Upper Elementary: Ages 9–11 or Grades 4–6 (In-person)

Registration for Winter Programs opens on Tuesday, December 1, 2020. Upcoming Fall Programs with open sessions are still open for registration.

We continue to find flexible and adaptive new ways to meet the needs of children and families during this pandemic. Our emphasis is on providing inquiry-based environmental and outdoor education programs for small groups, typically made up of no more than 10–12 individuals. Our programs, as always, are focused on learning from nature, but we are placing a heightened focus on meeting the need children have for unstructured time with their peers. It is essential to children’s social-emotional development and general sense of well-being to be able to play and be free outside with each other!

Programs may also be viewed in a calendar.

Eco-Quest Discovery Days (In-person)

with Jeff Mazur
Ages 9–11 or Grades 4–6
Tuesdays, 9:30am–12:30pm
December 1, 8 and 15 


Thursdays, 9:30am–12:30pm
December 3, 10, and 17
Fee per Child: Tier A-$55 per day | Tier B-$44 per day  | Tier C-$33 per day  | Tier D-$17 per day
Limited to 10 participants

Join us for a quest! You can drop in for one class or all three. We will be completing a quest each week using different skills during the first half of the class, and the second half, after a hearty snack, will be full of nature exploration and games. This series is being offered two times per week on Tuesdays and on Thursdays. Please sign up for one of the two days.

• December 1: Tracks and Signs
• December 8: Marvelous Mapping
• December 15: Compass Quest


• December 3: Tracks and Signs
• December 10: Marvelous Mapping
• December 17: Compass Quest

Games in Nature Afterschool Series

Ages 9–11 or Grades 4–5
Limited to 12 participants in each series.

Monday Series:
with Monya Relles
January 11–March 15 (no program February 15)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$248 | Tier B-$198 | Tier C-$149  | Tier D-$99


Tuesday Series:
with Aemelia Thompson
January 12March 16 (no program February 16)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$248 | Tier B-$198 | Tier C-$149  | Tier D-$99

Games in Nature is back in winter 2021! Our Winter game days will begin with our favorite structured group games, which focus on confidence building, leadership, communication, and laughing.  Each day also includes winter nature exploration: We’ll be hiking through snow covered wooded trails and fields, building forts, sledding, and playing freely in the woods. Free nature play will give individuals time to observe, experiment, and play, using the inspiration of the natural world.

Homeschool II: Outdoor Skills and Exploration Series

Ages 9–11 or Grades 4–6
Limited to 10 participants.

with Jeff Mazur
Tuesdays, 9:30am–12:30 pm
March 2–May 11 (no program April 20)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$563 | Tier B-$450 | Tier C-$338  | Tier D-$225


with Jeff Mazur
Thursdays, 9:30am–12:30pm
March 4–May 13, (no program April 22)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$563 | Tier B-$450 | Tier C-$338  | Tier D-$225

During this series, we will build our wilderness skills as we overcome challenges together. In our own survival story, we will need to develop skills to help us to survive, such as orienteering, fire building, shelter making, plant identification, and tracking. This class will also have time built in for free play, journal time and organized games. More than half of our sessions will require drop off and pick up at other locations within 20 minutes of the Hitchcock Center.

Art in the Forest Series

Ages 7–10 or Grades 2–4
Limited to 12 participants.

with Aemelia Thompson
Wednesdays, 10am–12pm
January 13–March 17 (no program February 17)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$248  | Tier B-$198 | Tier C-$149  | Tier D-$99

The natural world has served as inspiration for artists of all varieties for all of humankind’s history.  While surrounded by the undeniable beauty of the outdoors, children in the Art in the Forest program will be encouraged to develop awareness of the details in the natural world and learn how to utilize its beauty in artistic expression. Throughout the winter we will explore our own imagination and expression with activities that include drawing, structure building and snow sculpture. We’ll spend part of our time working together towards creating works of art and part free time in the woods, playing, talking, and building community.

Girls into the Wild Series

Ages 8–11 or Grades 3–5
Limited to 10 participants in each series.

with Katie Koerten
Thursdays, 3:30–5:30pm
January 7–March 18  (no program February 18)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$313 | Tier B-$250 | Tier C-$188  | Tier D-$125


with Monya Relles
Thursdays, 3:30–5:30pm
January 7–March 18  (no program February 18)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$313 | Tier B-$250 | Tier C-$188  | Tier D-$125

Girls into the Wild is back in Winter 2021 for more romping wildly through the field and forests of the Hitchcock Center. As always we’ll visit our favorite places to play in the forest, such as Stump City, the Ferns, and the Faraway Woods — and we’ll hope for lots of winter snow! Sled down hills, build snow mountains, and invent new games on the ice! Come build your confidence and show your wild side!

February Vacation Days

Jumping Mice (Grades K–1) with Aemelia Thompson
Brown Bats (Grades 2–3) with Monya Relles
Groundhogs (Grades 4–5) with Jeff Mazur

February 15–19, 10am–12pm AND/OR 1:30–3:30pm
Fee per child for one session/day: Tier A-$138  | Tier B-$110 | Tier C-$83  | Tier D-$55
Fee per child for two sessions/day: Tier A-$276  | Tier B-$220 | Tier C-$166  | Tier D-$110

Winter can feel like years when kept indoors. For this Winter Vacation Week children can come spend time with our educators and see how wonderful the winter really is when experienced outdoors! During these days educators will bring children into the wintry woods to play games, build snow forts, sled, and learn how to keep warm and have fun while playing outdoors in winter. 

In order to maintain our policies of safety and care during the Winter Vacation Week, we will continue to offer outdoor only programs in lieu of our typical camp schedule. As a result, we are offering two separate two-hour programs for outdoor play each day. These programs will be a morning block from 10am-noon and an afternoon block from 1:30-3:30pm. Families can choose the morning program, the afternoon program, or both as it suits their needs. Families choosing both the morning and afternoon blocks will need to arrange for their child to be picked up and allowed to warm up inside before joining for the second program. Full week registration will be required for whichever time is chosen.

COVID-19 Safety

Read our complete COVID-19 Program Participant Guidelines.

Our in-person programs will be held outdoors, even in the cold weather monthsOutdoor learning environments have been shown to be one of the safest ways to teach while  preventing the spread of COVID-19.  

Masks will be required at all times when social distancing (six feet apart) is not able to be maintained. This will continue until our local and state health officials say otherwise.

As much as our teaching approach is “hands-on,” we will be limiting touching and sharing. If any equipment or materials are needed as part of the program, we will provide participants with their own. All equipment and materials will be returned and individually disinfected at the end of the program.

Participants need to come prepared for all outdoor weather conditions. We suggest bringing a backpack with extra layers, including socks and hats, bottled water, and snacks, as well as insect repellent and sunscreen as-needed.


Given this time of financial hardship for our community and our organization, we are offering a new sliding scale fee structure aimed to provide greater flexibility in choosing a price that is right for you and your family.

Translate »
Hitchcock Center for the Environment