Base Camp: The Learning Center

Please note, we are only able to accept applications through the online form system.

Stony Kill Foundation Summer Explorers Camp is a place where kids are empowered to explore the outdoors and experience a sense of curiosity and appreciation for the natural world. Camp is held on the grounds of the beautiful and historic Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center in Wappingers Falls, NY.

Summer Explorers Camp provides a balance of structured and free play with environmental exploration, enjoyment of arts and crafts experiences, and age-appropriate learning activities. These experiences encourage kids to be curious and appreciate the outdoors while building social and life skills.

A typical camp day may include:

  • Icebreaker, yoga on the lawn, garden or forest time
  • Morning chores in the barn and veggie garden
  • Dipping nets in the farm pond and identifying macro invertebrates
  • Enjoying snack time in the shady corn crib
  • Hiking the Farm trail and picking wild raspberries along the way
  • Lunch back at camp homebase and playtime in the forts
  • Nature game for all campers
  • Free time: story time, games, and crafts!
  • Pick up

NEW THIS YEAR: Due to the overwhelming interest in Summer Explorers Camp, this year the maximum number of weeks a camper can be registered for camp is 4 weeks. This will allow us to give as many kids as possible the opportunity to experience camp at Stony Kill. For each child, you may apply for your camper to attend 1-4 weeks of camp. To apply for your weeks please do the following for each camper:

1) Step 1: First Choice Weeks (required) – Select your preferred camp weeks (Select 4 or less)

2) Step 2: Second Choice Weeks (optional) – If you want to be added to the waitlist for any other weeks in case you do not get your first choice, use this section to note any weeks you would like as an alternate to your first choice weeks. (Select 4 or less)

If you do not get all your first-choice weeks, you will be put on a wait list for your first and second choice weeks and we will reach out if there are spots available. Please do not apply for more than 4 weeks of camp in either step. Campers who select more than 4 first choice weeks will have weeks chosen at the discretion of our director.

The Online Camp Application Form Will Go Live on This Webpage on Tuesday February 13 at 10:00AM (Eastern time)

IMPORTANT CAMP DATE INFO: Most public schools are in session until June 25th this year. Please check your school calendar before registering for Week 1 or 2.

AGE: Summer Explorers Camp is for ages 4-12. Campers must be at least 4 years old before their first day of camp. Campers will be placed in groups by age. We will do our best to accommodate moving campers within groups if requested.

CAMP SCHEDULE: Camp takes place from 9 am – 3 pm, Monday through Friday. Campers may register for 1-4 weeks of camp, which run from June 17-August 9 (Weekly themes listed below). Campers bring their own snack, lunch and refillable water bottle.

CAMP FEES: $350 per child per week. Stony Kill Foundation Family and Patron-level memberships receive a $25 discount from their total. (Click for membership info)

BEFORE & AFTER CARE: $25 flat rate per day for before and/or after care Before Care starts at 8:30 am and After Care runs until 5:00 pm.

SCHOLARSHIPS – Scholarship applications are now closed.
Need-based Sliding Scale scholarships are available. If receiving discounted camp registration would help relieve financial stress for your family, please complete a scholarship application by February 19th here. If Scholarship recipients need to cancel, we must be notified in writing by May 19, 2024. Failure to do so will affect your eligibility for future scholarship opportunities.

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN REGISTERING: Please review our NEW THIS YEAR section above for changes in registration. Our camp program is in high demand and unfortunately we do not have enough spots for everyone. We anticipate a high volume of families attempting to enroll right at 10 am. We cannot give special treatment to families trying to register for camp weeks and ask for your patience. We will let you know the status of your application and if we have any follow up questions within 10 business days. You can view our application here before it goes live on Feb 13.

REGISTRATION PROCESS: Following an accepted application, we will send you the full camp registration materials and invoice by email which can be paid by credit card or check. The invoice will be accompanied by an additional health and liability release form. Registration is complete once payment has been received and all forms are completed. We ask that registration and payment is made within 3 business days. After 3 days we will notify you by email to remove your registration and offer those week(s) to another camper.

REFUND POLICY: Refunds minus the processing fees will be granted if we are notified by May 19, 2024 in writing via email. This also applies to scholarship recipients. Children absent from any day of camp will not be entitled to a refund, credit or exchange of dates unless COVID related. If you require a refund because of unforeseen circumstances or any other cancellation policy/ inquiries, please contact our Program Director.

