Summer Camp

Thanks for another great summer!

Themes for Summer 2017 are currently unavailable. See below for what we did this past year.


The Friends of Rye Nature Center’s summer day camp offers adventure and ecological exploration for preschool through seventh grade. Set on 47 acres of forest and trails, our camp creates an ideal setting to explore the outdoors. We offer a hands-on approach to scientific inquiry and connect everyone to nature by making environmental stewardship fun!



June 27 – July 1

Put on your gloves and dust off your shovel! Become a paleontologist for the week as we recreate the geological map of Rye to see what it looked like when dinosaurs roamed the earth. We’ll discuss the age of rocks and trees, and learn about the oldest plants still alive today.  



July 5 – 8 *No camp Monday, July 4th

Get ready for burrowing down and exploring all creatures living under our feet!

We will excavate dead logs and look into the mini-world of predator and prey. Insects, worms and crustaceans are hiding just out of sight and we will discover how important they are in the forest food chain.



July 11 – 15

Calling all green builders! Engineers, scientists, and architects look to nature for inspiration and answers. This is just what we’ll do as we build bridges, explore wind energy, and create our very own model city.



July 18 - 22

You’re stranded in a forest, what’s your top priority? Food and water? Shelter?

During this week, campers will learn the basics of wilderness survival. Everyone will put their knowledge to the test and show off their new skills in a camp-wide Field Day Challenge.



July 25 – 29

The Nature Center’s guinea pig is missing and it’s up to our campers to find her. Learn everything you need to know about forest forensics as we uncover clues about our guinea pig’s whereabouts. Soil analysis, pellet dissection, and shoe-

and finger-print comparisons will lead us to the rodent robber at large.



August 1 – 5

It is all about hydrology this week. We will make it rain, snow, and sleet as we learn about the water cycle. Campers will broadcast live from the center of a tornado, discover how animals take shelter in the stormiest weather, and simulate hurricane conditions.



August 8 -12

Food science is on the table this week as we prepare to harvest our season’s crops. Though our plants are ready to eat, we’ll start the conversation with seeds and get all the way to the tasty end of things. Garden gloves, spades, and kitchen shears are on hand as we mark the end of camp with a celebration farm stand.

Camp Groups:



Entering Preschool or Kindergarten

9:00 am – 1:00pm

Designed for our youngest campers’ growing minds and bodies, our Explorers program is grounded in early childhood educational values and promotes nature exploration and inquiry. Each day is structured to create confidence and comfort as children discover the Nature Center’s forests, wildlife, resident animals, ponds, and garden. Group size is limited to 16 children. Children must be at least 3 ½ years old by the start of camp. The campers should be sent with a morning snack and healthy lunch.



Entering K – 5th grade in the fall

*Note children are clustered into groups by age/grade level

9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Grouped according to their ages, the Discoverers enjoy a variety of nature and science activities taught by our camp’s naturalists and specialists. Science experiments, gardening, hiking, natural history lessons, art and media projects fill these campers’ days. There is plenty of time to get wet on the slip and slide and to play games such as FRNC’s favorite, “Deer and Wolf.”



Entering 6th or 7th grade in the fall

Monday – Wednesday, Friday 9:00 am – 3:00 Thursday 9:00 am – 7:00 pm

(includes late night and weekly field trips)

Our NIT’s enjoy the freedom and responsibilities of being the oldest campers on our 47 acres. A typical day includes activities with our specialists and naturalists as well as time to pursue the group’s own interests and develop outdoor skills. Each Thursday, the NIT’s stay late for a cookout dinner, campfire, and twilight exploration of the camp grounds. Field trips change weekly. In the past, groups have visited the Wolf Conservation Center, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.





Click here for last year's brochure and registration packet!

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