Menu
Login
Login


Summer Nature Day Camp: Weekly Schedule and Themes

View Registration and Policies

 

Children who like nature love camp at the Tenafly Nature Center! Our professional Environmental Educators lead outdoor activities that are fun and educational: hiking along TNC’s trails, engaging in nature-based crafts, games and activities. Campers will learn to identify native species and understand ecosystems and habitats throughout our nearly 400 acre forest. Sharp-eyed campers may spot native animals that live in TNC’s preserve; from Snapping Turtles to White-tailed Deer, Wild Turkeys, Bullfrogs, and Red-tailed Hawks.

Sign up early, as spots are limited. Don’t let your child miss out on fun, hands-on nature experiences, outdoor discovery, and the chance to explore our native hardwood forest and pond ecosystems.

  • Certified by the State to meet all NJ Youth Camp Safety health and safety standards. Camp ID #2248.
  • Curriculum and activities are designed for children ages 4 to 14. 
  • Curriculum complies with NGSS and NJCCCS
  • Led by experienced, adult professional educators.
  • Different sessions, grouped by age, meet each week.
  • Preschool to 8th grade campers may attend multiple sessions, each with different themes and activities.
  • A 1:9 teacher-to-child ratio enables us to give your child a lot of individual attention. 1:7 for Pre-K/K. 
  • Preschool and Kindergarten campers may attend half- or full-day sessions.
  • 1st through 8th grade campers attend full day sessions.
  • Option to extend care before or after regular day camp hours.
  • Camp fee includes camp T-shirt and water bottle.
We welcome kids of all abilities and will work closely with you to make sure your child has a wonderful summer camp experience! 

Schedule and Themes

 2018 Schedule & Themes
Use the grade your child is entering next September to determine group.
If a session is marked as FULL, a wait list is available.
  • The 2018 camp season is June 25-August 31. 
  • Each session runs Monday through Friday 
  • Full day sessions run from 9:00 am-3:30 pm.
  • Pre-K (4-5 year olds) & Kindergarten may attend half-day sessions. These run from 9:00 am-12:30 pm or 12:00-3:30 pm









 Grade
(September 2018)            
 Pre-K (4 & 5 years)
 & Kindergarten                          
 1st & 2nd Grade   3rd - 5th  Grade   5th-8th  Grade 
 June 25-29  Solid as a Rock          Rock Stars!
 Rocket Power
 July 2-6  Amazing Animals  Nature's Heroes and Villains  Summertime Safari   
 July 9-13  Senses, Colors, and Shapes  Nature's Pantry  Budding Biologists   
 July 16-20  Dive in!  Water, water. Everywhere Dr. H2O
 July 23-27  Endangered Planet  Spirit of Nature   Adventure Quest 
 July 30 - August 3     Wacky Weather   STEAM it Up!   Charged up to full STEAM
 August 6-10 Oh, The Places We'll Go!
(Pre-K-1st Grade) 
 Survival Camp
(2nd-4th Grade)
 See columns to the left and right  Wilderness Survival
 August 13-17 Back in Time
(Pre-K-1st Grade) 

 Future of Earth
 (2nd-4th Grade)
 See columns to the left and right  Around the World: Human Impact
 August 20-24  Ocean Commotion  Life Underwater  Creepy, Slimy, Murky Adventures   
 August 27-31                       Circle of Life   Predators: Who Will Win? 


Extended Care

Extended Care may be provided before and after camp for an additional fee. This is not an extended camp experience. During this time campers participate in supervised, self-directed, indoor activities. For more information on extended care, please visit our Registration & Policies page.

Pre-K (4 & 5 years) & Kindergarten- Registration opens January 1!

  • Solid as a Rock: June 25-29 

    Solids, liquids, and…gas! Through daily experiments and observations, campers will have an introduction to the three states of matter. Discovering how heating and cooling elements can change the state of an object, campers will head onto the trails to use the forest as a laboratory. 

