A summer spent in a natural setting awakens the imagination, and instills a peacefulness often missing in our mechanical and hurried world. An oasis for the young and young at heart here—in our midst—is the on Weaver Street in Larchmont.
Through Sheldrake's varied family programs offered this summer, children will be immersed in the wonders of meadow, river, forest and pond. They will learn—through example—to feel empathy for their surroundings and to leave any encountered plant or animal life undisturbed.
Sheldrake Environmental Center's Summer Nature Camp, beginning with
June mini camp for 4- and 5-year-olds and followed by July and Aug. camps for ages three to eight, is the ideal setting to "explore, discover and have fun."
Young Explorers can fill the gap between the end of Pre-K classes and the start of summer camp with the June Extension Program. Summer Nature Camp, for ages four and up, runs from July 5-Aug. 12, and can be purchased one week at a time or for six weeks. Each week has a different theme; for example: Frogs and their Friends (week two) and Butterflies, Bugs and other Beasties (week three).
“Most insects are beneficial," said Program Director Mary Davis, adding that their undeniable value in pollinating our fruits and edibles can be presented in an age-appropriate way to the planet's future caretakers.
An average adult in America will spend 90 percent of his or her life indoors, said Davis in quoting a Harvard study. “Children spend, on average, 6.5 hours each day engaged with electronic media.”
Besides daily ventures to discover frogs, bird nests and abundant plant life, a bright, inviting activity room provides space for hands-on projects, games and art. It’s the ideal setting for children to do what comes naturally; a place where they can follow their own rhythms, have old fashioned fun and get dirty!
For adults who strive to make a difference, the Volunteer Environmental Education Training Program (VEE) takes nature enthusiasts from all walks of life and trains them to lead hands-on ecology programs for school groups. With classes beginning in mid-October, enthusiasm and a love of children are the only prerequisites.
Volunteer environmental educators “create a ripple effect in the community”, explained Davis. “Volunteers start to bring their families and friends” to enjoy all that Sheldrake and its stunning surroundings have to offer.
In person, Davis is clearly enchanted with the wonders of nature. Her writing, in the Center’s newsletters, is reminiscent of the poetic Rachel Carson, biologist and founder of the modern environmental movement.
The people, programs and beauty of Sheldrake Environmental Center combine to create a delightful retreat worth exploring.
For Summer Nature Camp information, contact Amy Bisignani at (914) 834-1443 or email@example.com. For Volunteer Program information or to register, contact Mary Davis at (914) 834-1443 or firstname.lastname@example.org.