June 15, 2020 – August 14, 2020 all-day
Ages: 7 - 13

Voted the #1 Day Camp in Charlottesville!

The Living Earth Explorers and Themed Day Camps are a one-of-a-kind nature camp experience. We have been voted a favorite summer day camp for over 10 years!!  We will spend the week exploring the mountains, streams and other wild places. Campers work together in small groups learning about the natural world, plants, mammals, tracking, birds, wilderness survival, awareness and so much more. We do this with hands-on activities, games, adventures and fun challenges. Our instructors are
“Nature Connection Mentors” and guide campers into experiences that nurture their connection to the earth and allow them to feel at home in the natural world.

At Living Earth Camps, we give each camper the attention they need to follow their passions, to connect with nature and each other. We have some of the best staff on the planet ~ really. The campers come first because they should. We serve mostly organic kid-friendly food, that the kids rave about. We buy from our local farms whenever we can. At our mountain camp, we try to keep life simple, natural, full of learning and laughter. Just good ol’ down to earth fun!

Camp runs Monday through Friday from 9 am – 4 pm.
Due to many changes this summer all day camps are held at two different locations: Montfair and North Branch.

Our Day Camps:

daycamp_kids_swim_rockExplorers is our flagship day camp for all children aged 7-13.  We will continue to have our general day camp for ages 7-13, called “Explorers Day Camp”, for new campers and returning, with all the classic favorites of Living Earth. It is our basic Nature Camp that focuses on Nature connection and fun all day.  If you are signing your child up for our day camps for the first time, please register for the Explorers Day Camp, held several weeks throughout the summer.

Themed Day Camps available for campers ages 9-14! If your child has attended one previous Explorers Day Camp (general day camp) either in a summer past or this summer and is between the ages of 9-14, you may sign them up for a Themed Day Camp (Forest Ninja Scout, Fire Lovers, Fort-topia, or Elements of Survival).

Please note all the themed day camp, have a prerequisite of having attended at least one Explorers Day Camp. Campers may continue to do the Explorers Day Camp several times, or they may choose one of the themed day camps. Themed day camps still keep to the old favorite core routines, like sit spot, fox walking, etc, but the daily focus centers around the particular theme of the week. The themed day camp will join the “Explorers” for group games, snacks, and swimming. LES reserves the right to cancel a themed camp registration if the participant has not met the prerequisite requirement.

2020 themes for campers 9-14:

Forest Ninja Scout:
Want to learn how to sneak around and become undetectable in the woods? To go with the flow of nature and move silently through the wilderness? We will get down and dirty with wild camouflage, scouting techniques, “jedi training course,” hiding and sneaking games, honing in with our intuition and fine-tuning our senses. Forest Ninjas, unite!

animal_bones_bookshomeschool_cooking_pancakes_coalsElements of Survival:
Fire, Water, Shelter, Food. Do you long to live off the land? Begin to learn the skills you need to live in the woods. Each skill will be tested with a fun, special Challenge!

A week of massive fort building awaits! Forts to camouflage, forts to keep you warm and dry, forts to make with your friends- we will do it all!

Fire Lovers:
Does even the thought of sitting around a campfire built by you or your friends sound exciting?  Imagine a week full of fire making adventures.  Learn the ins and out of fire safety skills as our basis, how to properly build a TP fire, how to light a fire using flint and steel, bow drill or a handrill.  Yes, you can really make a fire by rubbing sticks together. Once campers have a grasp of the basics, we will set off on all kinds of fire making challenges, cook wild teas and make some tasty campfire cooked meals.

Woodworking: (Not offered in 2020)
What do you get when you infuse a camp day of games, swimming and sneaking around in the woods with hammers, saws and wood? Wood Working Camp! Children will learn the ins and outs of tool use and building things with their own hands. They will dream big while creating their own projects from a pile of scrap wood like birdhouses, shelves, etc., puzzle over stripped screws and how best to pull out a nail.
Requirements:  all campers must bring their own hammer and Japanese pull saw (specifics will come in your welcome letter).

