Summer Camp

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


Week One: July 1-5

(no camp July 4th)


Take a step into the worlds of reptiles and amphibians! This week we will search under rocks and logs, and in ponds and streams to uncover their surprising differences. Discover the amazing adaptations at work, on land and under water. You can even learn how we track the Nature Center's box turtle population.


Week Two: July 8-12


Campers will uncover mysteries all around the Nature Center using forensic science. Find out how to track animals, examine evidence with microscopes, and discover nature's secrets all around RNC's 47 acres. Soil analysis, pellet dissections, and footprint comparisons will help identify the many clues animals leave behind.


Week Three: July 15-19


Calling all green builders! Engineers, scientists, and architects look to nature for inspiration and answers. This is just what we'll do as we explore solar and wind power, talk about engineering for the future, and learn how to incorporate carbon-saving techniques into our daily life. Help us design a new Nature Center building fit for the future.


Week Four: July 22-26


Do you have the skills it takes to survive in the wilderness? Bush craft is not just about surviving, it's thriving in your natural environment. Navigate your way through the forest using the sun as your compass, develop skills to identify wild edible foods, build shelters, light a fire without matches, and make and use natural tools. After this week, a night in the woods will be a breeze!


Week Five: July 29-August 2


Get ready to burrow down and explore all creatures living under our feet! Using a variety of scientific tools, we will excavate dead logs and look into the mini-world of predator and prey. Get down to earth and observe the microscopic life of insects, spiders, snails, worms, and centipedes.


Week Six: August 5-9


Extreme and wild weather is becoming more frequent due to rising temperatures and the changing climate. Science helps us know how to live an eco-friendly life and allows us to notice the evolving patterns of weather. We will create a tornado in a jar, learn how flooding affects our forest, and even make a plan to prevent erosion along the banks of our very own Blind Brook. Join us as we learn all about what causes this wacky weather and how we can prepare for the future climate.


$375 per week

Entering Preschool or Kindergarten

9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

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.


$415 per week

Entering K – 5th grade in the fall*

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Discoverers enjoy a variety of nature and science activities taught by our camp’s specialists. Gardening, hiking, natural history, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) projects fill these campers’ days. During free time, campers can cool off in our sprinklers and play games such as “Deer and Wolf,” our version of hide-and-seek.
*Discoverers are grouped by their age and/or the grade they are entering in the fall. We strive to fulfill friend requests. Children will be grouped within one grade level or 1.5 years of their age.

Naturalists in Training

$480 per week*

Entering 6th or 7th grade in the fall

Mon – Wed, Fri
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

9:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Our NITs enjoy the freedom and responsibilities of being the oldest campers on our 47 acres. A typical day includes activities with our specialists as well as time to pursue the group’s interests and develop outdoor skills. Each Thursday, the NITs 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 Botanical Garden, Liberty Science Center, and Discovery Museum.
 *Price includes weekly late night and field trip.

Membership at the Environmentalist level ($100) or higher valid through program date is required to register.

Session 1 of Summer Camp and Paddle Adventure Camp are pro-rated due to the July 4th Holiday.
The prices are: Explorers - $300, Discoverers - $332, NITs - $384
No other sessions of Summer Camp may be pro-rated.

CANCELLATION POLICY: No refunds or credits will be given towards other programs, camps, or events if you cancel your enrollment. In the event you need to cancel, a tax receipt will be issued to you indicating that the program fee was converted to a charitable donation. Membership is non-refundable.

For more information regarding this program or to register, please download a registration packet.