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Tahoe Nature Camp

Tahoe Nature Camp is a week-long session of nature study, hiking, exploring, nature art, primitive skills, camp craft, games, and of course, play! The goal of this program is to develop a deeper connection to nature, oneself, and new friends. This program is designed for kids ages 5-10 years old. Bev Buswell, who has run her own nature school and summer camp for decades, will bring her experiene and strengths of connecting kids to nature in a deep and lasting way.

2 Sessions:

  • June 17-21, 2024
  • June 24-28, 2024

Time: 9:00am - 3:00pm
Fee: $300/week
Instructor: Bev Buswell
Location: Meet at the yurt at the bottom of the Tahoe XC trailhead.
Thursdays will be our beach days and pick-up and drop-off locations will be between Tahoe City and Kings Beach. Registration: OPENS April 12th @ 8:00am

*If you are attempting to register and are seeing an error message, please contact us at contact (@) tahoexc.org.

Overview

We will spend our days doing a variety of outdoor activities. In addition to games, arts & crafts, and hiking, we will have some new adventures every day. Usually, the day will start with a hike, but following the emergent interests of children and what presents itself in nature, it could end in following tracks, learning bird language, finding animal homes, building fairy houses or pretend animal homes, practicing primitive or survival skills, or just getting silly. This is all balanced with the truly necessary nature play that kids invent. Being aware of nature, of one’s self, of others, of our bodies as we move, and of what’s happening around us, are some of the dominant goals in this immersive outdoor experience.

kids sitting on rock looking over Lake Tahoe
girl smiling in trees

Activities

Activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Hiking
  • Tracking
  • Music
  • Bird Language
  • Fort Building
  • Wilderness Survival
  • Field Sketching
  • Nature Art
  • Aquatic Studies
  • Map & Compass
  • Plant & Animal ID
  • Natural dyes or paints

What to Bring

In a Backpack (labeled):

  • At least one quart of water
  • Substantial healthy snack
  • Substantial healthy lunch (Kids OFTEN run out of food at day camp. They are burning a lot of energy!)
  • Spare set of clothes in case of water or mud play or messy art
  • Swim suit or spare quick dry shorts & tank top in case we play with water or sit in the creek
  • Chilly morning clothes: long sleeve and long pants under fleece for example
  • Sunny day clothes under morning clothes: shorts and short-sleeve shirt
  • Sun hat or cap
  • Shoes: Kids must bring or wear closed toe shoes. If they can climb trees and run in their sandals, they can wear them on hot mornings (or bring to change into, but must also have closed toe shoes with them.)
  • Sunscreen: Please apply your child’s suncreen before dropping them off. We will not apply sunscreen and do not recommend carrying it throughout the day. If you are concerned about your child’s sun exposure, please communicate that with us. Hats and sun protective clothing are highly recommended.

Bio: Bev Buswell

Bev Buswell’s passion is to connect children to nature. Even in her teens, she was a volunteer naturalist for National and local Park Services, leading kids in nature. Bev has taught in Montessori, Waldorf, and public schools, from preschool teacher to garden teacher to Environmental Education Coordinator. She ran a high school high adventure group for 15 yrs, backpacking, caving, snowcamping, mt. climbing, skiing, and more. In 2008, she founded Wildflowers Nature School. Until 2020, she ran thriving preschool, homeschool, and afterschool programs there. She ran Wildflowers Camp from 2009 to 2011 and 2021 to present, and Earth Camp from 2011 to 2020. Now she’s founding her 3 rd camp, Tahoe Nature Camp! The last 2 winters Bev’s been teaching “Nordic Naturalists” at Tahoe XC, connecting kids to nature while teaching them how to ski. She hopes to expand that type of program next year to more age groups and possibly more cross-country ski resorts.

Bev, Winter 2024

With a BA in Environmental Science with a focus in Environmental Education, Buswell feels that her many workshops in nature connection, bird language, naturalist, coyote mentoring, primitive skills, and environmental education were more informative to what and how she teaches. Traditional Environmental Ed teaches kids to care for nature. Nature connection education teaches kids first to LOVE nature. When someone loves something precious, they will go to great lengths to protect it. She has learned from Jon Young, Tom Brown, Joseph Cornell, and other icons of the nature connection movement. Her goal is for kids to feel such a deep connection to nature that it changes their awareness in general, moves their play outside where they can build a life of appreciation and curiosity of nature, and gives them a love of the natural world that they can return to throughout their lives for renewal, clarity, and perspective. This immersion is the original, innate way that humans learned for millennium. With all ages always around in natural settings, kids observed, explored, imitated, questioned, and watched their mentors and nature. They learned by discovery, experimentation, and very keen awareness. Bev wants to provide space and mentoring for that unfolding of inquisitiveness and exploration, for experiencing the wonder and the spirit in special moments in nature. For in those moments lies the heart of education that will last a lifetime. From that connection, nature can always be their refuge. From that love, they will be help save nature from the carelessness of mankind. Bev’s love of nature was nurtured by her parents who led a high adventure teen group, turning Bev and her siblings and friends on to backpacking in amazing places, mountaineering, and caving. Her passion for photography bloomed from her appreciation of natural beauty. Bev still does epic backpacking trips of several weeks in length, cross-country skis 6 days a week in winter, and loves to mountain bike. She and Mark, her husband of 43 years, have 2 adult children and 2 grandchildren.