Eco-Camp

Here at Berks Nature, we believe nature is essential to our quality of life. Our annual summer Eco-Camp is the perfect way to pass that value down to your child/children. We’re excited to welcome campers back this summer for another season of exploration, learning, fun and nature-play at The Nature Place at Angelica Park!

2019 Eco-Camp

Registration is now open for Eco-Camp!

Please note, all registration must be done online. Secure your child’s place and register them today through our easy, online portal.

Become a Berks Nature member today to receive a 10% discount on camp fees through the duration of the summer!

Full-day Eco-Camp begins at 9am and runs until 4pm. If you choose our half-day option, you can expect to drop your camper off at 9 and pick them up at noon.

Berks Nature’s Eco-Camp is led by a team of veteran teachers, supported by members of our staff. Click here to get to know the camp leaders your child will be working with, and then meet the Berks Nature staff.

With more than 25-years of middle school science teaching experience under his belt, Mr. Dave (Dave Renninger) has served as a camp co-director for the past three years. Joining him again is Miss Anne (Anne Muvdi), director of Nature Preschool at The Nature Place. An elementary teacher for several years, Anne has a masters degree in education and her Administrative Degree. Together, Dave and Anne will coordinate the camp curriculum and schedules, as well as facilitate and lead our campers’ learning.

We’re looking forward to another fun summer of Eco-Camp!
Among the new and exciting things to look out for this summer:

A special Eco-Camp sleepover at The Nature Place on Aug. 13th!

• Weekly hot dog parties around our new fire pit

• An exciting two-week weather-focused camp for campers in grades 5-8 (July 15-19; and July 22-26)

• Visits from the Nurture Your Nature Organization


Each week, the following age groups will be offered:

Preschool: Ages 3 (potty-trained) and up
This group will have their own preschool director and instructors, separate from the older campers.

Grades K-4th, and 5th-8th
Kindergarten through 4th grade will form the second camp group, followed by grades 5-8.

** Campers will be grouped according to age on excursions. Please note: scheduled trips, special group visits, and activities may be altered, changed or even cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.


Eco-Camp 2019 Themes and Full-Day Fees

Prices listed are per camper, per week, and reflect the extension activities planned for campers in grades 3-8 that week. Don’t want to send your child for a full day of camp? We offer half-day, morning Eco-Camp at a rate of $110/week per child. Before and after care available at $25/each, a.m. and p.m., per week.

Week 1: Getting to Know Our Angelica Wetlands
(June 10-14th)
$210/per camper
This week will be filled with chances to explore the wetlands, learn about the nature in it, and then transfer that knowledge and express those feelings in nature. Remember to bring your camera and any other tools to express what you want in your nature journal!
Preschool: Our youngest campers will explore the wetlands and work on their own nature journals at their level, using crayons, finger paints, and magazine pictures to help them create their nature experience. Additionally, they’ll make and play instruments made from nature to help them learn about the natural world around them.
K-4: Campers will create their own journal and talk about their entries each day. We’ll hike different areas of the wetlands, and then journal our nature findings each day. Campers will be encouraged to share their findings through different mediums, including photographs, paint, music, poems and or stories.
5-8: This age group will learn how to journal in nature and will be able to make their own journal. Each and every day we will hike and allow kids to make entries in their journal. These kids can create ways to explain what they learned throughout the entire week. It may be poems, stories, photographs, or sharing their journal entries.

Week 2: Reptiles and Amphibians
(June 17-21st)

$210/per camper (Preschool)
$235/per camper (K-8 with excursion)
What kinds of reptiles and amphibians inhabit the wetlands? We’ll be on the search for these types of living organisms, with the help of our very own Charlie Randazzo. We’ll take a trip to the Lehigh Valley Zoo to further discover some of those same critters that we find in the wetlands at Angelica. We’ll also welcome a visit from Critter Connections, which will show us through hands-on learning the wildlife that calls Pennsylvania home.
Preschool: Campers will explore amphibians and reptiles in the wetlands. With the help of our own naturalists and a visit from Critter Connections, we’ll learn more about those critters that are harder to spot on our walks through nature.
K-4: Much like our younger campers, this age group will explore the park and identify the reptiles and amphibians they spot in the wetlands. All campers will enjoy visits from live animals this week.
5-8: In addition to the above, our older campers will work with an expert to learn more about each of the critters that they caught. This group will also learn what makes reptiles and amphibians different from other animal groups.
Special Excursion: Lehigh Valley Zoo. Most of the campers will take a trip to the Lehigh Valley Zoo on Thursday, June 20th, and spend the day learning more about the animals of Pennsylvania.

