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!
I know that I have always said that if we live in a four-season climate then let each season really be itself. Well, that is definitely happening this year!
Ice skating on the Pond happened as early as mid-December; icicles galore hang from many of the roof edges of Green Meadow School; the Fairy stream has been iced over from bank-to-bank with fast, cold water rushing below; our many gardens are quietly under cover, biding their time until the late Winter sunshine starts to stir the life within; the cows, sheep and chickens have needed extra food and bedding as well as their frozen water changed more often; our regular hiking trails in Harriman State Park have become cross-country skiing trails; walking along the woodland paths has proven challenging, with an icy cover over a foot of snow causing one sometimes to stay on top, sometimes to break through.
We noticed that as we broke through the ice to the snow underneath, big slabs were created from the frozen crust. We took these big, flat pieces of ice and stuck them into untrampled snow in a circular pattern. We had our own ‘Snow-henge’!
How I wish that I could bring the other seasons – for a limited time – to our 6-weeks of summer camp. What fun it would be to explore Fall, Winter and Spring for, say, a week at a time and still have 3 weeks of Summer left!
I hope you are able to come to one of our public programs or Open Houses and experience a bit of winter at camp. Mark on your calendars March 6, the date of our Maple Sugaring program, an event that always signals the end of Winter and beginning of Spring.