Our Place Summercamp is designed to “unplug” your child by bringing them into direct contact with the creatures, geologies, hydrologies and infrastructures of the Nonotuck biome and the Westfield River watershed. For five six-hour days, we roam the valley and the hilltowns, investigating our natural and cultural history with all of our senses, and enjoying the whole-being stimulation of deep biotic immersion.
Our Place activities are fun, and they’re designed to increase camper”s perceptual abilities, activate their critical thinking skills, inspire their creative imaginations, and counteract “nature deficit disorder.” Through active physical and mental engagement with “our place,” they gain a deep & lasting appreciation of it—and themselves. (Click here for basic Our Place program description.)
This summer, we’ll have sessions on these weeks:
6/16-6/20 (CIT position filled; 7 spots left)
6/23-6/27 (CIT position filled; fully enrolled) 6/30-7/3 (4 days) (CIT position filled; fully enrolled) 7/7-7/11: special intensive in river ecology (CIT position filled; fully enrolled) 7/14-7/18: special intensive in river ecology (CIT position filled; fully enrolled) 7/21-7/25 (CIT position filled; fully enrolled) 7/28-8/1 (CIT position filled; fully enrolled) 8/4-8/8 (CIT position filled; fully enrolled) 8/11-8-15 (CIT position filled; fully enrolled)
NOTE: Though at the moment, some weeks are fully enrolled, the calendar is in flux. If you would like to waitlist, please do contact us. Parents who have done this have gotten the spots they hoped for.
Each session runs M-F, 9am-3pm, and costs $300.00 (except for July Fourth week, which is $240.00).
We enroll campers from grades 1 through 8 and, unlike other camps, we do not split them apart from each other. We have found that every age level brings a different, and complementary, focus to our field investigations; and often enough, it’s the littler ones who notice the most, and help bring the older ones back to their senses. Emerson said, “In the woods is perpetual youth”; and he was correct.
Every group will consist of 2 adult teachers, who are both Red Cross-certified lifeguards and first aid responders, a counselor in training (CIT), and up to 12 campers. The 4 to 1 staff to camper ratio allows us to break up into smaller groups at any given moment, which allows campers to lead investigations—a personal growth opportunity that, when conditions are right, we encourage.
Drop off and pick-up are at Sheldon Field in Northampton.
If you would like to reserve a spot for your child, or want to learn more, please call 413-527-9092, or send a note on the comment form below.
Scholarships: Thanks to generosity of the Hilltown 6 potters, and of the parents and supporters who attended our Flavors of Nonotuck fundraiser at the Lone Wolf Cafe in Amherst, we are able this year to offer 10 scholarships, which fully cover the $300.00 camp tuition. If you would like to learn more, please click on this link.
Counselor in Training (CIT) program:
CITs are 7th to 9th graders who have attended at least two Our Place sessions during two different years.
CITs like environmental philosophy field studies so much they want to go to the next level, and help to execute Our Place’s action-based biocultural history curricula.
CITs will receive training: 1 4-hour pre-camp session, the rest of the training occurring on the job. Training will include: camp and campers management, biocultural history, and the practice and art of teaching in the field.
If you would like to learn more, please click on this link.