Summer Camp at Webb Mountain Discovery Zone
G is into her second week of summer camp at Webb Mountain Discovery Zone. She, along with some of her friends from preschool have been having a blast each day as they explore nature trails, do arts and crafts, scavenger hunt, sing songs, and just enjoy being in nature. I mean, what is better than an outdoor classroom?
The Webb Mountain Discovery Zone is a 171-acre tract of land purchased by the town of Monroe for open space in 2004 for $5.25 million, including a $950,000 open space grant received from CT DEP, which represented approximately 20% of all grants designated for open space purchases by CT DEP for 2004. Oversight of the area was assigned to the Monroe Conservation Commission whose first initiative was to conduct a comprehensive review of the property by the King’s Mark Resource Conservation & Development Area (part of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service). The King’s Mark review identified significant opportunities to leverage the land’s unique biodiversity (i.e., vernal pools, wildlife habitats, varietal forestation) for educational purposes at several grade levels.
Visitors to the Discovery Zone can navigate three separate, flat-to-rolling, well-marked and well-maintained trail loops, between one to two miles in length, that are easy to traverse for children of all ages. The park has been featured in the Connecticut Post, the Hartford Courant and Parent Magazine.
Adjacent to the Discovery Zone is Webb Mountain Park, a 170-acre rustic park featuring several blazed hiking trails and ten well-maintained campsites. Webb Mountain Park is believed to be one of the few overnight tent camping areas remaining in Fairfield County. The park was purchased by the Town of Monroe in 1972 and is a popular destination during Fall Foliage – best known for its dramatic overlook of the Housatonic River. Trails are designed for a more traditional hiking experience that can range from easy to difficult. Citing the park’s natural beauty, the Connecticut Post recently designated it as one of the top hiking spots in Fairfield County.
Camp meets daily Monday through Friday from 9am to noon. This is seriously the best discovery we made as part of her summer off from preschool. She is still engaging with kids, making new friends, learning, and having fun being a 3.5 year old. At the conclusion of each week the parents are asked to come to camp a half hour earlier for a little entertainment to showcase some new things everyone has learned over the week.
The camp leaders are some of the nicest people which is always a plus and the groups are small. Look at these cuties so proud of the beaded “snakes” they created.
Check out some of these creations G has made over the past week and a half:
Activities for this week include:
- Ponds are wet, wild and a whole lot of fun as we whip out our nets, scoop and search for all the hidden organisms, big and small in our rich waters! Back in the classroom we’ll take a closer look at our finds under the microscopes.
- Lets go fly a kite! After we take a look at the wings of butterflies and birds, we’ll design and construct amazing kites and hike to the hayfield for a test-run!
- History is beneath our feet & underneath the ground. We’ll put on our pith helmets and hone archeology skills as we dig deep into CTs rich Native American and colonial history.
G is totally spent by the time we pick her up at noon. She is covered in a sweaty mess, but she loves it and talks about all her camp adventures while we have lunch.
This is definitely a place we will send her each summer!