Schedule & Themes

2020 SCHEDULE AND THEMES

BLNC Small Group Summer Camp Update and FAQ- 5.15.2020

WeekThemeAges

Pre/Post ?

June 1-5

Animal Lovers5-11

Yes

June 8-12

Mad Science5-11Yes

June 15-19

Nature Artists

Junior Naturalists

5-11

10-12

Yes

June 22-26

Wild West5-11

Yes

June 29-July 3

NO CAMP

July 6-10

Animal Lovers5-11

Yes

July 13-17Mad Science5-11

Yes

July 20-24

Nature Artists

Junior Naturalists

5-11

10-12

Yes

July 27-31

Wild West5-11

Yes

August 3-7

Best of Bluff Lake5-11

No

August 10-14Best of Bluff Lake5-11

No

CAMP THEMES

Our weekly themes are designed to delve deep into environmental education topics while also giving campers plenty of time for creek play, hands-on science activities, animal encounters, crafts, and hikes. Each week’s discoveries and exploration will be enhanced with presentations from science and nature experts, including live animal visitors through Nature’s Educators. Campers’ families will also receive emails from camp leaders that describe the week’s events and discoveries, and include photos of the adventures!

Animal Lovers (Ages 5-11)
Experience animals firsthand through nature hikes, wildlife tracking, frog hunts, bird-watching, examining mammal skulls and skins, catching crayfish, bug hunts, and more! Campers will not only learn about the different animals of Bluff Lake, but also have the chance to search for them on the site and complete related crafts and activities. Weekly visits from Nature’s Educators with live animal guests are always a hit!

Mad Science (Ages 5-11) *NEW THIS YEAR*
Practice your field science and eco-engineering through Nature Observation Journals, building projects, water quality testing, solar oven s’mores, and more! Our fun, hands-on activities and projects let campers enjoy all that science has to offer in a real nature setting. The popsicle-stick bridge-building challenge is especially popular, when campers break into teams for a friendly competition to see whose bridge can support the most weight!

Nature Artists (Ages 5-11)
Inspired by nature, create art such as wildlife collages, landscape paintings, sun catchers, animal sculptures, rain sticks, paracord bracelets, poetry, and stories! Campers will not only create art each day, but also have plenty of time to learn, explore, and play in our beautiful natural settings. Many campers especially enjoy the skit activity, when they team up to write their own stories and act them out for for the other groups.

Wild West (Ages 5-11) *NEW THIS YEAR*
Follow in the footsteps of Native Americans and first settlers with outdoor survival and navigation skills, farm activities and animal visits, and homemade goods! Campers will learn about early pioneers, try their hand with a lasso, make their own compasses, weave paracord survival bracelets, and complete a scavenger hunt quest. Real Native American stories, songs, and dances will also be an exciting highlight of the week!

Best of Bluff Lake (Ages 5-11)
Have a week full of wild adventures, each chosen from across the summer based on campers’ favorite activities, lessons, crafts, and presentations! Especially popular activities include the Bird Beak Relay, live animal visitors with Nature’s Educators, paracord survival bracelets, Native American songs and stories, bug and frog hunts, and a scavenger hunt quest! Campers will also get plenty of extra time for creek exploration and the “camouflage” game.

Junior Naturalists (Ages 10-12)
Junior Naturalists is an opportunity for older campers to blend science and adventure while following their own unique interests! Smaller group size (15 campers max) will give campers the chance for plenty of personal attention, and more flexibility to focus on the activities that interest them most. Options will include more advanced nature hikes, outdoor survival skills, field science, art, animal tracking, habitat restoration projects, paracord survival bracelets, and more!

Junior Naturalists is limited to the first 15 campers who register

Junior Counselors (Ages 12-15)
This program is perfect for teens to gain valuable leadership experience working with kids and outdoor skills–all while having a great time! Junior Counselors (affectionately known as “JCs”) will receive mentoring and guidance from adult counselors as they assist with daily activities. They’ll create rewarding bonds with the younger campers and with each other. Camp fees are discounted due to the valuable help they provide. Learn more about this fun and rewarding program HERE.

New Small Group Camp Format

We have heard your thoughts and concerns, talked to our licensing team, and decided that Bluff Lake will be switching to a small group camp format for summer 2020. This new format will allow for increased safety for our staff and campers as well as provide campers a unique small group team experience! Please read the following FAQ for more info about what this means and how it will impact you. If you have additional questions, please reach out to Bluff Lake’s Director of Operations, Maggie Willden, by email at maggie@blufflake.org.

What is a small group camp?

To decrease the risk of exposure and provide plenty of adult oversight for campers’ hygiene practices, we will be having primary group sizes no larger than 4 campers per 1 counselor. The 4 campers + 1 counselor will be the same individuals throughout the week. To add additional opportunities for campers, and to maximize campers’ access to favorite site areas, each group of 4 campers + 1 counselor will have a partner group. At times, these two groups may participate in shared activities. The partner groups will remain consistent throughout the week, and physical distancing practices will still be maintained. Camp itself will look very similar to our regular Bluff Lake camp. A day will be filled with crafts, crawdad hunting, nature walks, and games. However these small groups will not be sharing the same space at the same time. We plan to use a lot of new spaces at Bluff Lake including our updated onsite building, additional new shaded spaces, and our exciting new nature play areas. We plan to cap weekly registration at 28 kids (7 groups).

How will you break up the small groups?

Our plan is to group students by age as much as possible. This will allow our educators to tailor activities and content in a fun, age appropriate way. We will try to accommodate special requests as best we can. If your camper wants to be in the same small group as someone else, please let us know. If you have enrolled siblings and you would like them to stay together, please let us know.