Winter Tales with Chuck Stead

Saturday, January 18th. 11 am – Noon

Somehow Chuck manages to get better every year. Maybe it’s his continued work with the Ramapough Lenape to clean up tons of paint sludge dumped by the Ford Motor Company that gives him even more poignant fodder for his craft. Maybe it’s his triumph, again and again, over health challenges that have felled many lesser men. Or maybe it’s simply the marination of a creative mind in time, the years adding gravity and hilarity to stories that are truer than life itself.


Join us on January 18th as our beloved Nature Place storyteller Chuck Stead spins tales of winter, wonder, and surprise. Rooted in Rockland County’s Ramapo Mountains, Chuck’s stories range from hilarious to heartbreaking, filled with detail and imagery that enrapture children and adults alike. A true master of his craft, Chuck is a force not to be missed.

Stick around afterward for our open house to learn more about camp!

Danny DeVito

This song is one of these odd, beautiful things that comes out of The Nature Place Day Camp. Be sure to share it with your camper, and be prepared for them to sing along! Composing credit goes to Colin, Peter, Alex, and Snoopy.

This version comes to us from camper Brian Louis and his dad, Scott, accompanying him on guitar.

Ed’s Corner

Fitting in with the name of our newsletter, have you noticed more dust lately due to the lack of rainfall? In the house but also outside. Raking leaves will will stir up little swirls of dust, but if you really want to see mini-dust storms, watch what happens when the leaf blowers come to town, or to your own house or a neighbor’s.

So for a little ‘Ode to Dust’, we share with you the following:

The Us in Dust

right there in the middle
of the little word ‘dust’
we see the ‘u’ and ‘s’
and together they are ‘us’

we’ve heard from Joni Mitchell
that a good part of what we are
is dust that landed on the earth
from distant exploding stars

so while ‘us’ is in dust
there’s more to the word
the dust is also in us –
the other way, absurd

but wait just a minute
‘us’ in dust is true, too
for every time you sweep the floor
you are sweeping you

our skin is made of cells that shed
science tells us thousands per day
so every time you sweep the floor
you’re sweeping yourself away

so being ‘swept away’
or even ‘off your feet’
may now mean something different
that doesn’t feel so sweet

Woolly Bear

Want to know how much snow we’re going to get this winter? All you’ve got to do is pick up a woolly bear, those fuzzy, black and brown caterpillars found crawling this time of year. American folklore holds that the ratio of black to brown on a woolly bear caterpillar will predict the severity of the upcoming winter. More black means a harsh, snow-filled, wild winter, while more brown predicts milder weather and less sever weather.

We’ll let you decide for yourselves. Below are two woolly bear caterpillars photographed over the last few weeks around camp. If you are able to take a wider sampling around your own home, please let us know if your results match ours or if your woolly bears predict something different.