What’s your favorite memory of being outside as a child?

August 18, 2021

By Molly Smyrl, Crow’s Nest Educator. Photos by Molly Smyrl, Alison Joyce, Hanya Simon, Pete Smyrl, and Cody Hudgens.

If you’re an adult who cares about the natural world (and if you’re reading this blog, you probably are) there’s a good chance that your favorite time outside in childhood wasn’t playing organized sports or any other structured activity. More likely, your favorite memory was something like climbing a tree, hunting for crayfish, playing hide and seek with friends, wading in the creek, or catching fireflies. It wasn’t something anyone told you to do, but rather something you thought up on your own, because it sounded like fun, or you were curious about something.

A collage of pictures of kids at camp holding crayfish or insects

Those are the kinds of memories that we try to give to kids at Crow’s Nest Camp. We believe that kids who play in nature grow to love nature and become adults who protect it. Our summer camp and school-year programs are designed to give kids the kinds of experiences outdoors that countless generations before them had.

A collage of pictures of kids playing in the creek

We offer summer camps for kids entering first grade in the fall through kids who will be in eighth grade. Many kids come back year after year, so they get to grow up at Crow’s Nest. This year we also had our first camper who was the child of a former camper—which gave the staff members who have been here that long a serious case of déjà vu!

Then and now pictures of camp kids and counselors

Crow’s Nest Camp has been running since 1998, and while some things were different this year due to the pandemic (smaller group sizes, very limited access to the visitor’s center) many things were the same as always—we played in the woods, splashed in the creek, and knew we had had a good day if the kids went home tired and dirty.

A collage of pictures of kids playing with mud at camp

You can read more about our summer in other blog posts here, here, here, here, here, and here. Or check out our “Photo of the Day” album on Facebook.