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News from Nature Camp, Inc.

     Registration for this summer’s sessions began in late January, a couple of weeks earlier than last year, and within minutes online applications quickly poured in. We implemented a slight shift in the grade ranges for some of the sessions in an effort to achieve greater balance, and while that change largely achieved its desired effect, overall enrollment has lagged somewhat behind the pace of recent years.  Although First, Second, and Third Sessions are full for girls, several spaces remain available in Fourth for current 5th and 6th graders.  And while Second Session has also filled for boys, we could accommodate a boy of any suitable age in any of the other three sessions (current 9th graders may enroll in First Session and 8th graders may attend Third). It would be nice to have a full or nearly full house for our 75th summer of operation!

     Campers may apply directly online through the Nature Camp website ( or by mailing a paper application.

     We are marking Nature Camp’s 75th anniversary through a series of regular posts on our Facebook page. Each week a different photograph from the archives appears in a “Throwback Thursday” feature, and while we have pictures enough to last throughout the year, we would always welcome more images if anyone would like to share them. We have at least temporarily discontinued the “Formative Friday” series of profiles of Nature Camp alumni, parents, and friends, but would be happy to resume these posts at any time. Submissions should include a photo of you at Nature Camp, state where you are what you are doing now, and briefly describe how Nature Camp has influenced your life and the direction it has taken.  Please e-mail testimonials to

     Nature Camp seeks a gently used vehicle to add to our existing fleet of multi-passenger vans and pickup/dump truck. In 2008 we received a generous donation of a high-mileage but still fully functional minivan from Powell and Joanne Hutton. Over the ensuing eight years this vehicle has transported food and other supplies from town, taken numerous campers to the doctor’s office and emergency room, and even been used to move heavy equipment from one end of camp to the other, but sadly it appears that it may have reached the end of its useful life. Cargo space is more important that passenger capacity—a hatchback, SUV, or minivan would be preferable to a four-door sedan—and decent gas mileage is a desirable but not essential quality. A vehicle with over 150,000 miles would certainly not be out of the question, as long as significant repairs are not needed, since the “Hutton van” accrued less than 1500 miles annually.  Nature Camp would gladly arrange for transportation of the vehicle to Vesuvius and provide the requisite paperwork so that a donor could claim the charitable contribution for tax purposes.

     Finally, we would also welcome the donation of small, preferably framed pieces of artwork for the BTM (“Behind the Museum,” for the uninitiated).  If you have an original drawing or painting, or you are downsizing or have just completed spring cleaning and you no longer have a home for a particular work, we would love for it to help spruce up the walls of Nature Camp’s guest quarters.

Thanks to all of you for everything you do to support, promote, sustain, and improve Nature Camp.  May it continue to thrive for another 75 years and beyond.

– Philip Coulling, NC Executive Director