Camp Themes

Welcome to Nature Adventures Camp 2020

From the Camp Leadership Team

Welcome to the South Shore Natural Science Center’s Nature Adventures Camp, a place where your child will explore and discover the wonders of the outdoors while instilling a sense of respect and appreciation for the natural world.

Summer is a time to enjoy the warm weather, hang out with friends and play outside.  At camp the possibilities are endless. Nature Adventures Camp provides a balance of structured and free play with environmental exploration, the use of scientific tools, and age-appropriate learning activities. These experiences  encourage children’s natural curiosity of the outdoors while building social and life skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and self-confidence.

We seek to foster an appreciation for and love of nature by inviting campers to explore the world around them through hands-on, outdoor, experiential learning. By doing this, we hope to inspire your children to become environmentally responsible and conscientious citizens of tomorrow, to spark a lifelong love of learning, and to develop a deep and enduring connection with the natural world.

As you read this, the camp team is excited to be planning fun, creative and enriching hands-on nature-inspired STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) adventures for our campers and we hope your children join us!

–          Chris Lewis, Nature Adventures Camp Site Director, clewis@ssymca.org
–          Julie Chessia, Nature Adventures Camp Assistant Site Director & Leader-in-Training Coordinator, jchessia@ssymca.org
–          Michelle Marquis, Nature Center Preschool Sr. Lead Teacher & Nature Adventures Camp Assistant Site Director, mmarquis@ssymca.org
–          Kim Crespi, Camp Registrar,  kcrespi@ssymca.org

2020 Camp Themes

Our exciting nature-based weekly themes emphasize fun, hands-on experiences for campers to discover the natural world around them through age-appropriate activities. Campers at each age level develop skills and knowledge which encourage confidence, cooperation, curiosity, and compassion for the natural world. Each week we feature a different camp wide theme.

Click HERE to register.

Week 1: Mucky Muddy Mania (June 22 – June 26)
Come get messy in the mud kitchen and muck around in the pond.  Discover what plants and animals live along the shores of Jacobs Pond by exploring the water and mud with dip nets, buckets, and magnifiers. Dress for the mess!

Week 2: Rock, Rumble, and Roll (June 29-July 3)
Hike a glacial esker, explore remnants of a boulder field.  Crack open a geode and be a rock hound.  Learn why thunder rumbles and how cyclones spin.  Discover how nature’s incredible forces shape our landscape and our lives.

Week 3: Prehistoric  Palooza (July 6-10)
There are discoveries to be made! The world of dinosaurs will come to life through fossil hunts, mock digs, and engaging hands-on activities. We will explore the lives of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals and the evidence that scientists use to learn about these ancient creatures!

Week 4: Forest Forensics (July 13-17)
From scat, to tracks, to camouflage, the forest is full of mysteries! Join us as we work together to uncover the hidden world in our own back yard. Practice basic tracking techniques, learn to read clues in the landscape, and discover the adaptations that help animals survive in the wilderness.

Week 4: Fetch! With SSNSC (July 13-17) Grades 5-8
Ever want to wake up every morning to a new mystery challenge? Enjoy solving complex problems while making new friends? Then this is the camp for you! You’ll arrive each day to a new STEM challenge, from crime-solving to insect-catching. We will also hear from an amazing guest speaker and take a totally Fetch-tastic field trip!

Week 5:  Incredible Insects, Curious Crawlers (July 20-24)
Grab your bug net and viewer! Put on your muck boots and grab your field guides! We’ll be hunting for bugs in the fields and searching for amphibians in the swamps! Participate in the Lost Ladybug Citizen Science Project and learn about the life cycles of these fascinating creatures.

Week 5: Vet School Camp – Terrestrial Animals (July 20-24) Grades 5-8
Join educators from SSNSC to learn basic animal care skills and explore the world of veterinary science. Campers will interact with the Science Center’s live animals to learn about anatomy, gain important observational skills using scientific tools, and work collaboratively to solve veterinary mysteries.   A special field trip will include a behind the scenes tour of a wildlife rehabilitation center.

Week 6: Sharks and Creatures of the Deep  (July 27- 31)
From tide-pools to shipwrecks, and the deep sea to the shore.  Discover the wonders of the ocean and the secrets of the animals that live there including the amazing world of sharks!

Week 6: Vet School Camp – Marine Animals (July 27-31) Grades 5-8
Join educators from SSNSC and special guests to explore the world of veterinary science with a focus on marine animals.  Highlights of the week will include a fish dissection, a visit from SALT the inflatable humpback whale and a field trip for a behind the scenes tour of a marine animal rehabilitation center!

Week 7: Mission Impossible? (August 3-7)
Do you have the next big idea to change the world?  What are the real world problems you want to solve?  As Albert Einstein said, “Look into nature, then you will understand everything better.” Take a chance, explore your idea, and tinker around with a variety of materials. Do you accept the challenge?

On Thursday, August 6 – Campers Grades 1 and up will participate in an all-day off-site Thingamajig Invention Convention while younger campers participate in an on-site “Mini-majig”

Week 8: Galactic Blast-off (August 10-14)
Blast off into space! Come explore the solar system with us as we discover the mysteries of space! What causes an eclipse? Why is Pluto no longer a planet? Why is a year on Mercury only 88 days? We will uncover the answers to these and other space curiosities that have mystified humans for years.

Week 9: Taking Flight (August 17-21)
Let your imagination take flight as we explore nature’s many animals (and even some plants) that soar through the sky!  Investigate how wings work, create flying crafts, and discover how far your creativity can go.

Week 9: Flying Machines (August 17-21) Grades 5-8
Attention all future flight engineers: in this camp you’ll take off to a different type of flight each day. From gliders to drones to rockets and others in between, you’ll be designing, building, and launching your creations. We’ll take inspiration from flight found in nature, visit a local airport, and hear from some marvelous pilots.

Week 10:  Bees and Trees (August 24-28)
What’s the buzz?  Did you know that our lives depend on bees for food and trees to breathe?  Taste honey and learn how bees spread pollen with their knees. Explore how paper is made and why trees are green.  Discover what you can do in your own back yard and community to keep bees and trees healthy.

Leader-In-Training (Back for 2020!)
We are excited to announce the new Leader-In-Training (LIT) program at Nature Adventures Camp is  back for 2020! This is an excellent opportunity for youth ages 12 to 15 to develop leadership skills while becoming role models for young campers in a fun and engaging atmosphere. They will be supervised, coached, and evaluated by the Leadership-in-Training Coordinator.  LITs will build their confidence, independence, and self-esteem through problem solving, taking initiative, and being solutionaries. LITs will use these newly acquired skills to develop and lead camp activities alongside experienced counselors.

2 week sessions:
Session 1:  July 6-10, July 13-17
Session 2: July 20-24, July 27-31
Session 3: August 3-7, August 10-14

Louise Beaudry, Director of Environmental Education & Camping, lbeaudry@ssymca.orgCWeek 4: Vet School Camp (July 16-20) Grades 5-8

Join educators from SSNSC to learn basic animal care skills and explore the world of veterinary science. Campers will interact with the Science Center’s reptiles and amphibians to learn about animal anatomy, gain important observational skills using tools such as microscopes and stethoscopes, help prepare food for the Science Center animals and work collaboratively to solve veterinary mysteries. Includes an off-site field trip

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