Crow’s Nest: Camp Week Five

August 14, 2022

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

Kayaks being paddled on the Schuylkill River

Photo: Pete Smyrl

Our fifth week of camp was the first of our two weeks filled with our oldest campers, many of whom have been coming to camp here for years. These are 7th and 8th graders, who have come to know Crow’s Nest well and are now being introduced to how the preserve fits into the larger landscape and community and how it is part of Natural Lands’ network of protected open lands.

Hikers in the distance of a large field with a huge sky

Photo: Molly Smyrl

To that end the group visits another Natural Lands preserve: this year, Bryn Coed Preserve. The kids spent a day exploring this 520 acre preserve. The group also trained on kayaks, including T-rescues for swamped kayaks, at Scotts Run Lake in French Creek State Park. While some kids were on the water, others engaged in challenges and games on shore.

Camper being passed through a suspended hula hoop as part of a game at Crow's Nest Camp

Photo: Mya Sanders

Then the kids put the kayaks in the Schuylkill River, the place where the waters of French Creek—that they had played in for years—go on their way to the Atlantic Ocean. Finally the group puts in a day’s service project at Crow’s Nest, an opportunity to give back to the preserve where they enjoyed camp.

Molly puts together a slideshow that includes retrospective pictures of the kids who are “aging out” of camp, showing photos of them that travel back in time to their earliest years at camp. This invariably brings tears to the eyes of parents.