  • Amazing Animals July 2-6

    Animals live with us, around us, and on all seven continents. Campers are introduced to some of the most amazing animals in five of the different classes; amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds and mammals. Each child will gain a new understanding of the world after imagining the underwater world of a fish or the soaring abilities of a bird!

  • Senses, Colors, and Shapes: July 9-13

    Be alert! Nature can exercise all of a campers senses as they experience the variety of amazing colors and shapes Mother Nature uses to craft a forest. Campers will explore the forest while utilizing several senses and expanding their perception of the amazing diversity found in our natural world.

  • Dive In!: July 16-20
    If water all disappeared who would still be around? Get out your flippers and goggles, campers are going in all week long as they explore different bodies of water and learn why water is important. 
  • Endangered Planet: July 23-27
    We love all plants and animals, but some need our help more than others! What will pandas eat if all their food disappears? Where will tigers go if their natural habitat is destroyed? Young scientists will learn about the dangers that all living organisms face around the world and what we can do to help. 
  • Wacky Weather: July 30-August 3
    Why does it snow in winter and rain in the summer? Why do thunder and lightning occur together? What does wind have to do with the temperature? Campers will light up as we learn about what causes our weather and explore the changes to our atmosphere.

  • Oh, The Places We'll Go! (Pre-K-1st Grade): August 6-10

    Get your passports ready and hop aboard the Nature Express! We are leaving New Jersey and heading to new lands (figuratively). There, we will discover what the climate is like, learn about the local animal species, and gain an appreciation for the people who live in these different environments. 

  • Back in Time! (Pre-K-1st Grade): August 13-17

    Dinosaurs once roamed the earth right where our camp is! How do we know they existed? Campers will travel back in time and learn about some of the magnificent creatures that no longer exist, but might have living relatives still around today.  

  • Ocean Commotion: August 20-24
    The Earth is covered 71% by water and the majority of this is the OCEAN! Campers will find out who lives underwater and what life is like for a variety of sea creatures. From arctic to tropical, no seashell will be left unturned! 
  • Circle of Life: August 27-31
    From tadpoles to dragonflies, campers will investigate how animals go through the wonders of metamorphosis and other life cycles. Children will go on an expedition along TNC’s trails and will learn about the many animals that thrive there and their food webs. 

1st & 2nd Grade- Registration opens January 1!

  • Rock Stars! June 25-29
    Mythology and fables illustrate how humans looked to the stars for explanations on how the earth was formed. Campers keep their feet on the ground and their eyes to the skies while exploring the solar system and our own home planet. Come and focus on the natural wonders our universe offers!

  • Nature’s Heroes and Villains July 2-6
    The fight between good and evil is not just for people with capes, but it is also a dilemma for the planet. Which animals help clean our water and which plants make us sick? Do people do more to help or hurt the environment? By the end of the week, campers will decide what makes a nature hero.

  • Nature’s Pantry July 9-13
    Have you ever wondered which plants are safe to eat in the woods? Putting on their chef hats campers will learn about where our food comes from and what is made naturally. 

  • Water, Water Everywhere July 16-20
    If water is really everywhere, why is it so precious? What species depend on water for their life cycle? How does water factor into our daily lives? Campers will dive into the world of water by exploring our aquatic ecosystems.

  • Spirit of Nature July 23-27
    Campers will “stop and smell the roses” (native wildflowers, in this case) and learn to look beyond the individual components of a forest. Rambles through the woods, pond explorations, and studies of the local species will help to bring the community into focus as campers see the natural community that has persisted locally since the last ice age. 

  • STEAM it up! July 30-August 3
    Welcome to the TNC laboratory! This week campers will have fun with engineering as they work together to design new creations made out of recycled materials. Studying the natural world for inspiration, the sky is the limit with our future engineers.  

