Our Unique Experience
Nature-Oriented ○ Non-Competitive ○ Small Numbers ○ Well-Trained Staff ○ Unplugged and Media-Free ○ Unhurried Schedule ○ Family-Run ○ All-Gender
Because we are a part of the natural world! In nature we feel joy, connection, and a sense that the world is essentially a good and healthy place. Living in a fast-paced, high-pressure, socially digitized society can overwhelm our primary connection to the natural world. Nurturing our connection to nature is restorative and strengthening, and can give us a feeling of belonging to something that is greater than ourselves.
Rather than having a nature center at The Nature Place, nature is the center, and becomes the thread that weaves throughout our varied activities . Our program propels children to feel at home in their world, connected to their earth, creatively capable of meeting their futures.
Non-competitive means a great deal more to us at The Nature Place than offering cooperative games in lieu of regular sports. It is also an attitude and way of living in the world: accepting people as they are, recognizing that each person we encounter is worthy of our respect, believing that how we treat others is as important as what we can accomplish. This philosophy is followed through all our activities, from swimming to archery to art; no awards are given at camp.
Skills learned through cooperative games and active participation in a non-competitive environment prepare children to navigate through life beyond camp. By removing the pressure of winning or losing, and by taking away the fear of looking ‘not good enough’ in front of peers, campers can actually engage fully in an activity. Learning how to communicate through differences, working to include all members of a group, and focusing on process rather than product, are competencies we believe to be fundamental to living a healthy, meaningful life.
Why Small Numbers?
How are Staff Trained?
During our full week of staff training, we hold workshops and discussions on conflict resolution, bullying, anti-racism, safety (physical and emotional), sustainability, ensuring a positive environment for LGBTQ+ campers and staff, setting and maintaining the proper verbal environment at camp, our expectations, what to do in a variety of ‘What if…?’ situations, and so much more.
Direct sensuous reality, in all its more-than-human mystery, remains the sole solid touchstone for an experiential world now inundated with electronically generated vistas and engineered pleasures; only in regular contact with the tangible ground and sky can we learn how to orient and to navigate in the multiple dimensions that now claim us