Weekly Themes

Week 1 (July 22-26):  Animal Adventures

Join us as we explore the forest and step into the animal kingdom by searching for tracks, setting up trail cameras, using binoculars, and more! We will explore our stream to search for a diversity of aquatic creatures and learn what that tells us about the stream’s health. We'll also learn where animals nest and shelter, and search for frogs, salamanders, insects, birds and other wildlife. And of course it wouldn't be camp without classics like hiking, nature crafts, campfires, swimming and animal themed games. Get ready for a wild week filled with animal adventures!

Week 2 (July 29-Aug 2):  Backwoods Survival

Come learn all about ways to survive in the forest! We will learn bushcraft techniques for building shelters, starting a fire in all weather conditions, purifying water and cooking over a campfire (yum!). We'll practice tying some useful knots, make our own tools, have a "backpack shakedown", and explore methods to navigate with - and without - a map. And it wouldn't be summer camp at Weis without favorites like hiking, nature crafts, campfire, swimming, and field games!

Week 3 (Aug 5-9):  Arts in the Wild

This week nature will be our muse and our resource for an exploration of the arts. Campers will get creative, hone their observation skills, and connect with nature as they try their hand at paper making, nature journals, plein air painting with natural dyes, a 'land art' forest weaving project, and some fun movement and expression improv games. We'll also focus on using our senses as we find and play natural instruments, listen for bird songs (and make up our own) and enjoy traditional Weis favorites like hiking, a campfire, swimming, and playing some awesome field games.


Week 4 (Aug 12-16):  Elemental Exploration

This week, each day will be centered around the elements: fire, water, air, and earth. We will make crafts, play games, and take a deep dive into each element and how they are essential to the environment. We will investigate the stream, learn all about the geology of the area, do some "wind gardening" by making seed bombs that disperse native plant seeds, and take part in an 'H2Olympics'. Campers will also have a blast with all their favorite Weis activities like hiking, campfires, swimming, and field games. Come join us as we explore the elements in a fun, new way!


Camp Classics - every week will include some of these favorite camp activities!

  • Hike to viewpoints and old ruins
  • Forage for berries, mint and other wild edibles
  • Explore the babbling Blue Mine brook
  • Learn how to 'Leave No Trace'
  • Learn to ID local plants & animals
  • Understanding lifecycles & metamorphosis
  • Tend the vegetable, butterfly, and sensory gardens
  • Special conservation projects
  • ​Bird-watching
  • Sit spots and nature journals
  • Time spent in the secret "Hamlet"


Sample Daily Schedule (9:00am - 3:00pm)

9:00am - Camper drop off at the picnic grove and field games. Note: we cannot accommodate early drop-offs

9:30am - Daily welcome, review of the day ahead
10:00am - Weekly theme activity

12:00pm - Lunch; campers will eat at various outdoor locations around the property
12:30pm - Open rec time - field activities, arts & crafts, individual projects
1:00-2:30pm - M/W/F: 2nd daily theme activity; Tu/Th: 
swimming at the adjacent Highlands Natural Pool
2:30pm - Daily recap, sharing, nature journaling
3:00pm - Camper pickup; note: we cannot accommodate late pickups

Note: the schedule above may be rearranged or updated to accommodate the weather, site conditions and special guests
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Payments and Donations

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STAFF

  • Camp Director Laney Darmiento and adult Weis staff.
  • Certified by the State to meet all NJ Department of Health Youth Camp standards. Certificate #27106.
  • Lead Counselors are CPR/AED and First Aid certified.
  • Low Counselor to Camper ratio 1:10 ratio provides a safe and attentive environment for all campers.


CODE OF CONDUCT

  • Campers are entitled to a safe and supportive environment while participating in summer camp. All campers are expected to follow our main rule of RESPECT: respect each other, respect the natural world, respect the leader (Counselor), and respect themselves.
  • Fighting, physical contact (pushing, shoving, kicking, etc.), name-calling, harassment and bullying are not permitted under any circumstances.
  • Campers must be willing and able to follow the Counselors' directions, stay with the group, and participate safely in activities.


