Summer Camp

Eco-Discovery Camp

Registration for the 2024 camp season opens to family-level members on Monday, February 12 at 10:00 am. Registration will open to the general public on Tuesday, March 12 at 10:00 am.

Great Hollow’s weekly day camp offers children ages 6-12 unique and fun opportunities to forge lasting connections with the natural world on our 825-acre nature preserve in New Fairfield, CT. Our days are spent outdoors, exploring Great Hollow’s creeks, forests, meadows, and trails, learning about the critters that make this special place their home. Each weekly session includes science-based environmental education activities, arts and crafts, games, hikes, and daily time for self-directed play.

Our counselor-in-training program offers teenagers valuable work experience that will also count towards volunteer hours. Many of our CITs return year after year. If you’re 14-17 years old, love the outdoors, and interested in being a CIT, please click here to download an application or here to apply online.

 


2024 Eco-Discovery Camp Schedule

Ready to register? Begin here by filling out this form online

Camp Dates Session Age Range
June 17-21 Nature Nuts Curious Kids (6-8)
June 24-28 Scales, Feathers, Fins, and Fur Curious Kids (6-8)
July 1-3 Buggin’ Out Curious Kids (6-8)
 
July 1-3 Buggin’ Out Knee-High Naturalists (7-10)  
July 8-12 STEAM Team Eco-Explorers (9-12)
July 15-19 Survival Week Eco-Explorers (9-12)
July 22-26 Water Exploration Week Eco-Explorers (9-12)
July 29 – August 2 Water Exploration Week Knee-High Naturalists (7-9)
August 5-9 Survival Week Knee-High Naturalists (7-9)
August 12-16 Eco-Warriors Knee-High Naturalists (7-9)

2024 Pricing & Details

Ages: Eco-Discovery Camp is open to all children who are at least 6 years old and have completed Kindergarten up to the age of 12. Camp weeks are divided into three age groups: Curious Kids for ages 6-8, Knee-High Naturalists for ages 7-9 and Eco-Explorers for ages 9-12. 

Price: Registration for one week of camp is $335 per child for non-members and $301.50 per child for family-level and above members. July 1-3 is a short week due to the holiday and will be prorated to $201 per child for non-members and $180.90 per child for family-level and above members.
Hours: Camp hours are from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Parents and caregivers can begin dropping off campers at 8:45 am. The latest campers can be picked up is 3:15 pm.
Cancellations and Refunds: Please click here to review our cancellation and refund policy.
Health and Safety: All campers will need to submit a current Health Assessment performed by a licensed physician or APRN along with proof of current vaccinations. Health assessments must be from within the previous 24 months, vaccinations must be current. If your child has a health condition (allergy, asthma, etc.) then you will also need to submit an Individual Plan of Care form (last page of packet or you may submit your own). If your child needs to take medication during the camp day you will also need to provide an Authorization for the Administration of Medication form and have it signed by your child’s physician.

Shared materials, equipment, and surfaces will be sanitized daily. For the health and well-being of others we ask that you do not send your child to camp if they are exhibiting signs of illness including, but not limited to, a fever, runny nose, or persistent cough.


 2024 Forms:

Prior to purchase you will be directed to fill out a digital pre-registration form for your child when registration opens. Once this form is completed you will be redirected to a webpage where you can then select your desired camp week and add it to the shopping cart. If you have more than one child attending camp you can submit the additional pre-registration forms after you have completed your purchase. A final registration form will be emailed to you. This form will need to be signed and returned prior to June 1, 2024. *Please make sure your pop-up blocker is disabled prior to filling out the pre-registration form.

Please fill out and submit the following forms once you have paid. Forms can be emailed to our camp director, Tara at . All forms are due by June 1, 2024.

Great Hollow Waiver

Covid-19 Waiver

CT Health Assessment  – (Dental is not needed for camp; your physician’s office may already have this form)

Sunscreen Authorization

Medication Authorization– (Only required if medication will be or potentially be taken during camp)


2024 Eco-Discovery Camp Sessions

 

Nature Nuts | June 17-21
Curious Kids, Ages 6-8

Spend your week exploring Great Hollow’s forest, fields, and streams! Campers will learn about basic tree ID, native plants, stream ecology, and more. This week will include light hiking, exploring Quaker Brook, arts and crafts, and games.

