hikes, games, and other adventures. Come play and learn by the river, in the forest, and in the fields with us!
The best anglers know all about the fish they target and the waters they swim in. We’ll learn about stream ecology, study micro invertebrates (fish food), and visit a fish hatchery, all as we fish along the waters of the Winooski and its tributaries. Grab you rod and reel because this week we’re Gone Fishin’! Campers age 15 and over will need to purchase a VT state fishing license.
Come join us for week of discovery and excitement as we use all of our senses to explore the elements. We’ll play in the Mud Kitchen, disperse seeds in the air, cook over a fire, find out what floats and sinks in water, and more. Be prepared to get wet and muddy!
Birds have captivated people for generations. From egrets to eagles, hawks to hummingbirds, come search alongside experienced birders for many birds that share our backyards. We’ll explore some of Vermont’s birding hotspots, from the summit of Mt. Mansfield to the shores of Lake Champlain. Whether you are a passionate 'birder' or just getting started, this camp is for you! Sign up soon – this camp is limited to just 10 kids.
On this trip, we’ll be basecamping in Groton State Forest and will go on different adventures everyday. Come ready to hike, explore, practice backcountry cooking, observe the stars, and learn to be a pro at leave-no-trace camping. While no previous camping experience is necessary, participants are expected to provide their own gear.
Do you love animals? Do you love being in and around water? Come cool off with us this week as we learn everything we can about birds, mammals, and insects that make rivers, ponds, and swamps their home. A fascinating world awaits us in the water and the mud!
Do you enjoy science? Ever wonder what it would be like to be a scientist? Vermont’s scientists work intensely outdoors all summer long to study our environment. This week we’ll join some of them and learn about the fascinating work they do up close and personal! We’ll even set up an experiment of our own to help solve nature’s mysteries.
The natural world is brimming with beauty and inspiration. Join us and become an artist outdoors. Paint with mud, make marks and draw with charcoal, create sculptures out of sticks, weave on a branch loom, and let your creativity flow.
Natural History Mysteries (camp full, waitlist only)
In this camp we will follow clues from long ago as we unravel a mystery that will lead us through the sands of time. From forgotten farm fields to abandoned logging roads, we’ll explore the natural history of the nature center and the surrounding area. Join the adventure as we solve some of Mother Nature’s mysteries!
Experience the wonder and excitement of searching for grass-hoppers, butterflies, honey-bees, dragonflies, beetles, ants, and more! Journey with us as we investigate the fields, explore the forest, and probe the depths of the pond in search of insects and their kin.
From birds to bats to butterflies, we’ll learn how nature has taken flight by looking at the winged wildlife of NBNC. We’ll catch, observe, and investigate these curious creatures and do our own experiments to explore how these animals defy gravity.
Becoming Animals (camp full, waitlist only)
Do like pretending to fly around like a bird or lumber like a bear? How about chewing like a beaver? Every day this week we’ll become a different animal and explore their world through imaginative play! We’ll build dams, make nests, and dig dens as we become animals!
Since the time of ancient cave paintings people have been fascinated with depicting nature through art. This week we’ll explore the wilder side of the world of art as we experiment with using the natural landscape as our canvas. So roll up your sleeves and get ready to explore the connection between nature and art through games, crafts, natural exploration and more!
Hiking the Long Trail: Old Job Trail to White Rocks Mtn
North Branch Nature Center is proud to offer our first foray along the Long Trail. We’ll be hiking along a 20 mile section, starting on the Old Job Trail, east of Mt Tabor, VT and ending at the White Rocks Picnic Area near Wallingford, VT. While no previous overnight backpacking experience is necessary, participants are expected to provide their own gear and be able to hike while carrying a 35 lbs pack. Please contact us with any questions or for more details.
Did you know that you can make lemonade from staghorn sumac berries? How about rope from milkweed plants? This week we’ll practice our outdoor living skills as we learn how to make use of the many amazing materials that our environment provides. From building shelters with sticks found on the forest floor to learning how to prepare wild edibles, we’ll be working with the tools that nature gives us.
We are proud to offer online registration for our 2015 summer camps. Here are the ways you can register for camp:
Please make checks payable to “North Branch Nature Center”. Full payment in advance is required, except by prior arrangement. Send your registration form and payment to North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, VT 05602 or call (802) 229-6206. Upon receipt of registration and full payment, we will send you a confirmation letter with detailed camp information.
Post-Camp Child Care
Every year, unfortunately, children are turned away from our camps due to lack of available room. The more notice we have of cancellation, the better our ability to fill that space with another interested child. If your child is ill or, for any reason, misses one or more days of camp, we will not be able to provide a partial refund. Send registration form and full payment to:
Branch Nature Center