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The Nature Place Day Camp - May Dirt
I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth. 

Walt Whitman

Sheep and Wool

On Sunday, June 1st, from 10 am until 4 pm the Fiber Craft Studio will host its Sheep and Wool Festival. Meet sheep (like this new lamb recently born up at Duryea Farm), angora goats, and rabbits, spin wool, weave, knit, felt, dye with plants, and participate in other crafty activities, purchase hand-made items from Fiber Craft Studio, eat tasty food, watch a puppet show, and celebrate all the wonders of wool!

The Sheep and Wool Festival takes place outside of 285 Hungry Hollow Road in Chestnut Ridge, NY. Admission to the event is free. 

We'll be hosting our last camp open house of the season this same day just across the fairy stream, from 1-4 pm at Green Meadow Waldorf School, 307 Hungry Hollow Road. Stop by to learn more about camp, share some sheep tales with us (no need to be sheepish), or just come by and say hi. 

Ed's Corner


Natural Moments

At the beginning of each camp day we - campers and counselors -  might share a special or unusual natural happening or event that we experienced the day before. We call these sharings and the actual event or thing, Natural Moments. As we are out and about in our world, which is also the world of nature, there are many opportunities to see, hear, smell or touch something 'cool'. It's a moment that might make us just whisper inside ourselves, WOW, which I contend is the acronym for 'With-Out-Words'. A Natural Moment takes us out of ourselves and makes us feel part of a bigger something.

To increase the chances of Natural Moments, two things have to happen: A) be outdoors and B) pay attention.   
A Natural Moment that I recently experienced:
I took my youngest, Nathaniel, to a local mall for a bit of Mother's Day shopping. When we got out of the car we saw, no, we were in the middle of, waves, close-to-the-ground, of delicate white petals being blown first in one direction and then in another. We just watched for two minutes as the waves of petals scooted across the strip mall parking lot, around cars, some being 'caught' in puddles. Nathaniel said it was like snowflakes that never melt. We wondered where the final resting places would be for the petals. Or even it there is such a thing as a 'final place'.

There is no 'right' place for nature, for Natural Moments, for the chance to say WOW. Every place, even the mall parking lot, can be a nature place. 

Chuck's Storytelling Staff

This West Coast Haida Shaman's totem staff found it's way to our storyteller Chuck Stead after 80 years of waiting for a new owner! Traditionally the totem staff must belong to a storyteller, and naturally it ended up with Chuck. Carved into the staff are the images and stories of Eagle (healing and creation), Duck (comfort and protection), Killer Whale (song of new birth), and Bear (power of the unconscious). 

This summer at camp we can look forward to hearing the story of Chuck's mysterious staff!
Wild and Edible Milkweed
Paul Tappenden shares with us the myriad marvels of milkweed. The major source of food for the monarch butterfly (and yummy for humans, too), milkweed has been in very short supply, and subsequently we've had too few of these orange and black butterflies migrating through our area from their winter home in Mexico. For this reason milkweed is something to be harvested conservatively, with the monarch in mind. 


Read about eating milkweed, and making sure monarchs can, too

Garden Swarm
A swarm of bees

April showers bring May flowers. But what do May flowers bring? Pilgrims! And honeybees. This past Saturday a swarm of bees left one of our hives near the garden and took up temporary residence in a nearby cherry tree, fortunately not too high from the ground. Bill Day, our local bee expert, came with a few volunteers to gather the swarm and give it a home in our apiary (no easy task).

Read about gathering the swarm and see more photos

Signing off for the Summer
This will be our last Dirt until September, as we'll be putting all our efforts into camp! Like getting ready for our fourth week's theme - 29! (see below).

See you this summer.

Upcoming Open House

  • Sunday, June 1st

All open houses take place at the Green Meadow Waldorf School: 307 Hungry Hollow Road. Stop by anytime between 1-4pm.

Non-competitive and nature-oriented, The Nature Place allows children to be themselves, with their friends, in the great outdoors. Learn more at
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