Our latest news and notes... 

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.  Albert Einstein

Week III Summer Camp 2018

Noah Winslow, July 18, 2018

Week III Summer Camp 2018

The third week of camp was incredibly varied with campers venturing to the far reaches of 4-H Acres, the Arnot Forest and a variety of wooded locations throughout Tompkins County. Following is and overview and a selection of photos from the weeks adventures.

Campers set out bright and early to a different location each day for a week of building connection to the earth. The Trailblazers wandered through Shindagin Hollow, Mulholland Wildflower Preserve, Danby State Forest, Finger Lakes National Forest, and Ellis Hollow! This journeying group fostered a sense of discovery and connection to nature with these adventures in search of their future all-time favorite spots in the Tompkins County region.

Trailblazers arrive at Shindagin Hollow State Park on Monday morning.

Campers hike through the woods.

Alissa helps a camper to find the perfect rock to complete a fairy house next to the creek.

Trail Blazers explore a waterfall at Shindagin Hollow.


From their bases in the Hemlocks and Village Camp, the Service Berry and Mulberry groups unlocked their imagination to craft invaluable primitive tools. Campers learned ancient techniques like coal-burning, carving, and basket weaving. They left with the skills to continue experimenting with new crafts and ideas.

Jet uses coal-burning to craft a spoon at Village Camp.

Campers work together to coal burn a split log in order to make a small wooden bowl.

A camper works on carving a piece of wood into a spoon after coal burning.

April helps a camper coal-burn a piece of wood to make a spoon.

Campers arrived on Monday as Fire Novices, but left on Friday Fire Wizards! They ignited fires using hand drills and bow drills they crafted themselves from materials found in the landscape, and sent sparks flying with flint and steel kits. These campers left on Friday having learned great new skills that they can use to keep the flame within themselves alive.

The Fire Wizards reach for their fire starting kits.

Elijah helps campers to find a piece of dead honeysuckle to cut down to craft a bow-drill.

The Cherry and Plantain groups focused on listening to the fairies of the forest! They connected to nature and each other by building fairy villages throughout 4-H Acres, shared stories and sang songs around their daily campfires.

Sarah lights the lunch fire at Turkey Knoll.

Campers look for matches by following the Fire Fairy's glitter trail.

Campers slide down the hill at Trillium Camp.

Campers dig through the sandbox at Trillium Camp.

Growing Wild campers build a fairy village together at Turkey Knoll.

The Fire Fairy left a trail of orange glitter for campers to follow to magical matches.

The Strawberry, Black Cap and Raspberry groups embraced their primitive side in in every corner of 4-H Acres this week! Campers learned how to identify medicinal plants, built cooking fires with a single match, shared songs and stories and had a ton of fun playing games together under the dark green canopy and bright blue sky.

Bobby helps a camper light the lunch fire.

Lunch happens around their fire in the Hemlocks.

The Black Cap group begins their day with a walk out to the Hemlocks.

Matt chases a camper during a game of fox tail at the Horse Arena.

Campers sing together during a firewood gathering game.

Overnight camp at the Arnot Forest is full speed ahead in the slow and intentional way one learns when living among the hills and trees. The Bear Campers started each day off by coming together around their breakfast fire, which they built themselves with the power of friction. Days seemed to be longer, and more enjoyable - filled with Capture the Flag games, Wanders through nature, and, of course, evening campfires.

Siri laughs while explaining the rules of the evening's capture the flag game. Instead of capturing flags, campers have to run s'more ingredients back to their base.

Campers cook over the fire during Wednesday night's campfire.

Bear campers find a dam while wandering down a creek

A small group of campers had a great opportunity to take a trip off the beaten path for two nights. Leaving from Arnot Forest on Wednesday morning, they journeyed to their camp where they learned to live away from civilization to connect to the earth and each other in a meaningful way.

The Wilderness Trek group posed for a photo just before heading out on their extended trek

Wilderness Trekkers and Bear Campers say their farewells before the Wilderness Trek group heads out for their two-day adventure

Young Jedi arrived at camp this week to attune themselves with the force of the forest. Campers listened to a legendary story about the struggle between Zoltev and Yarrow a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. Jedi Masters helped campers cultivate an inner stillness by meditating in sit-spots, learning how to move through the woods silently, and honing their awareness skills with exercises like Deer Ears and Owl Eyes

Jedi Cadets camouflage their bodies with charcoal before a scouting mission to pick up their lightsabers.

Master Tuber senses a disturbance in the Force.

The young Jedi also attempt to conceal themselves with Moss found in the Hemlocks.

Jedi campers carve and practice blocking with their "training sabers."

We can't wait to see what happens next week!

Need a trail guide?

We’re happy to help you navigate. Give us a call at the office (607) 272-2292 ext. 195 or use the link below

Get In Touch

Don't miss a beat, add yourself to our list to get all the latest details.

Need a trail guide?

We’re happy to help you navigate. Give us a call at the office (607) 272-2292 ext. 195 or use the link below

Get In Touch

Don't miss a beat, add yourself to our list to get all the latest details.