Meander through mud, wallow in the wetland, and frolic in the forest at our summer EcoCamp! Our exciting, unique, and hands-on activities allow campers to engage with nature at their own pace, by providing a welcoming and safe environment to explore. Campers learn about nature and gain outdoor skills through hiking, swimming, playing games, fishing, and creating crafts. Small groups of campers will discover the wetlands, forests, creek, and pond along with an experienced counselor and EcoCamp alumni (our enthusiastic Junior Naturalists). Test your skills at spotting wildlife, playing camouflage, catching frogs, building forts, and canoeing.
Pickering Creek Audubon Center’s EcoCamp has a philosophy that campers will have rich learning experiences in a fun and safe outdoor environment. EcoCamp’s small groups and low student to instructor ratio provide for an exceptional outdoor summer camp experience. Camp Director Alex Lloyd has been teaching outdoor education for six years, most recently at Pickering Creek, and has her BS in Ethnobotany from Frostburg State University. Alex served as a camp counselor at Pickering Creek in 2019 after a successful year of teaching school year programs for the Center. She rejoined the Center as a full time staff person this past summer. She will be joined by an assistant director and by three summer counselors who will lead campers on fun, exciting, safe, and educational outdoor adventures. Pickering Creek offers exceptionally well-trained and experienced instructors and leaders for all of its programs.
Each camp lasts one week and focuses on a unique nature-inspired theme. Pickering Creek offers camps for three age groups: Fledglings (students entering K-1st next fall), Larks (students entering 2nd-4th), and Shrikes (students entering 5th-7th). All camps operate from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, with an option for Fledglings to be picked up at 2:00 pm.
Fledglings will get a gentle introduction to the outdoors through hikes and activities especially tailored for their abilities. Walks are short in length and activities vary throughout the program to keep them interested and active. Fledglings spend some quiet time indoors after lunch napping or reading, and have an optional snack time in the afternoon.
The Larks EcoCamps engage campers with hikes, free explorations, and lessons on identifying the many animals that call Maryland home. Campers hike and play throughout the Center’s 400 acres, and seine for aquatic wildlife in Pickering Creek. Larks can choose from all seven weeks of camp this summer.
Shrike campers will be introduced to the same themes as younger groups, but the challenges are greater. These older campers will hone their survival skills with shelter building, orienteering, longer canoe trips, water hikes, tracking, and camouflage games.
Week 1, June 20 – 24: Wet & Wild Cool off in the waters of Pickering Creek. We’ll be exploring the muddy freshwater wetlands, looking for the little creeks and puddles that dot our forest and seine and fish in our creek. Be prepared to get wet and muddy as we wade through these habitats collecting and watching wildlife, creating dams and new pools, and learning how water is the center for all habitats – big and small!
Week 2, June 27 – July 1: Puzzle Masters asks “What grows when it eats, but dies when it drinks? What breaks but never falls, and what falls but never breaks?” We’ll answer nature riddles, use our team-building skills to complete challenges, and find clues to follow a scavenger hunt through the forests, wetlands, and shores of Pickering Creek!
Week 3, July 11 – 15: Tall Tails will introduce campers to the magic of storytelling! As you explore our forest, catch frogs in the wetland – make the story of your summer a captivating one. We’ll imagine a butterfly’s journey in the fields and decide the tale of a fish’s fate in the creek. Hear tales of animal heroes and folklore and create new stories everyday of our own to share!
Week 4, July 18 – 22: EcoCamp Village imagines a home-away-from-home for campers. If we lived at Pickering Creek, how would we live? We’ll build shelters in the forest, make baskets from vines and gather acorns and walnuts in the forest. As we seine in the creek, we will learn about all the animals that depend on the fish in the water for food. Rope-making and face-painting will abound as we learn to work together in our exploration of Pickering Creek!
Week 5, July 25 – 29: Outdoor Survivor will prepare campers to survive outdoors! Learn how to predict the weather, what to watch out for and what can help in an emergency, and how to build shelters and keep warm. Find out more about the tricks that animals (and even some plants) use to survive in difficult conditions and test your skills! After a week as an Outdoor Survivor, you’ll be ready for your next adventure!
Week 6, Aug 1 – 5: Nature Ninjas In the past, we were Forest Ninjas; this summer we are expanding to the Creek and Wetlands as Nature Ninjas. We’ll practice the art of camouflage and close observation. We’ll learn how to be calm, quiet, and prepared. We will be “One with Nature” and learn to activate our Quiet Mind.
Week 7, August 8 – 12: Adventureland From water games to fort building, nature art to seining, wetland traversing to log flipping! Enjoy all your favorite parts of Pickering– choose your own adventure at EcoCamp’s final hurrah!
Transportation will be available from the Kohls parking lot in Easton to Camp each day on the following weeks: June 27-July 1, July 18-July22, Aug 8- Aug 12.
Online registration will begin in early March 2022 at 10:00. Find information on transportation, registration, and scholarships at www.pickeringcreek.org. Contact Alex Lloyd, EcoCamp Director, for questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Spaces will fill fast so don’t wait!