Climbing at Camp

Climbing at camp

We have a new addition to camp this summer, geared especially toward some of our older groups. Monkey hardware is basically a portable climbing wall that uses secure rachet straps to put climbing holds up trees. Using a belaying system, climbers ascend in harnesses and helmets. We’ve just spent three days doing low and high ropes course training to prepare for this exciting addition to our summer programming. Climbing at camp will be especially practical for our oldest group, before they go climbing during week six on actual rock face in the Shawangunk Mountains!

What Color is the Wind

Ed’s book, What Color is the Wind?,  just got picked up by Acorn Naturalists, in our estimation the largest and most reputable supplier of all things outdoor-education related. Beyond this exciting development, they provided a great review:

“This combination field guide and journal is absolutely packed with creative ideas for enjoying nature with children ages 6-14. Distills the author’s 40 years of experience as a mentor naturalist/educator into seasonal activities geared toward encouraging a sense of wonder. Offers a refreshing, truly hands-on approach to getting children to connect with the natural world. Filled with ideas and tips for parents, naturalists, outdoor educators and camp leaders alike.”  

If you don’t have one already, you can get your copy of What Color is the Wind? by visiting You can also ‘like’ Ed’s book on Facebook, by visiting What Color is the Wind?‘s Facebook page.

Chef Yoko’s summer 2012 Cookbook

Pesto pizza, summer ‘smores, frozen hot chocolate and more! All the recipes from this summer’s cooking program, put together by the Chef herself.

NP Cookbook 2012


Henry’s Flower

At the beginning of the summer we sent out a few mysterious seeds to all campers soon to be attending The Nature Place. One of those seeds turned into this:

Henry’s sunflower

Thanks to Henry D (and family) for growing such a beautiful sunflower, and for sharing the results with us!

Early Bird Enrollment

Our early bird enrollment for summer 2013 is here! A bird might get a worm, you would get 10% off the 2013 total tuition.

How does it work? Go out on a lawn on a damp morning, look for worm holes, cock your head to one side…oh…oops … sorry, you want the tuition information. If you sign up for 4, 5 or 6 weeks and pay in full by October 1, you will receive a 10% discount on your total tuition. Even better than worms!

Go to the camp enrollment tab of our website to get your early bird enrollment form.

Kickstart The Barn

If you’re reading The Dirt, we hope and assume that you are a nature-lover who values outdoor education. If this is the case, to any degree, we have a way for you to act on your values!

Our late-summer  program at The Nature Place, Farm and Garden Days, and the care of the farm and gardens that we use at camp, are all taken care of by the Pfeiffer Center. The Nature Place relies on the Pfeiffer Center for much of what makes us distinctive: farming, gardening, cultivating and caring for the land, planting, harvesting and eating, and the wealth of education involved in sharing these practices and values with children.

The Pfeiffer Center is in the middle of a month-long fundraising campaign. Go to to learn about what the Pfeiffer Center does, and their dreams for the future. Please donate, and please share this campaign with friends, family — everyone you know who cares about outdoor education. Your support of the Pfeiffer Center will help The Nature Place maintain the type of programming that defines our organization.

Megan and bees

Peter and Tomatoes

Mac and campers

Staff Orientation

We just finished a week of workshops, learning, doing and playing. All in preparation for what begins tomorrow: the 27th summer of The Nature Place Day Camp!

Family Hike Photos

We had a great time on our recent Family Hike! Here are a few photos:

finding squaw root

still hunting

here’s a hug, thanks tree!

peering into the Lewis family mine

A Book Review!

Ed’s book ‘What Color is the wind?’ gets a review from Feathered Quill Book Reviews!

Spotlight Reviews
What Color is the Wind?
Reviewed by: Eloise Michael
Review Date: June 11, 2012

Author Ed Bieber describes childhood in words that read like poetry. “Children’s natural sense of wonder will lead them to smell, touch, listen to, look at, and even taste whatever they find outdoors—they seem to absorb the world through their skin, unable to take it in fast enough.” (pg. 5) He trusts in the ability of children to find their place in nature, to be happy there, and to be kind to each other while outdoors. His argument keep reading…

Weekly Themes

We need your help!

We’ve come up with 5 of our weekly themes (those funny, poignant, scene-setting gems that generate the focus of our activities, skits, songs and more), but we want YOU to tell us the theme of our 6th and last week of camp this summer!

In a week or two we’ll choose one of your suggestions and announce it as our final week of camp. Anyone who’s loved a past week’s theme or feels inspired should chime in!

For some context….announcing the first 5 weekly themes for summer 2012:

Week 1: Taking Care
Week 2: Rock, Rhythm and Roll
Week 3: What Color is the Wind?
Week 4: Ask Ed…
Week 5: Green Olympics
Week 6: _________________

Help create camp, and tell us your ideas!

one of last year’s fowl themes…