MANCHESTER >> The opening of registration for Hildene summer camps is a local harbinger of spring in The Shires of Vermont. Perennial favorites like "Nets, Buckets and Boots," "Farm Camp" and others will be returning, and the newest camp promises to be a hoot (no pun intended). "OWLS: Outdoor Wilderness Learning and Survival" will be an adventure in outdoor education for students entering grades 4, 5 or 6. Campers will connect with earth, nature and each other to learn fire safety, tracking, shelter building and medicinal and edible plant identification, using natural and primitive techniques under the enthusiastic guidance of Environmental Educator, Jamie Maloof-Schilling.

Each summer guided by its mission: Values into Action, Hildene offers a broad spectrum of camps appropriate for children from 1st to 6th grade, exploring areas as diverse as forest, field, farm, wetland, pond and river. Campers experience a wide variety of hands-on activities that are both educational and fun in programs designed to instill a respect and appreciation for the natural world around them. Guidance comes from camp staff dedicated to fostering a child's love of learning and includes this summer: Hildene Director of Education, Diane Newton; Anharad Llewelyn, visual arts teacher at Long Trail School, Dorset; Ann Hausslein, avid gardener, forager and early childhood teacher at The Little School, Weston; Londonderry small scale farmer, Mimi Wright; and Jamie Maloof-Schilling, environmental educator, herbalist and organic farmer from Andover.


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Hildene camps are limited to 12 campers, are a week long, and typically fill early. All camps run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and campers gather first at the Lowerre Family Youth Education Building before heading outside. To give all prospective campers the opportunity to attend the camp of their choice, enrollment priority is given to children who have not previously attended a particular camp. The registration fee for a Hildene camp is $195 for members and $215 for nonmembers.

For more information or to request a brochure, call Education Director, Diane Newton at 802-367-7965 or email newton@hildene.org. Detailed descriptions, camp schedules, fees, and printable registration forms are online at www.hildene.org.