Tahoe Nature Camp: Bringing Kids Back to Nature

Profound Senses

Tahoe XC’s newest program for kids is the Tahoe Nature Camp. But the concept is nothing new to class instructor Bev Buswell, who has been running nature programs for children since 2008. She is excited to begin a program here at Tahoe XC. “It’s been an amazing process to see how dedicated TXC is to it’s mission, to provide this opportunity for kids. I’m glad to be a part of it,” said Buswell.

The Nature Camps are week-long sessions for 5-10 year old children. The first session is June 17-21st and the second is June 24-28th. The goal of the program is fairly simple: giving children the chance to make a deep connection to nature. “The kids need to have more opportunities to connect with nature,” says Buswell. She believes that when kids fall in love with the natural world around them, they will take care of what they love. The campers learn about the natural world by being outside having fun. They play in creeks. Follow animal tracks. Learn about their senses of smell, hearing, seeing and touch by seeing and touching deer ears, owl eyes and coyote ears. They look at the fish in the creeks and smell the wildflowers.

Camper in bright green foliage
Child studies leaves

The campers will also connect with nature by using the natural objects they find. Buswell will help the kids create grass looms, try their hand at pine needle basketry, make pine nut beads and operate flower presses. “I love to follow the mysteries with the kids. We see something, get curious about it together and go become co-explorers, co discoverers. We take their curiosity to the next level which instills a sense of excitement for them,” said Buswell.

While at first glance five full days seem like a lot for young kids, Buswell feels it is this deep immersion that really helps the children understand the natural world. She remembers fondly the time at one nature camp when parents were coming to pick up the children. One child yelled out, “There is the hawk alarm of the red-winged blackbird!” and then quickly thereafter a hawk flew right past the group. The parents were astounded, but Buswell says, “When kids get immersed, they make profound changes.”