Week 3: Wacky Science Experiments and the 3 R’s
(June 24-28th)
$210/per camper (Preschool)
$225/per camper (K-8 with excursion)
Reduce, reuse, recycle! This week, we’ll tackle some cool science experiments that are backed by science principles, as well as create our own “junk art” out of the items we recycle. Additionally, we’ll kick off our famous boat race, and egg drop extravaganza on the Schuylkill River Bridge. The week will end with a *pool party at the Ken Grill Pool in nearby Kenhorst.
Preschool: Our younger campers will see first-hand some really cool experiments, as well as team up with the older kids on fun science projects.
K-4 and 5-8: Campers will focus on the creation of fun art projects and creative take-home junk art, made out of items brought from home or collected at The Nature Place. Older campers will conduct scientific experiments, create junk art, and design and carry out actual STEM-type projects. The inventions created will be displayed in the lobby of The Nature Place.
Special Excursion: Ken Grill Pool. We’ll cool off with a Ken Grill Pool Party, from noon-3pm on Wednesday, June 26th. Campers will walk to the pool on the mile-long trail, and will be able to buy lunch at the pool and enjoy time with camper friends.

Week 4: Cyclemania Bike Week!
(July 8-12th)
$210/per camper
Our popular bike week returns with rides of different distances and a rodeo that has never been seen before at The Nature Place. We’ll welcome a visit from John Pacharis, of Berks Area Mountain Biking Association, who will join us on a bike hike. Among other things: we’ll again ride to Gibraltar, where we’ll stop at Scoupe deVille Ice Cream shop for a cool treat before heading back to The Nature Place.
*NOTE: Bike rides and activities will be based mostly on ability and not always age.
Preschool: Campers will experience biking using their own tricycles, scooters, and age-appropriate bicycles. We’ll learn how to ride and some biking basics, as well as participate in games and learn about bicycle safety.
K-4 and 5-8: Campers will participate in bike rodeos and bike hikes geared towards their biking ability, in addition to learning about bicycle safety and how to ride correctly in the street with other bike riders. Older campers will learn how to maintain their bike, and the basics of repairing it, as well as designing a trail that could actually be build in and around the wetlands.

Week 5: Weather All Around Us
(July 15-19th)
$210/per Camper
*Note: This is the first of a two-week weather camp for grades 5-8. The second week will take place July 22-26th.
We’ll learn about weather in and around our wetlands and collect weather data for NASA’s GLOBE program (Global Learning an Observations to Benefit the Environment), as we welcome a visit from a NASA scientist this week! All campers will learn how to make clouds, and detect the different types of clouds and the amount of cloud cover in the sky. Older campers will track the weather all week long, before continuing with the unique the following week and digging a little deeper in to their learning.
Preschool: Campers will learn about basic weather and do experiments using water in all states (liquid, solid, and steam). We’ll experience clouds through hands-on activities, including making our own clouds in a bottle.
K-4 and 5-8: We’ll will learn the basics of weather and climate, and participate in the activities mentioned above. In addition, we’ll create our own weather forecasts, which we’ll film using the wetlands as a backdrop. Together, we’ll use scientific instruments and dig in to the soil and water to find answers to weather conditions. Older campers will collect in-depth data and upload it to a website viewable to citizens and scientists around the world.

Week 6: The Amazing World of Flying Insects (Preschool-4); & Weather All Around Us (continued for grades 5-8)
(July 22-26th)
$210/per camper (Preschool)
$235/per camper (K-8 with excursion)
This week, we’ll build a bug hotel, learn about our very own bees and go digging for all sorts of creepy crawlers. Note: Expect muddy campers at the end of each day, from digging in the soil at The Nature Place. We’ll end the camp week with a trip to Hawk Mountain.
Preschool: Our preschool campers will search in the soil and water for bugs, which we’ll place in a tank to observe more closely. Campers will make their own insect hotel, creating a mini-habitat for them to live in. All insects will be released back into the wild.
K-4: We’ll take lots of hikes through the wetlands and surrounding trails, taking what we find and putting it under the microscope and hand lense back at The Nature Place. Campers will also learn the basics parts of an insect.
5-8: Our older campers will continue their weather studies from the previous week, and will rejoin the other campers for a special trip to Hawk Mountain.
Special Excursion: Hawk Mountain. This all-day trip will take our campers on a trail hike to the North Lookout on Thursday, July 25th. Two groups will be formed on the trip, with each group taking two different hiking trails to discover the wildlife on the mountain.

