Lake Mansfield Nature Explorers Club
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What will the group be doing?
Exploring! Observing! Collecting! Playing! Learning! Creating!
We support young people as active explorers with plenty of time for discovery, movement, observing and exploring. There will be time for independent and group. We’ll provide opportunities for playing, creating and sharing. Our guest presenters will be sharing a wide range of nature knowledge and skills.
2. How will this meet the needs of age 7-12?
Kids love to get together to do new things.
Between the ages of 7 and 12, young people are developing a sense of their independence, as well as their interconnectedness with the world around them. We want to support resilience and wellbeing by helping everyone get closer to nature as part of a community that is sharing this experience.
2. What is the free sketchbook all about?
Look, see, draw… discover.
We love The Nature Explorer’s Sketchbook by Jean MacKay because it shows how everybody can be a discoverer in their own way, and that with just a few simple tools you can have a deeper experience of the world. The author developed the nature explorer’s sketchbook while running a nature camp for families for National Audubon and gave us ideas to help shape our nature explorer’s program.
3. What if drawing is not my favorite activity?
There will always be options. You choose.
We’ll offer many different activities, materials and experiences for observing and creating. Everyone is free to explore ways that are meaningful to them. As we explore the conservation forest, we might make our own maps, print objects from nature, and build nature sculptures. We want you to enjoy the process of discovering, exploring, and trying new things.
4. What are your Covid precautions?
Let’s stay healthy together.
We'll follow protocols used for outdoor spaces by other area camps. Those who are symptomatic or had a recent close contact should not attend that day. We will have hand sanitizer for activities where we are going to be handling the same objects. We welcome and honor anyone who opts to wear a mask.
6. What's the rain plan?
We have a back-up location!
If there is a chance of showers, we'll even go ahead and meet in light rain. If there is a downpour or thunder showers, we have permission to meet at the Mason Library on Main Street in Great Barrington (in their large tent in the backyard). We will send you e-mail or text update that morning by 8am when things look iffy.
6. Who are the leaders and presenters?
It’s quite a line-up!
Guest presenters who will be joining us include Senta Reis (teacher of yoga & special education), Joseph & Jesse Bruchac (author of Keepers of the Earth), Julie Kunz (Flying Deer instructor), Tom Tyning (author of Amphibians & Reptiles) & Michael Wojtech (author of Bark). Project leaders Tammis Coffin and Christine Ward are two local nature educators with rich backgrounds in nature knowledge, the arts, and working with young people.
7. Can I drop in without registering or attend just one program?
Come check us out.
Together we are building a sense of community and connection between participants and Lake Mansfield. Register for as many sessions as you can!
8. What should I bring?
Dress for the weather, for being active outside and sometimes muddy. Bring your own insect repellent or sunscreen, as needed. Lake Mansfield has two outdoor Port-o-Potties.
9. Where is Lake Mansfield?
Lake Mansfield Road connects Christian Hill Road and Castle Hill Avenue in Great Barrington, MA. The parking area and beach is only half a mile from the intersection with either road.