2019 Clinic Dates: Sunday June 16 – Friday, June 21
The Nature Instruction Clinic is a unique, national training program that puts Camp Pemigewassett at the forefront of the camping world’s commitment to environmental education. This pre-season, 5½-day-long “Nature Instruction Clinic” is designed for counselors, staff, and instructors at day camps, resident camps, and outdoor education centers, and for select students from the University of New Haven (for which they receive academic credit). Our goal is to facilitate better programming and instruction in a wide variety of camp and outdoor situations and settings. Each year, the Clinic is designed to meet the specific needs of the participants.
History of The Nature Clinic
In 1992, former Director Rob Grabill, former Associate Nature Head, Russ Brummer, and Larry Davis, longtime and current Head of the Nature Program, attended the International Camping Congress in Toronto in order to present a workshop entitled, Building a Camp Nature Program: 12 Keys to Success. Prepared for an audience of 30 or 35, they were surprised when over 100 showed up. People were sitting in the aisles and standing against the walls. The questions following the presentation clearly indicated that they had struck a chord. One that was frequently repeated was, “You’ve said that there must be ‘a well-trained and enthusiastic staff.’ Where can we find these people?” This got them thinking and they looked to see what was “out there.” The answer was “not much.”
So, we decided that we needed to do it ourselves – and the “Camp Pemigewassett Nature Instruction Clinic” was born.
The first clinic was in 1993, with eleven participants. The current clinic is capped at 16 participants.
The Nature Clinic offers practical instruction and includes curriculum materials focused on:
- Teaching techniques
- Lesson planning
- Use of local resources
- Field trip experiences
- Exploration/observation skills
- Experiential learning
- Availability and use of reference materials
- Starting/maintaining a Nature Center
Post-clinic, participants will be prepared to create and lead:
- Single-session lessons
- Day-long lessons
- Week-long courses
- Summer-long experiences
- Nature experiences for large groups
…and to teach the following activities:
- Insect Ecology, Collection, and Preparation
- Natural Dyes
- Field Walk and Cooking Lesson (Wild Foods)
- Rocks and More (workshop on rock and mineral activities)
- Weird Science
- Nature Drawing and Journals
- In the Dark (the wonders of nature at night)
- All Together in the Field
- Putting it Together; Getting Ready; Trying it Out
- Teaching When You’re Not There, and HELP!
All necessary material and equipment is provided at no extra charge, including a 200-page reference book and CD containing lesson plans, bibliographies, sample display labels, recipes for wild foods, lists of resources, and much more.
- American Camp Association’s Camping magazine featured the clinic in Turning Camp Counselors into Nature Specialists: The Pemi Nature Instruction Clinic. The article, written by Larry Davis, received an honorable mention for the J. Wendell and Ruth T. Howe Golden Quill Award.
- Included in the same issue is Learning to Teach About Nature, a reflection of the clinic written by a participant.
How to Apply to The Nature Clinic
Print the simplified version of the Nature Clinic Brochure, which includes a registration form. Complete the form and return by June 1 to the address provided, along with your $50 deposit.