2024 CAMP FEES & DATES (per week, per camper)

Full Week (5 days/wk; Mon-Fri)

​   $365 - Standard

   $340 - Siblings & Multi-week

   $315 - Members*

Partial Week (4 days/wk; days must be chosen in advance during registration)

​   $330 - 4 days, Standard

   $305 - 4 days, Siblings & Multi-week

   $280 - 4 days, Members*

*Membership at the "Supporter" ($75) level or above is required to take advantage of camp discounts. Membership is a tax-deductible donation with year-round benefits, and is non-refundable. Not sure if you're a member? Contact Us or Join/Renew NOW!


CAMP T-SHIRT (optional)
Please choose the size on the registration form and include an additional $20  with your payment if you would like a t-shirt. Shirts are short-sleeve "Kiwi Green" with The New Weis Center's logo on the front and "Nature Education Programs" on the back in dark green lettering.


REGISTRATION & PAYMENT
Payment in full is required to confirm your registration.

  • We will send an email prior to the start of camp with a parent/guardian handbook, including what your child should bring and wear, directions for drop off and pick up, camp rules, and other useful information.
  • A universal health form (or equivalent) signed by the parent/guardian and physician and latest vaccination record are required.


​CANCELLATION & REFUNDS

  • A $35 processing fee applies to ALL refunds.
  • We cannot offer partial refunds if you miss a day; refunds due to major illness or family emergency will be assessed on a case-by-case basis
  • Full refunds (less the $35 fee) will be issued for cancellation requests received by July 1
  • 50% refund (less the $35 fee) will be issued for cancellation requests received by July 15
  • If your request to cancel is received after July 15, no refund will be given. Upon request we are happy to provide a tax receipt that the program fee was converted to a charitable donation​.


> We reserve the right to remove any child without refund due to unacceptable behavior, and to reschedule or change programs as needed.​


​Camp will be held primarily outdoors on our beautiful 152 acre property. Our facilities include a picnic grove, recreation field, covered pavilion, fire circles, private hiking trails, raingarden, butterfly garden, vegetable & herb garden, bird feeding station and a babbling brook.


Our mission is to create a safe and supportive space for campers to express themselves, build confidence and social skills, grow friendships - and learn some cool science along the way. By engaging campers in outdoor learning, we strive to provide them with an unforgettable experience and a lifelong connection to the natural world around them.


Each day incorporates fun and immersive experiences and a variety of nature-based activities, and incorporates mindfulness and sensory awareness. Our explorations, adventures, hikes, arts & crafts projects, and field and forest games incorporate STEM concepts and focus on the local ecology, flora and fauna. Twice a week campers will also cool off with a swim in the adjacent Highlands Natural Pool.


​Camp is rain or shine; in inclement weather we'll take cover in the pavilion or move the fun inside to our large main room or classrooms.

"The building blocks of self-esteem are belonging, learning, and contributing. Camps offer unique opportunities for children to succeed in these three vital areas and even beyond home and school."

Michael Popkin, Ph.D., family therapist & founder of Active Parenting

The New Weis Center for Education, Arts & Recreation  |  150 Snake Den Road, Ringwood, NJ 07456  |  973-835-2160

Owned and operated by the Highlands Nature Friends, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization

JOIN US FOR A SUMMER OF EXPLORATION, ADVENTURE & FUN!


​For kids entering 2nd-5th grade (in September 2024)

Monday-Friday,  9:00AM-3:00PM

Register for all 4 weeks, or choose individual weeks

Week 1 (Jul 22-26): Animal Adventures

Week 2 (Jul 29-Aug 2): Backwoods Survival

Week 3 (Aug 5-9): Arts in the Wild

Week 4 (Aug 12-16): Elemental Exploration


We offer discounts for Members and Siblings!​​

2024 SUMMER NATURE CAMP

For kids entering 2nd-5th grade