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Summer Camp Programs for Children and Teens at Environmental Education Center

Eco-Explorers prepared for canoeing on Branta Pond at the Environmental Education Center in Basking Ridge. Credits: Courtesy of the Somerset County Park Commission
Xtreme Adventurers enjoy a day of kayaking in the Pine Barrens with naturalists from the Environmental Education Center in Basking Ridge. Credits: Courtesy of the Somerset County Park Commission

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Each summer, the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge holds programs that let children and teens explore nature for summer activities that both entertaining and an opportunity to learn about the environment.

The programs are organized and led by the EEC's staff of naturalists.

The EEC is a Somerset County facility located at 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge. Information on all programs is available at or by calling 908-722-1200, ext. 5002.

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Eco-Explorers, ages 7 to 9, offers a series of four one-week and two two-week summer sessions of day-long programming exploring nature and science through hiking, canoeing, games, crafts, and exciting day trips. The programs run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

- Tales of a Planet (One-Week Session) Monday, June 18-Friday, June 22 Take a journey through time, starting all the way back at the Earth’s beginnings. Campers will learn about geology, dinosaurs, unique places, early mammals, and all the things that happened to make earth like it is today. Fee is $360 per person.

- Creature Feature (One-Week Session) Monday, June 25-Friday, June 29: The Earth has some pretty amazing animals; whale sharks, newts, lemurs, and lion fish –just to name a few. Each day campers will learn about the variety of animals that live on this planet with an opportunity to meet some special animal guests and become an expert. Fee is $360 per person.

- Junior Naturalists (Two-Week Session) Monday, July 2-Friday, July 13: Hike! Track! Explore! During this session, campers will gain identification skills and learn what it is like to be a naturalist. This week-long adventure will have pond studies, bug collecting, tracking, and more! (No program Wednesday, July 4.) Fee is $648 per person.

- Swamp Scientists (Two-Week Session) Monday, July 16-Friday, July 27: Campers will put on a lab coat to conduct some fun and wacky experiments and find out more about the science behind nature, using newfound science skills while hiking and playing to discover how things work. Fee is $720 per person.

- Creature Feature II (One-Week Session) Monday, July 30-Friday, August 3: There are so many fun creatures to see and learn about campers will continue the journey with a second round of animal fun. Each day campers will learn about the variety of animals that live on this planet, meeting some special animal guests. Fee is $360 per person.

- Habitat Trackers (One-Week Session) Monday, August 6 -Friday, August 10: Campers will get their imagination fired up with a week of learning all about the world’s many habitats and what makes them so special by exploring some of the habitats right here in NJ and on a trip or two to discover others. Fee is $360 per person.

 “Xtreme Adventure” is a summer-long series of one-day outdoor programs for teens age 13 to 16.

Stand Up Paddling _ Wednesday, June 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Campers will travel to Spruce Run Reservoir for a proper lesson and guided excursion. Fee is $150 per person.

Waterfalls _ Wednesday, July 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Campers will explore various hiking trails that will lead to hidden waterfalls. Fee is $50 per person. 

Kayak _ Wednesday, July 18 from 8:30 A.M. to 7:30 P.M. Adventurers will head south to the New Jersey Pine Barrens to learn how to wet exit a kayak, discover proper kayak strokes, and finally put the skills to the test. Fee is $75 per person. 

Rock Climb _ Wednesday, August 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Adventurers will journey to the Shawangunks, also known as “The Gunks”, in the Catskill Mountain Range to meet a licensed climbing guide and hike a short distance to the rocks! Instruction on climbing, belaying, and repelling will be included. Fee is $200 per person.

Registration for Xtreme Adventures is in progress in person at the EEC office, online at or by phone at 908-722-1200, ext. 5002, or by mail. All registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. A full non-refundable payment is due at the time of registration.  



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