Summer Camps

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S ummer Camps at NBNC offer a safe place where children can interact directly with nature through observation, questioning, and hands-on exploration.  From flipping rocks along wooded streams to chasing butterflies through the fields, this is what a child’s summer should be.  Every day we create memorable experiences in the outdoors and send children home with a renewed excitement for the natural world.  Please review individual camp descriptions for more information. We offer camps for various age groups ranging from PreK through 12th grade.

2024 Summer Camps

REGISTRATION TIMELINE

  • Due to high demand and NBNC's commitment to equity, camp registration will utilize a lottery system this year.
  • Families have from February 23 through March 4 to join the lottery for desired camps.
  • All who enter the lottery will be notified on March 8 with instructions for checking their lottery results.
  • Lottery winners will have until March 15th to complete their transactions. Unclaimed spaces will be forfeited.
  • On March 18, any available spaces will become available on this page for general registration. Families may also join waitlists for any interested camps at that time.

THE LOTTERY: HOW IT WORKS

  1. Beginning February 23, use the "Register (Lottery)” links next to a camp below that you would like to register for. After creating your Jumbula account, completing the forms, and selecting your intended payment method, the camp will be placed in your shopping cart as a lottery item. Repeat this process for any camp that you would like.
  2. You will not be asked to provide payment or credit card information to join lotteries. If financial support is needed, please contact us after you have enrolled in the lotteries.
  3. You will not receive a confirmation email for being placed in the lotteries. You can visit your Jumbula Shopping Cart at any time (items in your cart do not disappear unless you remove them). Lottery items in your shopping cart will be indicated by a blue "Lottery" icon in the item description.
  4. Once the item is in your shopping cart, you're done for now!
  5. We will notify lottery winners by March 8 via email to return to their Jumbula shopping carts to complete their transactions. Items that have won the lottery will become available for checkout at that time.
  6. The lottery will take siblings into consideration. We place siblings in the same camp weeks when possible.
  7. The two Adventure Camps and Camp BranchOUT do not use the lottery system.

All camps begin at 9 am. Please see age groups for pick-up times. Children may be dropped off after 8:45 am. Please respect this drop-off time as a courtesy to our staff who will be preparing for the day right up until 8:45.

Post-camp after-care is available until 5 pm for 1-6 grade camps. After-care is an informal extension of camp activities with supervised free time for games, reading, art projects and more.

Aftercare registration will be available in April at the bottom of this page below camp registrations.

  • Cancellations requested by March 31 will be refunded minus a $20 non-refundable processing fee.
  • Cancellations requested between April 1 and May 31 will be refunded minus a $50 processing fee.
  • Cancellations requested on or after June 1 are non-refundable. Exceptions may be granted in cases of emergency.

Every year, children are turned away from our camps due to lack of space. The more notice we have of cancellation, the better our ability to offer that space to another interested family.

If your child misses one or more days of camp, for any reason, we cannot provide partial refunds.

In the event that NBNC needs to cancel a camp as a result of unforeseen circumstances, a full refund will be issued.

Camp is often the highlight of a child’s summer, an opportunity to learn and explore in an environment very different from school. We provide financial support packages that typically provide a 50% discount off camp registration, though we occasionally accommodate greater support requests on a case-by-case basis.

If you need financial support to send your child to camp, please email info@northbranchnaturecenter.org with the following information:
-Your name, address and phone number
-Camper's name and age
-Camp titles (if available)

You may enter the camp lotteries before a financial support package has been arranged. After registering for the lottery, please contact us by March 4th so that we may discuss financial support options and provide you with an appropriate discount code to use if you win the lottery.

Please visit northbranchnaturecenter.org/COVID for our evolving guidelines, expectations, and policies surrounding COVID-19.

Get ready to have fun, because summer field staff include some of your kids’ favorite year-round NBNC staff including Ken Benton, Carrie Riker, Pete Kerby-Miller, Victoria Lee, Fiona Modrak, and Dave Muska. Each summer we also hire several fantastic additional staff with backgrounds in teaching and experience in environmental science or outdoor education. Visit 'About Us' on our website for more information about our top-notch staff.

The flow of the day for each age group is slightly different. Our activities are rooted in rhythms and cycles found in nature and are inspired by Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature. Some of our typical daily Core Routines include: 

  • Inspiration/Activation time: Campers arrive.  Loose parts play (younger campers), Nature Museum, simple arts and crafts project, tag game.

  • Morning Circle: Song, Nature Notes, sharing about the day ahead.

  • Preparing for the Day: Bathroom break, pack up, head to destination snack spot.

  • Snack/oral story followed by a morning themed activity or continued adventure to the next destination.

  • Lunch/oral story followed by our afternoon activity.  This might include a quiet rest time after lunch, forest choice, sit spots, crafting projects, or continued exploration of our destination spot.

