Registration is open for RHA’s Nature Day Camps

If you’re looking for signs of spring, here’s one: Registration opens Feb. 1 for Raritan Headwaters’ popular summer Nature Day Camps.

Raritan Headwaters, the region’s watershed watchdog, is offering nine one-week-long camps at the Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve for children ages three through 12. The camps will be held in July and August.

“We’re excited to once again offer summer day camps centered on nature and the outdoors,” said Lauren Theis, education director. “We want children to have fun in the fresh air while learning about plants, animals, habitats and the environment.”

Fairview Farm, a 170-acre former dairy farm located at 2121 Larger Cross Road in Bedminster, includes trails, forests, meadows, streams, gardens, a pond with a dock, historic barns, and indoor education rooms.

“Honey Bees” programs for children ages 3-4 will be held from 9 a.m. to noon during the weeks of July 30-Aug. 3 and Aug. 6-10. Parents can sign their children up for either one or two weeks. Week 1 will focus on the senses, as children explore nature using their eyes, ears, nose and sense of touch. Week 2 will focus on beautiful plants and interesting creatures, ranging from flowers to birds to bugs.

“Red Squirrels” programs for children ages 5-6 will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the weeks of July 16–20 and July 23–27. Parents can sign their children up for either one or two weeks. During Week 1, children will learn about gardening, bugs, outdoor survival techniques, fort building, birding and fishing in the Fairview Farm pond. Week 2 will include an exploration of different habitats at Fairview Farm, reptiles, mammals, tracking techniques and a kayaking experience in the pond.

“Tree Frogs” programs for children ages 7-10 will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the weeks of July 16–20 and July 23–27. Parents can sign their children up for either one or two weeks. Week 1 will focus on exploring different habitats all over Fairview Farm, reptiles, mammals, tracking techniques and a kayaking experience in the pond. Week 2 will focus on gardening, bugs, survival techniques, fort building, birding and fishing in the pond.

For children ages 5-12, there will be a Garden Camp held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the week of July 30–Aug. 3. Campers will get their hands dirty learning about fun and healthy gardening techniques. Topics include healthy plants and soils, water, garden ecosystems, and fun ways to use the harvest. This camp is offered for a wide age range and will have separate and combined activities for different age groups.

Children ages 10-12 can sign up for the Pleasant Valley Mills Farm Camp during the week of July 9–13, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and the Photo Camp during the week of Aug. 6–10, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Farm Camp will allow participants to experience the workings of a real family farm in Mendham. Each day focuses on a different farm creature, including sheep, pigs, chickens, honeybees and ponies. Photo Camp will teach techniques to capture moments of nature through photos and short films.  Beginning with basics of cinematography and photography, the week will include plenty of nature exploration time and culminate in a show of printed photos and a screening of campers’ videos.

Camp enrollment is limited, and registration is on a first come, first served basis. Early bird prices are in effect from now through April 1.

To register or learn more about the camps, visit the Raritan Headwaters website atwww.raritanheadwaters.org/home/learn/youth-programs/naturedaycamp.