BEHAVIORAL POLICY: We want all campers to enjoy their time at summer camp and feel that this is a safe environment. As such, we have a zero-tolerance policy towards bullying. We will discuss any perceived bullying of another camper with parents/guardians, but if the behavior continues your child will not be permitted to return to camp. Physical violence towards another camper may result in immediate expulsion. Dismissals from camp due to behavior issues are not subject to a refund.

WAIT LIST POLICY: If a spot becomes available in a camp week and you are next in line on the wait list, we will reach out by email to the address provided on your application. After you are notified, we require notice of acceptance and payment for the additional week(s) within 3 business days. If you do not respond by day 3, we will reach out to the next family on the wait list and your wait list spot will be removed.

LATE POLICY: Late pick-ups are NOT permitted. After 2 late pick-ups at 10 minutes late or more, there will be an additional aftercare fee of $25 each time.

NYSDOH POLICY: NYS Department of Health requires a current immunization record from your pediatrician for all registered campers. Forms must be submitted by email or snail mail by June 1 or a camper may not be able to attend camp. Any camp registrations made less than a week before the start date must have health and immunization forms submitted within 48 hours of your registration.

COVID SAFETY POLICY: To read about our COVID-19 safety guidelines for 2024 camp, click here. A list of COVID-19 symptoms can be found here.

AIR QUALITY POLICY: SKF monitors the air quality throughout camp and follows the school guidelines as posted at airnow.gov. If the air quality indicator is orange or higher (above 100 PP) we will modify camp activities as necessary and possibly eliminate outdoor activities and provide masks for all campers. We will notify camp families by email if changes will be made for a camp day due to air quality.


WEEKLY CAMP THEMES

Project Discovery, June 17 – 21 – During our first week of camp, campers will discover Stony Kill Farm starting with our barnyard and livestock. Each day, campers will discover various ecosystems throughout the property by hiking our trails and searching for birds and insects and visiting the pond to collect specimens for observation. Our diverse land offers campers an opportunity to learn about our local surroundings.

Life on the Farm 1, June 24 – 28 – Campers will learn how to care for our farm animals and discover our historic big red barn and tractor. Each day will focus on aspects of farm life through observation, creation and exploration. Campers will sample different foods that come from our farm, explore the greenhouse and start their own seeds while learning about the importance of composting and our friends the decomposers. If your child has a love of farm life, this is the camp for them.

Life on the Farm 2, July 1 – 5 (no camp on July 4th) – Campers will explore aspects of farming and caring for the farm animals, this week learning about the history of Stony Kill and how early farmers lived and worked on the farm. Campers will spend time with livestock in the barn, and learn animal husbandry skills. This week will have a reduced rate of $260.

Farm to Forest, July 8 – 12 – We’ll explore the similarities and differences between our domestic livestock and the wild animals that call Stony Kill Farm home. Learn the important connections our farm, fields and gardens have to our forest ecosystem and how they sometimes compete and work together.

Young Naturalist, July 15 – 19 – Campers will learn what it means to be a naturalist by observing, recording and caring for our surroundings. We’ll explore our creative side by expressing our appreciation of the natural world through artistic practices. We’ll practice mindfulness to fully appreciate our surroundings!

Outdoor Adventurer, July 22 – 26 Spend the week outside in nature exploring and investigating the outdoors! We’ll learn some survival skills and use our senses to appreciate nature and our surroundings. We’ll check out how animals survive in the outdoors during all seasons and spend our days hiking, running and playing. If mother nature brings the rain, we’ll adapt just like our animal friends.   

Junior Environmentalist, July 29 – August 2 – Join us for an important week of camp that will boost our environmental awareness through conservation and exploration of our surroundings. Campers will learn to appreciate our environment and its fragile ecosystem by exploring our forests and trails, fields, and gardens. We’ll learn the best practices for taking care of our earth by reducing, re-using and recycling and what it means to be an environmentalist.

Nature Makers, Aug 5 – 9 – Finish out the summer with a week of creating things related to or using the natural resources in our environment. We’ll be foraging, cooking, creating, building, imagining and appreciating all the beauty that nature provides.


Have Questions? Contact our Program Director, Stacey at: stacey@stonykill.org or 845.831.3800

COUNSELORS IN TRAINING
Kids aged 14 and up can apply to join us as a volunteer Counselor in Training (CIT) to assist the lead counselors during camp. CITs must commit to at least one full week of camp and attend a training session on a Saturday in June. To apply please complete our CIT Volunteer Application.

Have Questions? Contact our Program Director, Stacey at: stacey@stonykill.org or 845.831.3800