Week 7: Wild Things & Wilderness Survival
(July 29-August 2nd)
$210/per camper (Preschool)
$235/per camper (K-8 with excursion)
Our popular Wild Things Week returns, where campers of all ages will learn how to survive in the wilderness using the bare necessities carried in a backpack. This week will include archery instruction and learning how to fish with a rod and bait, as well as first aid and basic survival skills, and using a compass.
Preschool: Our younger campers will go through obstacle courses in The Nature Play Zone, designed to simulate hiking different areas through the woods. Additionally, we’ll take hikes to learn the importance of staying on the trail, and the natural dangers of hiking, including poison ivy, ticks, bees and other things.
K-4: Campers will learn about trails and trail markings, as well as how to pack basic hiking necessities. We’ll learn archery from a qualified instructor, as well as how to fish with a rod using bait.
5-8: Older campers will take part in longer, extended hikes, allowing them to backpack with supplies. Prior to these hikes, campers will plan out and pack the materials they will need for the hike. Through simulation exercises, this group will explore the wilderness and be faced with situations that may occur on a hike- from basic to more intense.
Special Excursion: French Creek Park. We’ll walk the trails and complete the orienteering course at French Creek on Wednesday, July 31st.

Week 8: Our Wacky Watersheds
(August 5-9th)
$210/per camper (Preschool)
$235/per camper (K-8 with excursion)
Campers will learn the importance of water to our daily lives, as well as what a watershed is and which one we live in, through interactive games and activities. We’ll track the water and how it flows through our wetlands throughout the week, and pay a visit to Western Berks Water Authority and Blue Marsh Lake.
Preschool: What’s in our water, and why is it so important? Our younger campers will learn that this week, through water games and creek walks to find little critters.
K-4 and 5-8: Campers will learn about water through fun activities in Angelica Creek. Older campers will learn about water properties, and will utilize the water monitoring stations in Angelica Park.
Special Excursion: Western Berks Water Authority and Blue Marsh Lake. On this trip, we’ll walk along the trails at Blue Marsh, learning more about water- before heading to Western Berks Water Authority to see first-hand how they make our water drinkable for us.

Week 9: Bat & Raptor Week (+ Camp Sleepover!)
(August 12-16th)
$210/per camper (Preschool)
Our popular raptor week will highlight raptors and other animals from the Red Creek Wildlife Center. Now in her third year with visiting camp, Peggy from Red Creek will be showing us live birds and animals all week long. Additionally, we’ll learn about the birds that make Angelica Park their home, and spy on our feathered friends through binoculars. We’ll welcome a visit from Karen Campbell, a bat expert from Albright College.
*Note: Bring the whole family and join us on Tuesday evening, Aug. 13, from 6-8pm this week, to see bats in action at The Nature Place.
Campers in grades 5-8: Families, come for this program, and then leave your older campers to spend the night at The Nature Place for our first-ever overnight camp! The evening and overnight will be filled with unforgettable activities in nature. During the sleepover, we’ll roast hot dogs on our very own fire pit, take a night hike and experience night life in the wetlands.
Preschool: Our Preschool campers will view photos of birds that inhabit the wetlands, before heading out to find them on hikes. All campers will visit with animals from Red Creek this week, as well as Dr. Campbell from Albright College.
K-4 and 5-8: We’ll experience how birds fly, use binoculars and learn about raptors and bats through interaction with live, visiting critters. Older campers in grades 5-8 are invited to join us for a special sleepover at The Nature Place on Tuesday, August 13th


Eco-Camp FAQ

Access the 2019 Eco-Camp Handbook by clicking HERE!

Locaton
Berks Nature Eco-Camp is held at The Nature Place, located at 575 St. Bernardine Street, Reading, PA 19607- in beautiful Angelica Creek Park.

Ages
Preschool- 8th grade.

Time
Full-day Eco-Camp begins at 9am and runs until 4pm. If you choose our half-day option, you can expect to drop your camper off at 9 and pick them up at noon.

Snacks & Meals
Campers should bring their own lunch. Some snacks are provided.

Scholarships
The window for 2019 Eco-Camp Scholarships has CLOSED. No further applications for scholarships will be considered this year.

Please check back when camp 2020 camp registration goes live early next year! A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available, based on need and available funding. Financial information and documentation is required for consideration.
Download our 2019-Eco-Camp-Scholarship-Application HERE!

Morning & Afternoon Extended Care
Available to all campers for $25 each/per week.  
Morning Extended Care: Monday – Friday, Drop-off: 7:30-8:45am
Afternoon Extended Care: Monday – Friday, Pick-up: 4:15 pm – 5:3 pm
Pre-registration and payment are required for before and aftercare.

For more information, contact Berks Nature at 610-372-4992 x100. 

Berks Nature Eco-Camp is run by Berks Nature Education Programs, LLC.