Nature Explorers: Rising 1st-3rd Graders

For summer 2018, Camp Muddy Sneakers is excited to expand its place-based sessions for younger campers in rising 1st – 3rd grades to full-day programs. This summer, Nature Explorer sessions will offer hands-on experiences focused on the nearby ecosystems and teachable moments that each base-camp has to offer. Each day of camp will revolve around a different nature-themed topic and include fun experiential activities as well as time for reflection and discovery. Nature Explorers sessions will maintain a small camper-to-instructor ratio with a maximum of sixteen campers per two highly qualified Camp Muddy Sneakers instructors.

Sample Daily Schedule for Nature Explorers

  • 8:45-9:00: Campers arrive
  • 8:45-9:15: Morning gathering
  • 9:30-11:45: Diving into the day’s theme, includes exploring, games, art activities
  • 12-1:00: Lunch on the trail and time for free-play and rest (refill water bottles, reapply sunscreen/bugspray)
  • 1:00-1:15: Afternoon gathering
  • 1:15-3:30: Continue theme exploration, nature play, and/or art activity
  • 3:30-4:00: Gather belongings and travel to pick up area
  • 4:00-4:15: Pick up at Base Camp

Examples of Daily Adventures

  • Tremendous Trees – Campers will explore and learn about a variety of common native trees during our first day of exploring.
  • Birds Galore – Budding birders unite as we venture outside looking for signs of our feathered friends.
  • Aquatic Critters – Always one of the highlights of Camp Muddy Sneakers, we will explore a local stream ecosystem and meet some aquatic critters along the way.
  • Wacky Weather – Weather in the mountains can be amazing! Learn about clouds, climates and seasons on a day filled with weather games and observations.
  • Buggin’ Out – Come prepared to take a bug’s eye view on the world as we search our forest floor hunting for insects to meet.
  • Fur, Feathers and Scales – Campers will learn about what makes mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians unique.
  • Mushroom Madness – The summer can be an abundant time for mushrooms to pop up to the earth’s surface. We’ll explore and discover the array of mushrooms that inhabit WNC.
  • How Many Habitats? – Habitats, both large and small, exist everywhere. Campers will explore the outdoors, looking for an assortment of places that animals call home.

Camp Muddy Sneakers staff worked closely with me and met my request for special-needs accommodations for my autistic son with compassion and creativity. Together we worked out a comfortable framework and set a realistic goals that allowed my son to feel like part of a greater group engaged in a week-long discovery of the small mysteries of nature. He took part in some group activities and was allowed to stay separate when he needed it. Since he has attended camp, he brings me his own discoveries from our backyard and points out leaves and critters on hikes – something he did not do before attending Camp Muddy Sneakers.

My son’s newly developed sense for natural discoveries speaks volumes to the commitment and mission of Muddy Sneakers and its staff in introducing children of LL abilities to nature and teach them the importance of environmental stewardship. I will whole-heartedly recommend Camp Muddy Sneakers to any parent and am encouraged to enroll my son again next summer.

Geraldine, Parent
Camp Muddy Sneakers  strives to provide campers the experience of meaningful time in the outdoors.  Each day has a specific theme or focus but please don’t be alarmed if your child doesn’t come home discussing exactly what the theme of the day is. Time spent out in nature often leads to numerous opportunities to embrace those teachable moments we discover along the way. The beautiful salamander we stumble across on the trail may lead the group into learning about amphibians and going on a “salamander search”. The ability to embrace those teachable moments and expand on your individual child’s curiosity is an integral piece of what makes Camp Muddy Sneakers such a unique learning experience.
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