Crocuses at the end of January? Snowdrops on February 1? No ice skating yet on our pond!? Do we call this ‘winter’ an extended fall? Is something going on with global warming trends, is the jet stream stuck, do El Nino or La Nina have a role in this, is it just a small blip or anomaly in the larger weather picture, is it making up for last winter? Do you feel a little guilty because you are enjoying it? keep reading…
Have you noticed…
Around the middle of the second week of January there is a distinct change in the daylight. There is a difference in it’s quality and there is more of it towards the end of the day. We are definitely heading toward spring! These changes are felt or internalized by everyone many times at an unconscious level. We only seem to ‘remember’ them consciously when someone makes a remark about the sun now setting after five o’clock, or comments on the different texture of the afternoon light.
Because we are a part of nature (in it and from it), it’s not surprising keep reading…
I know that the sun has been setting earlier for the last 3 months or so, but at this time of year it seems to be getting dark by 2pm! Do you feel that too? Am I imagining this, are the shadows tricking me, do the bare trees have anything to do with this?
When I think of our ancestors (the very early ones, not those who came through Ellis Island) I can imagine their fear and trembling as darkness closes in keep reading…
I always like to share the last part of a Thomas Hood poem at this time of year:
“No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds –
It’s alliteratively filled with no, no and more no’s, but this month also has plenty of yes’s.
Our bird feeder is now frequented by juncos, slate-colored birds who were keep reading…
Autumn is my favorite season, and judging from my own informal polling of opinions, there is a better than 50% chance that it’s yours, too. Why it it so popular? Maybe it’s the cooler weather after a hot summer, or the fresh beginning of a new school year, or looking forward to the harvest and the holidays to come.
Then there are the smells of autumn that somehow bypass the sensory gates of our reason and are already ‘at work’ inside us – triggering memories, personal keep reading…
Nature is telling us – as is the calendar – that it’s time to let summer go and to open ourselves to autumn. As many of you know, we at The Nature Place are 4-season advocates of getting out into nature. I always remember my mother keep reading…
Along a Familiar Path
I just got back into the office after a quick morning hike in Harriman Park on one of the trails I will be taking campers on this summer. Even though I know the Harriman trail system very well I still like to check the trails out before I take campers on them. Today’s hike was along the RD (Ramapo-Dunderberg) Trail, my absolute favorite and one where I know all the twists and turns, the best blueberry picking, snake dens, keep reading…
What’s Goin’ On….?
Do you ever have a sense that you’re missing out on something, like Marvin Gaye in his soulful song of the same name? Five am bird song from the maple trees beside my house this morning also asked me the same question. Why am I not outside now (yes, at 5 am) listening to the world as it wakes up? It’s my world, too. And yours.
Maybe Spring fever is meant to give us that extra push to go outdoors and to participate in this world – not other, not parallel, but our – world. There are many keep reading…
In the Rockland Journal News recently there was an article about the use of leaf blowers and how some communities are passing ordinances restricting the decibel levels of the blowers, amount of emissions and hours of permitted use. One thing the article mentioned that I hadn’t thought about keep reading…
I’m very excited about our new website! It really captures what The Nature Place is about in an alive, fresh way. As do our new brochure and magazine ads. Thanks to Denise and Chris Capuzzo and their company Intergalactico for the website and to Dale Hushbeck for brochure and ads. We have worked with these friends over many years and are still amazed at their sensitivity, consummate professionalism and ability to translate what our camp is about in different mediums.
Just like our website and brochure, each camp season is also fresh and new, including this one coming up (our 26th at Green Meadow Waldorf School). What isn’t new each year are our strong beliefs about working with children and what children need. If I were to sum up some of the guiding principles underlying what we do, they would be:
Each child has unique or special needs.
Children thrive in a cooperative environment.
Growing up in today’s world can be stressful.
Nature is healing, enlivening, learning and joyful for kids.
A child received in reverence and respect responds inÂ kind.
Making/having a friend at camp makes a difference.
The joy of doing an activity is in the doing.
Little things are important in life (small moments of wonder).
Each year, each week and each day is a new beginning.
Safety at camp is both physical and emotional.
Fun is fundamental. After all, it is Summer camp!