Sarah Pirtle and the Discovery Center

Journey Camp Daily Schedule

Girls Camp follows this general schedule

The campers tell us that they really appreciate being trusted to make their own decisions. First thing in the day, some arrive sleepy and some want to be active. We give them a chance to land in a small workshop before we gather as a whole group. We believe that offering several choices at each workshop period is important.

Flexible arrival: 8:45-9:15am

Workshop Period One: activities meet a range of needs
  Art Table
  Handcrafts including work with yarn and bracelet making
  Creative Dramatics
  Fire Circle
  Music and songwriting
  Active games

All camp gathering at 9:45 AM is a time for community building with singing, movement, skits and announcements.

Roots Groups: Small groups meet each day to build friendships among campers of similar ages. This is a time for snack then games.

Woods Time: The whole camp walks up to the woods where there is a choice of stick-housebuilding, arts and crafts, nature exploration and active games. Campers are able to go back and forth on a given day and follow their interests.

Lunch and free time

Story Circle by the Grandmother Maple Tree
    Staff put on a continuing story that culminates on Friday when the campers join the story.

Afternoon Workshops: Choices include
    Woodland exploration
    Creative movement
    Creative Dramatics
    Arts and crafts

Snack circle by the Story Tree
    Homemade snack supplied by camp.
    Singing and sharing of news from the day.

End at 4 PM

Option to hear the day described by the director or talk to her about individual needs of your child.

If you have more questions, we can arrange for you to talk to a parent or staff member to give a sense of the intangible qualities — the welcoming spirit, the way that the campers look out for each other, the listening abilities of the staff, the nurturing, and the individualized planning that takes in the needs of each camper.

Why Outside Play is Important

Let’s go outside. Let’s know in our bones that we aren’t just on the Earth, but we are part of the Earth. Let’s go inside. Let’s connect with each other heart to heart.

As a teacher for thirty-five years and also as a mother, I’ve aimed at creating activities that foster an attitude, an awareness, an appetite for the Earth that once awakened, remains and shapes a human life. Sometimes I call it moving into Green Time because it’s a quality of interaction and connection that can happen seated on a couch as well as walking through the woods. It’s the basis for what we do at Journey Camp.

Standing by a stream or hugging a tree, we feel a rush of joy, a common feeling that people have felt throughout the ages. At Journey Camp for over two decades, we’ve had amazing moments of nature exploration.

Caring interactions open a space of reflection and connection that feed a child. The transformative mood of Green Time can happen in a field, in the woods, being with a tree in the park, or inside your home.

Responding to the Earth has, until very recently, always been an integral and assumed part of a young person’s life. Richard Louv writes in his book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder—“The young spend less and less of their lives in natural surroundings, their senses narrow, physiologically and psychologically, and this reduces the richness of human experience….As one scientist puts it, we can now assume that just as children need good nutrition and adequate sleep, they may very well need contact with nature.”

At Journey Camp we join the work of parents and teachers to assure and encourage direct time in nature. Electrical media has a pull on our nervous system that happens unwittingly and insidiously. Rather than feed the very recent pull of electricity, we need to feed the ancient pull of trees and sky. Our bodies—our brains and hearts—evolved from the direct source of nature, and we require that contact for our very physical, social, and moral development.

While young brains are forming, they call for the good food of direct encounter with people, plants, grass and streams. The wonder of a flower opening, the fresh smell of rain, the joy of walking in mud—these encounters awaken our basic bonding with the earth.

What we need also includes person to person time. Human interactions are also potent in countering nature deficit disorder. Our caring staff pause with children to foster person-to-person connection