The Damariscotta River Association is offering the opportunity for kids to roam outdoors, explore nature, and play games at its winter vacation camps during teacher workshop days and February vacation this coming winter and spring. The day camps give children ages five to 11 opportunities to explore, learn, and enjoy the outdoors with the guidance of a naturalist. All sessions will focus on wildlife and will include many activities such as art and games that teach ecological concepts.
“Birds in Winter” is a two-day camp scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 22 and Friday, Dec. 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The children will meet a live duck and learn about its adaptations, dissect owl pellets, go bird watching, and make their own field guide. The fee is $90, or $80 for DRA members at the mussel/family level or above. Preregistration is required by Monday, Dec. 19, although earlier registration is recommended as these sessions tend to fill up quickly.
The February vacation camp is a four-day session themed “Wildlife in Winter” and will take place Tuesday, Feb. 21 through Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day. The kids will take hikes to look for for animal tracks and signs with a naturalist, go snowshoeing and dog sledding, create art projects, play nature-inspired games, and much more. Preregistration is required by Monday, Feb. 13. The fee is $160, or $180 for DRA members.
The DRA is also offering two mini-camps during the spring AOS 93 professional development days on March 17 and May 26, 2017. The March program will focus on outdoor living skills such as fire-building, shelter-building, and cooking. The May mini-camp will focus on wetlands. Participants will go marsh-mucking for aquatic invertebrates, make a toad house to take home, and play games. Both programs are $45, or $40 for members, per day. Registration, open now, is due one week before each session.
Participants should bring two snacks and a lunch each day and come prepared to be outside for most of the day. If proper outdoor gear is a barrier to participation, the DRA can provide clothing. All programs will be held at the DRA’s Great Salt Bay Farm Heritage Center, 110 Belvedere Road, Damariscotta. A health form will be required for all participants; the form can be downloaded on the DRA’s website, damariscottariver.org.
Contact the DRA to register. Scholarships are available. Gift certificates for these camps and the DRA’s summer nature camp, Camp Mummichog, are also available for purchase.