  • Closing Circle: Stories of the Day (what was your favorite part of the day?), thank you to our Nature Neighbors.

2024 Camps & Registration

Adventure Camps

For 7th-12th graders (Click each title below to expand)

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$1200 | Apply Here
Financial Support Available (Contact us)
7th - 9th grade | Maximum: 10 participants

In this camp we will embark on a backpacking adventure within the Green Mountains of Vermont. We will carry with us all of the gear we will need for our journey, making different camps our home along the way.  We will be awakened by the rising sun and sleep by starlight. 

Our days will be spent walking ridgelines and enjoying mountain vistas, all while immersed in the rhythms of the natural world. We’ll experience the powerful practices of mindfulness and gratitude as part of our daily routines and share stories, songs, and laughter throughout our adventure.

On this five day backpacking trip, our team of participants will learn the basics of wilderness safety, backpacking/camping techniques, and navigation along with camp craft such as cooking, site selection, Leave-No-Trace ethics, and a host of interpersonal team and leadership skills. 

*Participants should be prepared to walk between 3-6 miles per day wearing their full pack (30-40lbs).

Instructors: Dave Muska (NYS Guide #7059) and Annie Jackson

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$1200 | Apply Here
Financial Support Available (contact us)
10 - 12th grade
Maximum: 10 participants

In this camp designed for high-schoolers, we will travel west of Lake Champlain to experience the ancient beauty of the Adirondack Mountains. 

Our time will be spent exploring the diverse habitats and organisms of the Adirondack Mountain peaks, ridgelines, and deep mountain valleys to discover what makes this landscape so unique, all while carrying on our backs the supplies needed for our journey.  

Attuned to the rhythms of the natural world, we’ll share stories, songs, and laughter throughout our adventure while also practicing the timeless arts of observation, mindfulness, and gratitude.  

Over the course of this five-day trip, participants will learn the basics of wilderness safety, including backcountry camping techniques, navigation, essential camp craft such as cooking, site selection, Leave-No-Trace ethics, and a host of interpersonal, team, and leadership skills. 

*Participants should be prepared to walk between 3-6 miles per day wearing their full pack (35-40lbs).

Instructors: Dave Muska (NYS Guide #7059) and Annie Jackson

 

Adventure Camps do not operate on the lottery system. We ask that families apply via the link in each camp description. Our trip leaders will then review applications and contact invited families.

Brand new to backpacking? see our "Intro to Backpacking" camp for 7-9th graders below.

Camp BranchOUT

August 12 - 16 | Ages 10 - 12

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A collaborative effort between Outright Vermont and NBNC, Camp BranchOUT is a nature-based day camp tailored to meet the needs of queer and gender creative kids where they can simply be kids! It's not just any camp – it's all about creating a safe, inclusive, and fun environment for campers where they can be their most authentic selves and are embraced and celebrated for exactly who they are, all while exploring and learning about the awesome outdoors.

Nature-based Curriculum with a Queer Twist!

Heck Yeah, we bring the sparkle with a queer twist in all that we do at camp! It's magic mix of LGBTQ+ staff who get it, camp decorations and signs that shout, "You totally belong here!" and age appropriate activities that integrate queer pride and joy. Founded on shared values, BranchOUT's programming is co-run by staff from both organizations. Together, we bring a whole lot of experience in the world of youth camps - a powerful blend of expertise in our respective areas of nature-based learning and the needs of queer and gender creative youth.

This camp does not operate on the same lottery system as NBNC's other day camps.

  • Time: 9 am - 4 pm (drop-off starts at 8:45 am)
  • Cost: $400 (Financial support is available, and no one will be turned away for financial reasons)
  • Capacity: Limited to 12 campers

Applications open February 23 through March 8th, 2024. To apply, complete the forms at the link below, and you'll be placed on a waitlist After applications close, our team will work together to determine this year's cohort. Selected campers will be notified by March 29th, 2024.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

Summer Camps for kids ages 4-5

Summer Camps for kids entering grades 1-3

Summer Camps for kids entering grades 4-6

Summer Camps for kids entering grades 7-9

Summer Camp Aftercare

Aftercare is an extension of the day's camp activities and facilitated by NBNC camp staff. Aftercare runs until 5 pm for families whose children are already enrolled in that week's camp. Aftercare is only available this year to kids entering grades 1-6.

Families may sign up here for an entire week of aftercare ($100) or select specific days ($20/day).

Aftercare will become available for registration in April.

"We feel the beauty of nature… we know that however much in our separate
domains we abstract from the unity of Nature, this unity remains.
"

—Ernest Everett Just (1833 - 1941)

North Branch Nature Center

713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
(802) 229-6206

Hours: Center Open Monday-Friday 9-4
Trails Open 24/7