Watershed Institute kicks off 50th season of Watershed Nature Camp

Watershed Nature Camp counselors form a 50 in recognition of the camp's 50th season. Photo courtesy of The Watershed Institute

One quarter of the Watershed Nature Camp receive financial aid, free transportation, nutritious lunches, backpacks, water shoes, and necessary supplies

The Watershed Institute began the 50th season of its popular Watershed Nature Camp this week at the nonprofit organization’s nature reserve in Pennington.

Open to children in first through ninth grade, the camp offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, exploring, and learning about the importance of water in our lives.

Campers also have the chance to create art and poetry, learn survival skills, and discover animals in our natural environment, according to the nonprofit. 

Throughout the summer, hundreds of campers will spend most of their time exploring the 950-acre Watershed Reserve of fields, forests, trails, ponds, and streams.

They will also have access to the exhibits and animals inside the Watershed Center.

Some days the campers will participate in offsite field trips, like swimming at the Hopewell Quarry, visiting Grounds for Sculpture or enjoying overnight campouts.

“We believe that all children deserve the opportunity to spend the summer exploring nature with their peers,” said Jim Waltman, Executive Director of the Watershed.

“We are proud of our 50-year tradition of welcoming children to have fun, learn about, and experience their natural environment at the Watershed Institute’s nature reserve. After the isolation of COVID, such experiences are more important than ever.”

One quarter of the campers receive financial aid, free transportation, nutritious lunches, backpacks, water shoes, and necessary supplies.

Funding for this essential support has been made possible by the generous support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Bristol Myers Squibb, Educational Testing Service, the Princeton Area Community Foundation, and 38 individual donors. 

By addressing these critical needs, The Watershed Institute will empower children to access education and participate fully in various activities, regardless of their financial circumstances, Watershed officials said. 

“We are grateful that these institutions and individuals have stepped forward to help make the summer camp experience available to more children. The outpouring of support is truly heartening,” Waltman said. 

“We are hopeful that these donations will resonate for years to come, creating a brighter future for the children who will benefit from Watershed Nature Camp.”

For more information about the Watershed, visit www.thewatershed.org or call (609) 737-3735.