Summer Camp

Registration Update

Early registration for the 2021 Eco-Discovery Camp season is now open to Family Level and higher members of Great Hollow. You must first log in by clicking “Account” in the top left corner of the webpage and enter your member username and password before you will be able to register. Registration will open to all others on March 15th.

Please feel free to contact our camp director Maggie Cozens at or (203) 546-7789 with any questions or for additional information.

 

Eco-Discovery Camp

Great Hollow’s weekly day camp offers children ages 5-12 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, live animal presentations, games, hikes, and daily time for self-directed play.

If you’re 14-17 years old and interested in being a CIT, please click here.

Pricing & Details:

Camp hours are 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM. Group sizes are limited to 10 campers for Knee-High Naturalist sessions (5 to 8 year-olds) and 10 campers for Eco-Explorer sessions (9 to 12 year-olds). Registration for each weekly session is $295 for non-members and $265.50 (10% off) for Family Level and higher members. Optional camp t-shirts are available to purchase for $12 at the bottom of the page or in person, at Great Hollow. Cancellations 14 or more days in advance of the start of a weekly session can be made without penalty. For all other cancellations, a 25% fee will be deducted from the refund.

Please note our Covid-19 safety measures: Campers will be grouped in small cohorts of no more than 10 children to facilitate social distancing; extended time indoors will be limited to periods of inclement weather only and masks will be required; temperature screenings of all campers will be taken daily upon drop-off; and shared materials, equipment, and surfaces will be sanitized daily. As a state-licensed youth camp, our staff is eligible for Covid-19 vaccine in Phase 1b of Connecticut’s distribution plan and it is our expectation that our staff will be vaccinated well in advance of the start of Eco-Discovery Camp.

Within a few days of registering, you will receive a confirmation email with additional information and forms to complete. Please allow at least two business days to receive this email before contacting us.

To be added to the waiting list for any sessions that are full, please email the camp director Maggie Cozens at .

**To be able to register as a Family Level member or above, you must first log in to the website by clicking “Account” in the top left corner and entering your member username and password.

2021 Dates Session
Age Group
 Registration
June 21 – 25 Go with the Flow Knee-High Naturalists (5-8) Register
June 28 – Jul 2
Creature Feature Knee-High Naturalists (5-8) Register
July 5 – 9 Mountains to Sea Eco-Explorers (9-12) Register
July 12 – 16 Wildlife Warriors! Eco-Explorers (9-12) Register
July 19 – 23 Dig This! Knee-High Naturalists (5-8) Register
July 26 – 30
Ultimate STEM Challenge Knee-High Naturalists (5-8) Register
Aug 2 – 6 Roots and Shoots Eco-Explorers (9-12) Register
Aug 9 – 13 Serious Survival Eco-Explorers  (9-12) Register
Aug 16 – 20 Trail Blazers Knee-High Naturalists (5-8) Register

 

Weekly Session Themes for Knee-High Naturalists (5-8 year-olds):

Go with the Flow: June 21 – 25

Spend your week frolicking in the water of Great Hollow’s Quaker Brook! We’ll catch crayfish and other critters, go on stream walks, see beautiful waterfalls, and visit a real beaver lodge. We’ll be busy having so much fun that we won’t even realize we’re learning all about the water cycle, watersheds, and the importance of healthy stream ecosystems.

Topics covered: aquatic ecosystems; plant and animal adaptations; beavers as a keystone species and ecosystem engineer; water pollution; aquatic macroinvertebrates as biological indicators; natural history of crayfish; water cycle; watersheds; properties of mud; best management practices.

Arts and crafts activities: water pollution multi-media art; building a model beaver lodge; painting with watercolors; tie-dye

 

Creature Feature: June 28 – July 2

From fierce raptors and bears to scampering salamanders and insects, we’ll spend this week of camp exploring the wide range of wildlife at Great Hollow! Every day of the camp week will focus on a different group of animals, including reptiles, amphibians, birds, and bugs! We’ll learn all about where we can find these creatures, how they are all connected, and the many ways they contribute to a healthy ecosystem.

Topics covered: wildlife tracking, predator and prey relationships; adaptations; wildlife conservation; scientific inquiry; symbiotic relationships; parasitic relationships; mutualism; ecosystems and communities; species identification.

Arts and crafts activities: building a bug hotel; textured art canvases; creating clay feathers

 

Dig This!: July 19 – 23

Let’s dig into the past! Become archaeologists and geologists for the week and investigate New England’s rich cultural and ecological history. We will explore the landscape and get our hands dirty as we investigate different rocks, fossils, and go on our own excavation adventures! We will also learn how indigenous and colonial peoples interacted with the land, hear their stories, and even take a look at some authentic tools and artifacts from pre-colonial times.

