The New Weis Center for Education, Arts, and Recreation
150 Snake Den Road
Ringwood, NJ 07456
Contact: Anne Siebecker
Our "Highlands Junior Naturalist" program is designed to guide tweens and teens on a deep dive into the local ecology.
Year two of our Junior Naturalist program will take an even deeper dive into the forest with full-day, weekly sessions! We will take to the trails each week as we explore classic favorites as well as some untrodden secret spots. As we journey through the forest we will be learning, studying, and playing games and building connections. Our goal is to create a safe and supportive space for teens and tweens to express themselves, encourage curiosity, build confidence and social skills, grow friendships - and learn some cool science along the way.
Each day will incorporate fun and immersive experiences and a variety of nature-focused activities and experiments. By engaging in in-depth outdoor learning, we strive to provide an unforgettable experience and a lifelong connection to the natural world around them. Activities along the trail will range from data collecting and studies, to active games and crafts, to observation of our natural world. We will study many areas of ecology, such as botany, birds, stream & water science, animal tracking, insects & other arthropods, seasonal change, soil science, and geology. Additionally, our Junior Naturalists will learn the skills to become safe, confident, and independent outdoorspeople. This will include hands-on lessons in mapping, navigation, fire starting, preparedness, and related topics.
The 6-week program will have a maximum 16 students plus at least 2 adult counselors, to ensure individual attention. All activities will be held outdoors on our beautiful 152, with outdoor facilities including a picnic grove, recreation field, covered pavilion, firecircle, hiking trails, raingarden, butterfly garden and a brook.