New summer nature camps for the region

HOLLIS – Beaver Brook Nature Center in Hollis continues its 41-year tradition of welcoming young people to explore, play and learn outdoors during summer. Teaching children about respect for the natural world and cultivating joy during healthy outdoor activities has been a longstanding goal at Beaver Brook. In this era of increasing screen time use and ‘nature deficit disorder,’ it is more important than ever that children have outdoor time spent in nature. Beaver Brook offers week-long sessions for students ages 4-16. New this year is Maker Space in the Woods which award-winning teacher Kathy Parker brings to Beaver Brook. Imagine a place where campers can be as creative as they want in a safe space for kids to experiment and tinker in the woods! Our exciting lab at Beaver Brook will provide a simple, fun way for kids to get involved in MAKING! With the unstructured time and materials, we offer kids space to solve problems together (maybe even try a breakout!), try new things, and build and create things using natural and recycled materials. Students will use tools and build communal and individual projects. For grades: fourth, fifth and sixth. June 26-30. In Farm Fresh, children will learn where their food comes from. Chickens, vegetables, cows and berries: they all grow locally. Learn about farming, animal care, and all the great products that can be locally produced. Students will enjoy hands-on crafts and cooking activities such as washing, carding and dying wool, making yogurt, bread, jam and ice cream. They will get to engage and learn about local farm animals. We will also enjoy hiking on Beaver Brook trails. Field trip to a working farm. This class is designed for students entering third and fourth grade and runs 9 a.m.-3 p.m. July 10-14. Another new program this summer is Rock, Paper, Scissors for students going into fourth and fifth grades. Students will explore many secret features of Beaver Brook with experienced instructor Carol Ritchie including the Rocky Ridge. They will experiment making paper from recycled and found materials such as plants. They will learn knife safety and how to whittle then make their own walking sticks. Join us for a SPLASH hike! We have a week filled with lots of fun activities exploring, making and playing! July 24-28. Students who are looking for a short overnight camp experience can explore Week in the Woods which includes two overnights at the Beaver Brook Campsite. Fifth- and sixth-graders will learn some basic outdoor skills; how to use a compass, build a safe and effective campfire (where

we will cook all of our meals) all while spending five days and two nights in the woods! This class is designed for the self-reliant young person with a real interest in the outdoors. Participants must carry their own equipment. A complete gear list will be sent to participants prior to the start date of the program. July 31-Aug. 4. Our youngest friends, ages 4-K, can register for Nature Explorers with Becky Kellner. This camp is offered 9 a.m.1 p.m. July 17-21 and July 24-28. Youngsters will learn to sharpen their observation skills, while hiking Beaver Brook’s trails. They will meet resident wildlife and learn interesting facts. The week will consist of artistic exploration, investigative hikes, games and songs designed to introduce nature’s beautiful gifts to young explorers. We will teach the importance and preservation of nature and show how even our youngest explorers can help make a difference. We will explore a different trail each day to discover the beauty, peace and wonders of the woods in our own backyard. Each week there is something for all ages and interests. Visit our website www.beaverbrook.org for full information and registration links. Call 465-7787 with questions. Tour our gardens and trails any day of the year at 117 Ridge Road Hollis. Maps are available at most trailhead kiosks and on our website.

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