Topics covered: Native American history, natural crafts, geology, archeology, New England prehistory, indigenous landscapes, colonial homesteading, traditional farming, survival skills, forest succession, land use changes over time.

Arts and crafts activities: digging for minerals; insects in amber soap; creating dreamcatchers; colonial crafting, basic basket weaving

 

Ultimate STEM Challenge: July 26 – 30

Think outside the box and test your engineering skills! Spend the week completing increasingly complex STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) challenges related to the natural world. We’ll tackle a wide range of hands-on interdisciplinary topics: from building our own bird nests and boat races, to homemade solar technology. Will you live up to the challenge? Let’s find out together!

Topics covered: green technology, science; renewable energy; engineering; art; math; natural crafts; physics; design; simple machines; physics; direct and indirect observation; scientific inquiry; biomimicry.

Arts and crafts activities: building a bird’s nest; symmetry and mandalas; stone stacking; paper making; building a solar s’more’s oven

 

Trail Blazers: August 16 – 20

Do you have what it takes to make your way through the woods? This week, we’ll walk through the different steps required to find your way through the wilderness and survive in the forest. Learn how to use a map-and-compass, how to make shelter, find freshwater in the woods, and fish. As teams, we will complete mini challenges that will increase in difficulty, culminating in an ultimate test of wilderness survival skills at the end of the week!

Topics covered: navigation; topography; map-reading; survival; engineering; orienteering; edible plants; botany; team-building and interpersonal communication; health and fitness; celestial navigation.

Arts and crafts activities: map-making; pressed flowers and foliage; making a fishnet, constellation art, making a first-aid kit

 

Weekly Session Descriptions for Eco-Explorers (9-12 year-olds):

Mountains to Sea: July 5 – 9

Water, water everywhere! Did you know over 70% of our planet is covered in water, but only 2.5% of that water is fresh? Let’s spend the week following the journey of freshwater around our planet! We’ll conduct experiments, create a 3D watershed, and explore Great Hollow’s own streams, creeks, and wetlands and discuss the many different creatures that call those habitats home.

Topics covered: pollinators; symbiotic relationships; pollinator conservation; gardening; composting; local foods; bio controls; plant identification; native vs. invasive species; best management practices; water conservation; local foods; health and nutrition; culinary arts; agriculture; resource management; sustainability.

Arts and crafts activities: water pollution multi-media art; building a model stream; painting with watercolors; tie-dye

 

Wildlife Warriors!: July 12 – 16

What’s the difference between a coyote and a wolf? What are the special adaptations of birds and bugs? Why do some animals go extinct? Let’s spend the week answering these questions and more in our quest to become true Wildlife Warriors! From fierce birds of prey to docile deer, and secretive lynxes, we will explore the many different species that call Great Hollow home. Join us as we search for tracks in the woods, set up natural baits and lures, and try to spot some of these creatures in action!

Topics covered: wildlife; field investigations; conservation; predator-prey relationship; evolution; natural selection; adaptations; wildlife tracking; scientific inquiry; species identification; food webs; ecosystems and communities.

Arts and crafts activities: building a bug hotel; textured art canvases; paw print castings

 

Roots & Shoots: August 2 – 6

Let’s get our hands dirty and dive into the world of plants, pollinators, and farming! In this week of camp, we will spend time in our very own vegetable and pollinator gardens, making observations, collecting data, and doing some farming. We will learn all about the importance of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds as we practice different farming and foraging practices. As the week goes on, we will design and install our very own STEM engineering projects for everyday use in the gardens!

Topics covered: sustainability; composting; recycling; environmental awareness; STEM, renewable energy; solar energy; best management practices; farming; botany; species identification; soil science; pollinators; conservation; native and invasive plants; mutualism; symbiotic relationships.

Arts and crafts activities: beehive inspired art; pressed flowers and foliage; building a compost pile; air plant holders; making homemade salsa from the garden

 

Serious Survival: August 9 – 13

If you want to hone your outdoor survival skills or see if you have what it takes to survive (and thrive) in the wild, then join us for this adventurous week at Great Hollow! We’ll spend our days practicing outdoor survival skills such as fire building, cordage making, shelter building, map and compass use, off-trail navigation, and more, culminating in a daylong survival scenario on Friday. Find out if you can rise to the challenge and Survive the Wild!

Topics covered: fire building and safety; cordage making; shelter building; staying found; what to do if lost/S.T.O.P; rule of 3’s; what to always carry on a hike; map reading; compass use; map making; topographical maps; off-trail navigation; edible and medicinal plant ID; animal tracking; water collection and filtration; useful knots; Leave No Trace; basic wilderness first aid.

Arts and crafts activities: making a fishnet; basket weaving; making a first-aid kit; knot and string art

 

 

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