Topics Covered:  tree anatomy; tree identification; wetland ecology; native vs. non-native species; conservation
Arts & Crafts: leaf rubbings; tree cookie art; collage, watercolor painting

Scales, Feathers, Fins, and Fur | June 24-28
Curious Kids, Ages 6-8
Spend the week learning all about the animals who call Great Hollow home. Campers will learn about native animal species and get to meet our animal ambassadors. This week will include light hiking, exploring Quaker Brook, arts and crafts, and games.

Topics covered: birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, fish
Arts & Crafts: cardboard animals, paper plate turtles, simple diarama

Buggin’ Out | July 1-3
Curious Kids, Ages 6-8 |
Knee-high Naturalists, Ages 7-9
Insects are the most abundant group of animals on the planet. Campers will learn about the important roles many insects play in the environment through hands on exploration. This week of camp is shortened due to the holiday.

Topics covered: major insect orders, beneficial vs pest
Arts & Crafts: faux mounted insects, dragonfly art, butterfly art

STEAM Team | July 8-12
Eco-Explorers, Ages 9-12
Do you have what it takes to build a bridge? Can you make a dam that is sturdier than a beaver’s? This week we are putting our creativity and engineering skills to the test. Spend the week completing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) challenges related to the natural world.

Topics covered: geometry; renewable energy; chemistry; art; engineering
Arts & Crafts: popsicle stick bridge; solar s’mores oven; symmetry, volcano, Geographic Information Systems

Survival Week | July 15-19
Eco-Explorers, Ages 9-12

What would you do if you were lost in the woods? This week, we’ll cover topics to help you find your way through the wilderness and survive in the forest. Learn how to signal for help, how to build an emergency shelter, give basic first aid, find fresh water in the woods, and forage for food. We’ll also set aside time for hiking, exploring Quaker Brook, and arts and crafts.

Topics covered: staying found; what to do if lost; navigation; topography; map-reading; survival; edible plants; team-building and interpersonal communication; first-aid; fire starting
Arts & Crafts: basic survival kit; fire-building; shelter-building

Water Exploration Week | July 22-26
Eco-Explorers, Ages 9-12

Spend your week exploring Great Hollow’s Quaker Brook! We’ll catch crayfish and other critters, go on stream walks, visit our waterfall, and learn where water comes from and where it will eventually go, and even make time for some water-themed games. We’ll be busy having so much fun that you won’t even realize we’re learning all about the water cycle, watersheds, and the importance of healthy streams.

Topics covered:  aquatic plant and animal adaptations; capillary action; water pollution; aquatic macroinvertebrates; wetlands and watersheds
Arts & Crafts: stream diorama, dyed flowers, miniature boat building, make “seaglass”, paper frog

Water Exploration Week | July 29-August 2
Knee-high Naturalists, Ages 7-9
Spend your week exploring Great Hollow’s Quaker Brook! We’ll catch crayfish and other critters, go on stream walks, and learn where water comes from and where it will eventually go. We’ll be busy having so much fun that you won’t even realize we’re learning all about the water cycle, watersheds, and the importance of healthy streams.

Topics covered: states of water; water cycle; aquatic plant and animal adaptations; water pollution; watersheds
Arts & Crafts: watercolor painting, “lava” lamps, miniature boat building, paper frog

Survival Week | August 5-9
Knee-high Naturalists, Ages 7-9

What would you do if you were lost in the woods? This week, we’ll cover topics to help you find your way through the forest. Learn how to prepare for hikes, signal for help, how to build an emergency shelter, and give basic first aid. We’ll also set aside time for hiking, exploring Quaker Brook, and arts and crafts.

Topics covered: staying found; what to do if lost; navigation; topography; map-reading; survival; edible plants; team-building and interpersonal communication; first-aid; fire starting
Arts & Crafts: basic survival necklace; fire-building; shelter-building

Eco-Warriors | August 12-16
Knee-high Naturalists, Ages 7-9

During this week campers will learn about ecosystems and the steps they can take to help keep our planet healthy. Campers will participate in hikes, hands-on activities, games, and crafts.

Topics covered: reduce, re-use, recycle; composting; the carbon cycle; renewable energy
Arts & Crafts: upcycled art; planet Earth art; solar s’mores oven