NEW! Forest Architects: (10 – 14)
For campers who have already participated in one LES day camp.
Are you excited to learn to use tools in the forest? Do you love to get creative with vines and wood and saws and strength? Do you spend time making plans, daydreaming visions?
In this camp, participants will learn to use tools such as knives, hatchets, saws and loppers in order to transform a section of the forest into an outdoor learning space. In addition to setting up seating, a fire circle, and a tarp line, campers will have the option to design and craft other structures such as vine arches, tracking boxes, bird houses, and bird feeders. Campers will learn how to ethically harvest trees and plants that need to be removed, what useful things they can do with what they’ve harvested, and how to tend to a place so that it helps both the forest and the humans! (Campers will need to purchase a fixed blade knife for $20 which we will provide)
Come together in caretaking, building, and crafting!


NEW! Hunting Skills Day Camp: (11 – 16)

A great next-level option for campers who have already done a Keepers of the Arrow or Peter’s Archery Camp! (Neither of these is a pre-requisite.)

In this class students will make a bow (if you already have one you will make a stronger one); forge (blacksmithing) small game points and blunts; make arrows with these points.

Students will also learn and practice skills needed to hunt safely. We will work on movement, stalking, and stealth. We will practice reading the landscape and honing our stillness / quietness skills. Students will learn how to safely hunt within the laws of the natural world, and play games to strengthen and hone the skills needed to hunt.

Master craftsmen and hunters Peter Yencken and Paul Cipriani will mentor kids throughout the crafting and hunting process. Both men have years of experience crafting and hunting, as well as mentoring kids at the Living Earth School. The kids in this camp will live, sleep, eat, craft and play together in a tight knit group for the duration of this week. They will come home with a bow, arrows, and a skill set they can be proud of and continue practicing.

Keepers of the Arrow Day Camp for Teens

Please read our COVID-19 Summer Day Camp 2020 Protocols Document HERE before registering for July / August Day Camps

Is your favorite camp marked FULL? Register to be on our waiting list (no cost)!

2020 Day Camp Details – Updated

  • Please read our COVID-19 Summer Day Camp 2020 Protocols Document HERE before registering for July / August Day Camps

    New 2020 Explorers Camps are for Ages 7 – 13, Themed Camps are for Ages 9-14

    Registration closes 4 days before camp start date

    Site Key: M = Montfair; NB = North Branch; B = Both

  • July 13 – 17: Day Camp 1: Explorers (NB)
  • July 20 – 24: Day Camp 2 (previously 4): Explorers (B) SPACE -or- Fire Lovers SPACE (NB) -or- Keepers of the Arrow (M) FULL 
  • July 27 – 31: Day Camp 3 (previously 5): Explorers (B) SPACE -or- Fort-Topia (M) FULL -or- Forest Architects (NB) FULL 
  • Aug. 3 – 7: Day Camp 4 (previously 6): Explorers (B) SPACE -or- Forest Ninjas (NB) FULL -or- Fire Lovers (M) SPACE -or- Teen Survival (NB) SPACE
  • Aug. 10 – 14: Day Camp 5 (previously 7): Explorers (M) FULL -or- Explorers (NB) FULL -or- Elements of Survival (M) FULL -or- Fort-Topia (NB) FULL -or- Hunting Skills Camp (M) FULL
  • Camp runs Monday through Friday from 9 am – 4 pm.
    We will no longer have an overnight during day camps.
  • All summer day camps will be located at one of two sites: the North Branch School in Afton (directions) or Montfair Resort Farm in White Hall (directions). There will be the option to choose your preferred location during registration. If you are already registered for a day camp this summer, contact us.
    There are carpooling options. Please contact us if you are interested.
  • Cost for each day camp is $345 (Hunting Skills Day Camp is $465)
  • Prerequisite for all themed day camps: Camper must have attended at least one Living Earth Explorers Day Camp, and be age 9-14. LES reserves the right to cancel a themed camp registration if the participant has not met the prerequisite requirement. This only applies to new registrations, campers who had camps cancelled in June may still attend themed camps they are currently signed up for.
  • Free T-shirt included
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