Programs

EcoCamp from Home

Nature exploration, friends, and learning from the safety of your home

With current conditions making it unsafe to offer EcoCamp in a traditional format this year, we’re excited to present EcoCamp From Home! This week-long program will give your outdoor adventurer the guidance and inspiration they need to experience nature this summer the EcoCamp way. Register Here

Campers will receive a kit with themed indoor and outdoor activities, a guided activity book, and supplies to help them explore outdoors in their own backyards! Camp families will have the opportunity to continue learning with self-guided activities at Pickering Creek, and may safely borrow supplies and equipment on-site.

EcoCamp From Home’s flexible formatting allows families to adapt to their own schedules, and the wide range of activities included helps each camper engage with nature on their terms. Bi-weekly online meetings will provide social interaction, while campers learn about nature and science from Pickering educators and other guest scientists! *Basic craft supplies such as crayons, markers, scissors, glue, and paper are not provided in kits.

Each week includes:

  • Guide with at least one indoor and one outdoor activity per day
  • Supplies for activities
  • Three online group meetings with Pickering Creek educators, including one online meeting with a science expert or story time (age-dependent)
  • Pickering Creek drawstring bag
  • Scheduled times for self-guided activities at Pickering Creek with supplies provided (following current CDC guidelines for distancing and sanitizing)
     

Cost

  • $80 per spot 
  • This program is designed to give local families the opportunity to take advantage of the habitats at Pickering Creek Audubon Center. If you are unable to visit Easton to pick up your kit, an additional $30 per kit will be charged for shipping.


Weekly Themes

Backyard Bugs (July 13-17)
What kinds of bugs are in your backyard or park? Fill your net with butterflies, beetles, and dragonflies, dig for worms and ants, and check plants for caterpillars! See how many bugs you can catch, learn how a bug sees, and improve habitats for bugs at home. There are so many things to learn, and we can’t wait to get started with you!
      Kit highlights: Bug net, observation box, build your own antennae craft, make seed balls
      Pickering Creek self-guided family activity: Butterfly and bug hunt with additional sweep nets, containers, and guides

Super Scientist (July 20-24)
Learn how to hone your science skills this week! Observe a seed beginning to germinate, extract DNA from a strawberry, survey the wetlands at Pickering Creek, and test your engineering skills. Science is all about asking questions about the world around you, and we have a lot of questions! *This kit requires additional materials provided by you: 1 strawberry, 1 egg, rubbing alcohol, various household items (such as soap, paper towels, salt, tooth paste)
      Kit Highlights: Safety goggles, lab equipment, indoor and outdoor experiments, plant pot decorating
      Pickering Creek self-guided activity: freshwater wetland survey with dip nets, containers, and guides

Habitat Heroes (July 27-31)
What makes a habitat thrive? Explore your local habitats, learn how to tell if they’re healthy or not, and find out how you can help! Build a bird feeder for your yard, test the water at Pickering Creek, and engineer your own nest at home. Be a hero to your local animals and plants! *This kit requires additional materials provided by you: Empty container (yoghurt cup-sized)
      Kit Highlights: Kids binoculars, water testing supplies, bug observation box, bird feeder craft
      Pickering Creek self-guided activity: Water quality testing at freshwater wetlands, pond, or creek

Night & Day (August 3-7)
How are early birds different than night owls? Do we have the same senses as bugs or bats? Find out during this week of daily and nightly games and experiments! Test your senses to their limits, discover how animals sense their habitats, and learn how your own senses can make you a better nature explorer.
      Kit Highlights: Kids head lamp, owl pellet dissection, family nighttime activities
     Pickering Creek self-guided activity: Evening bug and wildlife observations

Registration directions:

Click here to register. Due ot the nature fo this program, refunds will not be given for cancellation by participant.

Due to limited spot availability, we will sort campers into age-appropriate groups after registration is complete. You will be contacted with your camper’s groups and meeting times. If there is an issue with timing or you wish siblings to be in the same group, email Sammi at samara.ocher@audubon.org. All groups will receive the same supplies, with a guided activity guide geared towards each age!

Younger campers will be grouped into the earlier time slots, while older campers will meet later in the day. The exact breakdown of ages will vary by week, but groups will generally be broken down as follows:

Fledglings (generally entering K-1st)

  • 9:00 AM virtual (meetings) on Mondays and Thursdays
  • 9:00 AM interactive story time on Tuesdays or Wednesdays

Larks (generally entering 2nd-4th)

  • 11:00 AM virtual (meetings) on Mondays and Thursdays
  • Virtual guest scientist on Tuesdays or Wednesdays (time TBD)

Shrikes (generally entering 5th-7th)

  • 1:00 PM virtual (meetings) on Mondays and Thursdays
  • Virtual guest scientist on Tuesdays or Wednesdays (time TBD)

FAQ

How will I receive my camp kit?
We will contact you prior to camp to schedule a time to pick up your camp kit(s) at Pickering Creek. Social distancing guidelines will be followed. If you need your kit shipped, select the additional $30 per kit during registration.

Will parental supervision be required?
EcoCamp From Home activities are designed so that most campers can complete them on their own. However, parental supervision may be required when using scissors or glue, conducting certain experiments, or exploring outdoors. A Parent Guide will be provided for each week with daily activities that may require supervision, necessary materials, virtual meeting times, and guided conservation starters.

How do the virtual meetings work?
We will be using Zoom to conduct all virtual meetings. You will receive all links to your group’s Zoom meetings via email during the week prior to camp. Meetings will run for about 45 minutes, with at least one Pickering Creek educator and either a second educator or guest scientist present. Campers will share the activities they’ve completed so far, ask questions, play games as a group, and learn about that week’s theme.

What if I only have one computer?
If you have two campers who would like to join us for the same age group, they can share a computer. Please let us know in the notes section of registration if your campers will be sharing a computer.

What’s in the kit?
Each kit contains an EcoCamp 2020 drawstring bag to keep your camper’s exploration supplies together, plus a wood cookie necklace for their nature names and containers for scooping, collecting, and earth moving. Additional supplies vary by week, including outdoor equipment (i.e. bug nets, kids binoculars), experimental setups (i.e. pipettes, test tubes), and crafts (i.e. pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks).

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