Each day at Nature Camp begins with Reveille at 7:30 AM, followed by a flag raising ceremony on the playfield at 8:00. After breakfast campers tidy up their belongings and personal space in the bunkhouses and prepare for morning class, which meets from 9:00 to 10:30. This class period is followed by a free (or recreation) period until noon, when lunch is served. From 12:30 to 1:30 everyone enjoys rest period. During this time campers are expected to remain quietly in their bunks; this is an excellent time for them to work on reports for classes, write letters home, or simply take a nap. The canteen is open for 45 minutes after rest period. Afternoon class is held from 2:15 to 3:45, followed by the afternoon rec period. Supper is preceded by flag lowering at 6:00. The evening rec period lasts until 8:00 or 8:30, depending on the age of the campers. After a half-hour of singing, there is an evening program every night for the entire assembly of campers and staff. Each night ends with Taps and lights out around 10:00 or 10:30.
7:30 AM Reveille
8:00 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM Morning Class
10:45 AM Morning Recreation Period
12:00 PM Lunch
12:30 PM Rest Period
1:30 PM Canteen Open
2:15 PM Afternoon Class
3:45 PM Afternoon Recreation Period
6:00 PM Supper
6:30 PM Evening Recreation Period
8:00 PM Evening Program
10:00 PM Taps and Lights Out
Evening programs vary from educational to purely entertaining. We often invite outside speakers, including scientists, naturalists, conservationists, environmental educators, and Nature Camp alumni, to present a slide show on a topic of expertise or interest. Campers and counselors each have a night to showcase their abilities in a talent show. Other programs include live, traditional music, which we try to provide at least once a session and which may be accompanied by square dancing, and a campfire during which the campers eat s’mores and hear stories about colorful characters in the Nature Camp lore.
Throughout each day campers take turns doing chores assigned on a rotating basis. These duties include setting the tables before each meal, cleaning the bunkhouses and T-houses after breakfast, sweeping the L.S. building after meals, and collecting garbage and recyclable materials after supper. A counselor always supervises the campers as they perform these duties. Nature Camp places great emphasis on cleanliness and order. The bunkhouses and T-houses are inspected each morning, and inspection scores are announced at lunch. The bunkhouse which compiles the highest cumulative score during the session is awarded a picnic on the last Friday.
Nature Camp is intended for young people who have a genuine interest in nature and conservation. Those looking only for a recreational experience will not be happy here. But those with a passion for learning and a love of the outdoors will find peers with similar interests and a nurturing and supportive environment which may kindle a spark into a flame of enthusiastic commitment to environmental stewardship. A number of former campers have gone on to become professional scientists, naturalists, and ardent conservationists, but for many more whose vocations may not take root at Nature Camp, a lifelong love and appreciation of nature do begin to grow here.