  • Survival Camp (2nd-4th grade): August 6-10
    What child doesn’t dream of living in the wild woods or raising a wild peregrine falcon as your sole companion while seeking out a living in the forest? Campers will learn how to build a shelter, locate food, and then find their way out when it’s time to go home as they explore survival techniques. 

  • Future of Earth (2nd-4th grade): August 13-17
    Jump into the time machine, we are heading into the future! Do we have flying cars yet? But more importantly, what is the state of the planet? Time traveling campers will leave with an insight on how we can make changes for a better future as they explore ideas about what could happen based on today’s information.

  • Life Underwater August 20-24
    All aboard the submarine, let’s see what life is like underwater! Some aquatic life needs freshwater while others depend on saltwater. Gills, flippers, scales, blowholes, and more! Campers will spend this week discovering what’s in the beautiful blue water

  • Predators: Who Will Win? August 27-31
    Who is afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Not the campers at Tenafly Nature Day Camp! Campers will investigate the adaptations of predators in New Jersey and beyond. Discover the “animal arms race” while understanding how prey species have responded to changes in their foes over time. 

3rd-5th Grade- Registration opens January 1!

  • Rocket Power June 25-29
    When I was your age, Pluto was a planet! How did scientists determine it was classified incorrectly? Is there life in space? What living conditions are needed for a planet to be habitable? Campers will become astronauts-in-training and explore the secrets of space. 

  • Summertime Safari July 2-6
    A safari is an expedition to observe or hunt down animals in their natural habitat. Campers will grab their backpacks and head out on a safari throughout TNC’s woods. Mammals, amphibians, invertebrates, birds, you name it campers will use their senses to track down local wildlife.
  • Budding Biologists July 9-13
    Become a biologist by studying and understanding the living creatures of the Tenafly Nature Center! Topics will be as diverse as entomology (study of insects), botany (study of plants), and zoology (study of animals). Each camper will finish the week qualified to expound upon the many aspects of field biology. 
  • Dr. H2O July 16-20
    Who needs water? How much water do we need? Why is water so important? All questions about water will be answered this week as campers explore the water cycle, aquatic ecosystems, and the role of water in our lives.

  • Adventure Quest July 23-27
    Campers will travel through the amazon, explore jungles and dive into oceans as we study the natural world. A new place to explore each day will give campers a lesson on animal diversity and different cultures. 
  • Charged up to full STEAM July 30-August 3
    Motion, sound, heat and light all use energy. Do we have an endless supply? Where does energy come from? Young scientists will use core ideas to study the conservation of energy by looking to the natural world. 

  • Survival Camp (2nd-4th grade): August 6-10
    What child doesn’t dream of living in the wild woods or raising a wild peregrine falcon as your sole companion while seeking out a living in the forest? Campers will learn how to build a shelter, locate food, and then find their way out when it’s time to go home as they explore survival techniques. 

  • Future of Earth (2nd-4th grade): August 13-17
    Jump into the time machine, we are heading into the future! Do we have flying cars yet? But more importantly, what is the state of the planet? Time traveling campers will leave with an insight on how we can make changes for a better future as they explore ideas about what could happen based on today’s information.

    • Creepy, Slimy, Murky Adventures August 20-24
      Worms, insects, and pond muck are just a few things campers will get into this week! As they get down and dirty to study ooey gooey critters. Campers will need to make sure they wipe their shoes heading home! 

    5th-8th Grade- Registration opens January 1!

    • Wilderness Survival (5th-8th  Grade): August 6-10
      What was it like to live without modern technology? Could you survive in the woods? Would you know what to do if you got lost? Campers this week will figure out how to properly start a campfire, read trails, construct a survival shelter, identify edibles, and employ wayfinding techniques.

    • Around the World: Human Impact (5th-8th Grade): August 13-17
      Most of us don’t have the Midas touch, but we all do have an impact on nature. Campers will learn how each of us affects the planet both on a local and global scale. Focusing on carbon footprints and sustainability, campers will learn about current ecological crisis’s as they investigate solutions to these concerns.

    View Registration and Policies