After-school Programs


N BNC’s after-school programs bring children out into the forests and fields at the North Branch Nature Center, Hubbard Park, and North Branch River Park. We employ a model of experiential education where children learn by doing through activating all of their senses. Adventures might include tracking, foraging for wild edibles, cooking over an open fire, fire starting, building shelters, telling stories, playing games, or taking an expedition to the river or woods. Specific activities at each age level follow the interests of those enrolled and are developmentally appropriate.

Explorers & Trekkers After-school Programs

Wednesdays, 3:00 - 5:30 pm | Cost: $255
September 15 - October 20 (6 weeks)
October 27 - December 8 (6 weeks) 

Let your kids be kids at NBNC. Our Explorers and Trekkers programs offer kids time to explore the woods and fields, play stealth and awareness games, and learn outdoor skills with their peers.

Explorers (6-8 years old) are playful adventurers. One week your child might forage for wild edibles and cook over an open fire, while the next week might find them deep in the woods, building shelters.

Trekkers (9-13 years old) adopt an off-trail mentality, using the local landscape to push their limits while practicing outdoor living skills such as tracking and fire-starting.

Both age groups focus on learning by doing, using all five senses. Thoughtful and loosely directed play in the woods helps kids develop a sense of place while unwinding with a peer group. Through cooperative games, exploration of various habitats, and team-building challenge projects, Trekkers and Explorers build a communal love for the outdoors, making NBNC the place to be on Wednesdays after school!

After-school Handbook: For more information about policies, what to bring, and information for parents, please consult our revised NBNC Afterschool Programs Parent-Guardian Handbook.

An awesome, amazing experience because we get to have a lot of fun!”
– Asa (Trekker)

COVID-19 Note

All of our time will be spent outdoors, only coming inside to access the bathroom or in the event of hazardous weather.  Masking and social distancing rules will follow Vermont Department of Health and Vermont Agency of Education guidelines. For more information, visit our COVID-19 protocols.

Cancellation Policy

Refunds are subject to a $20 processing fee and will be given according to the following schedule:

  • If requested two weeks or more before the first day of programming, you will receive a full refund.
  • If requested between one and two weeks before the first day of programming, you will receive a 50% refund.
  • If requested one week or less before the first day of programming, we will be unable to issue a refund.

Every year, children are unfortunately turned away from our programs due to lack of space. The more notice we have of a cancellation, the more likely we can offer that space to another interested family.

In the case of extreme weather, we may need to cancel a session.  If local area public schools have cancelled for the day, it is a good chance we will too.  We will notify you by email and by telephone.  In the case of a cancellation, we will schedule a make-up day.  If for some reason your child cannot attend a session, we cannot reimburse you for that missed day.

NBNC reserves the right to cancel a program due to COVID-19 safety considerations.


IMPORTANT NOTE: This program uses our built-in registration platform by Sawyer. If you're new to Sawyer, when you click "More Info," then "Registration" below, the platform will ask you first to create a Sawyer account. This only takes a few seconds. But wait, you're not done yet! Once you've created and logged into your new account, return to this page and continue with the remainder of your registration process.

Connecting People with the Natural World

North Branch Nature Center

713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
(802) 229-6206
[email protected]

Office Open Monday-Friday from 9 am to 4 pm
Trails Open 24/7