Highlands Homesteaders (Tue, Jul 30 & Wed, Jul 31: 9am-3pm; Thu, Aug 1: 3pm-9pm)

Get ready for a fun week learn all about homesteading, what that actually means, and ways that we can incorporate homesteading skills into our everyday lives! We will learn about gardening, how to make different foods from the garden with fresh vegetables and fruits. We will explore our trails and our forest through observation hikes and mindful forest bathing walks, including short guided meditations with journaling and nature sit spots. Cooking over the fire, and learning about ways that a fire can be made with different tools will be a part of this week as well as learning how to make a fire in unfavorable weather. So join us as we get back to basics and learn traditional ways to live and experience nature.

  • Foraging, gardening, making teas
  • Natural navigation
  • Mindfulness, forest bathing sensory walks, sit spots & nature journaling
  • Making our own brooms, baskets and tools
  • Natural tie dye
  • Animal tracking
  • Cooking, including bread (on a stick), butter, ice cream
  • Cool off with a swim at the Highlands Natural pool
  • Step back in time and learn about the history at Weis and how they lived!

Nature Tech Adventures - Tue, Aug 6 & Wed, Aug 7: 9am-3pm; Thu, Aug 8: 3pm-9pm)

We'll get out all our tools, gadgets and equipment to explore nature in a fun new way!

  • Trail cameras
  • Using a GPS and Geocaching
  • Bat echolocation
  • Telescope for night skywatching 
  • Citizen science project - tree study?
  • Water and soil testing, and what they can tell us
  • Night hike
  • Fire making with a ferro rod​​


  • 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.

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.

​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.

PRICE - per person; Mon-Fri, includes overnight campout and food for dinner Thursday and breakfast on Friday morning.
   $​​ - Standard Rate
   $ - Siblings & multiple weeks
   $ - Current New Weis Center 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!

Once we receive your registration AND payment in full, your registration is complete. We'll email you with additional info (i.e. where to drop off/pick up and what to bring and wear) prior to the start of the program.


  • $35 processing fee applies to ALL refunds.
  • We cannot offer partial refunds if you miss a day.
  • Full refunds (minus the processing fee) will be issued for cancellations with at least 2 weeks notice. Requests for refunds with less than 2 weeks notice are only available if we can fill your spot.
  • ​Refunds due to major illness or family emergency will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.​

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

​Note: ​Camp is rain or shine; we'll take cover in the pavilion or move the fun inside in case of inclement weather

Emerging Ecologists

Programs just for 6th-9th graders!

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


Our Emerging Ecologists programencompasses all of our outdoor events for teens and tweens in grades 6th-9th, including camps, seasonal overnight campouts, and individual day weekend programs. The mission of these programs is to create a hands-on nature experience for youth to learn scientific methods and biological concepts, while cultivating an understanding of the natural world around them and their place in it.

Emerging Ecologist programs are designed to create an experience where students are immersed in nature, participating in physical activity, socializing with peers and making new friends outside of a school setting. Throughout all of the programs, students will be challenged with hands-on STEM activities and experiments, to give them a look into how biologists study in the field. Year-round programs provide an opportunity to observe changes in the forest through the seasons. Our primary focus will be on ecology, wildlife behavior, plant biology, geology, and other related fields. Activities will also include hiking, wilderness survival and outdoor skills, and team building activities. 

Goals of the Emerging Ecologists Program:

  • Creating a learning environment where individual questioning and experimentation is encouraged, to help students cultivate an understanding of the natural world around them through both group & self guided study.
  • Arming students with the skills and safety knowledge to explore the outdoors confidently, from hiking in their backyard to camping in the wilderness.
  • Providing a space where students can try new things and meet new people, while they grow and learn about themselves.

​​​Camp will be held on our beautiful 152 acre property. Our facilities include a picnic grove, recreation field, covered pavilion, rustic fire circles, private hiking trails, raingarden, pollinator gardens, vegetable & herb garden, bird feeding station and a babbling brook. Each day incorporates fun and immersive experiences and a variety of nature-based activities. Our explorations, adventures, hikes, art projects, and field and forest games incorporate STEM concepts and focus on the local ecology, flora and fauna. Campers will also cool off with a swim in the adjacent Highlands Natural Pool each week.

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.

2024 Summer Camp - 3-day sessions

Jul 30-Aug 1 (Highlands Homesteaders)

Aug 6-9 (Nature Tech Adventures)​

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