Arcadia Nature Camp | About Camp

Arcadia campers holding a Wild Turkey feather

WelcomeRates & DatesAbout Camp Day Camp Policies

Our Philosophy

Our philosophy is to have fun and make friends while learning about the natural world. Through hands-on activities, campers come to understand their place in nature as well as the importance of preserving it. We provide opportunities for structured free play, during which campers of various ages and developmental stages interact, learn important social skills, and gain appreciation for nature and each other.

A Day at Camp

No two days are alike at Arcadia Nature Camp! However, this sample schedule can give you an idea of activity types and daily flow.

9:00–9:15 am

Camper Drop-off & Games

Counselors welcome their campers and remind them of where to put their backpacks and lunchboxes. To start the day, campers can choose from a variety of indoor and outdoor games and activities such as nature puzzles.

9:30–10:00 am

Opening Circle, Daily Nature Theme Introduction, Mystery, & Riddle

Camp groups gather in small groups to learn about the week’s theme as well as what adventures await them. At this time they also learn about the Riddle of the Day, sing songs, and participate in theme intro activities.

10:00–10:30 am


Groups break for snack at the picnic area or along the trails.

10:30 am–12:00 pm

Morning Hike & Activities

Weekly themes are reinforced through trail explorations and nature study. Activities that engage and deepen learning may include catching insects in the pond or field, searching for salamanders, and hiking to the sanctuary’s clay pits, to name just a few!

12:00–12:45 pm

Lunch, Games, & Stories

Campers eat lunch, listen to stories, and play games. Younger camp groups learn about the Critter of the Day.

12:45–1:45 pm

Choice Time: Quiet & Active Options

After lunch, campers can choose from a quiet activity (crafts), something middle-of-the-road (a hike to search for animal homes), or something active (games in the field).

1:45–2:45 pm

Theme-Based Activity Time

Campers gather in small groups to engage in theme-related activities. One group might play a game while the other makes a bird mural, then the groups switch.

2:45–3:00 pm

Closing Circle

Each group gathers for their closing circle to solve the Riddle of the Day and reflect on the day’s activities. Campers and counselor share their favorite parts of the day, providing an opportunity for all voices to be respectfully heard.

3:00–3:15 pm Camper Pick-Up

Camp Staff

Our caring, well-prepared camp staff are actively engaged in teaching and playing with campers. Camp staff bring their enthusiasm for outdoor exploration, a desire to facilitate learning, and a compassionate heart for children. This specialized team works to foster a sense of community among campers and individual connections with nature. Summer staff are carefully selected based on their enthusiasm, teaching experience, natural history knowledge, and deep commitment to engaging campers with nature. All undergo background and reference checks, are certified in CPR and first aid, and attend an intensive training program that includes child development, natural history, environmental education best practices, and safety procedures prior to the start of camp.

Camp Leadership

Camp Director Tim Donner (he/him) is a dedicated educator and naturalist with over 20 years of teaching experience. This will be his first summer at Arcadia and he is excited to help facilitate the incredible camps that happen at the sanctuary. Tim looks forward to combining his appreciation for nature with his commitment to getting kids learning through hands on self-discovery. Tim’s favorite part of camp is watching campers bring their authentic selves to camp where they follow their curiosity, have those “Aha!” moments, and create lifelong memories.

Assistant Camp Director Kim Hoff (she/her), has been in this role with Arcadia Nature Camp since 2019. Kim’s favorite parts of camp are overseeing the CIT program and watching campers gain confidence in themselves within the natural world. In the off-camp season, Kim is an Education Coordinator and K–12 educator at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. She develops curriculum and teaches nature programs to school groups at Arcadia and in classrooms. Kim is also a nature writer, with essays published in several natural history magazines and online journals. Through Mass Audubon, she teaches nature writing classes statewide for adults. Kim has an MS in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England.

Camp Handbook

The Camp Handbook packet contains important information for families, including drop-off and pick-up instructions, health and safety procedures, packing lists, and more. Please be sure to read this prior to the start of your camper’s first session.

2023 Nature Camp Family Handbook


Camp License

Our camp complies with the regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (105 CMR 430) and is licensed by the Easthampton Board of Health.

American Camp Association (ACA) Accreditation

We are proud to be accredited by the American Camp Association. Developed exclusively for the camp industry, this nationally recognized program focuses on program quality, health and safety, management, and camp operations.

Camp Policy Requests

You may request copies of our background check, health care, discipline, bullying, and grievance policies at any time. Request copies of our policies >

More information about registration and other policies for all Mass Audubon Camps is available here >