CREA Summer Day Camp

Join us for a summer to remember! CREA’s Summer Day Camp is a nature-based, off-grid day camp for girls and boys ages 6-16 based at the CREA Ecology Center in Topsham, ME. Camp is offered 5 days a week from 8:30am – 4:00pm, over 7 weekly sessions. Sessions are held in July & August and activities for each week are geared towards specific grade levels.

*** NEW CAMP HOURS: 8:30am – 4:00pm!! ***

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“…the very first day my son never even made it to the car before he started gushing about his day – he was so excited he would have slept there if you let him.” – Camp Parent

Every week at CREA Camp: Campers will hike into the Cathance River Nature Preserve, exploring over 5 miles of trails within the 235-acre wooded preserve; cool off in the Cathance River while hunting for frogs; fish in the deep river pools, catching and releasing a variety of fresh-water fish species; scoop muck from the pond to discover newts, tadpoles, and insect larvae; engineer boats and test them in the rapids of the Cathance River; hunt for salamanders under rotting leaves and logs, and more! We end each camp week with a day of hiking on the Preserve, including lunch on the bank of the river and wallowing in the cool clay-mud at Clay Brook – campers are sure to come home tired and dirty!

Daily adventures at CREA Camp: Along with exploring the beautiful forests around us, CREA campers will engage daily in nature-based art, hands-on science exploration, active games and activities based on the weekly camp theme. Each day ends with personal reflection, camp songs and sharing positive vibes. Campers have fun exploring new interests, developing new skills, and building friendships under the supervision of our experienced and engaging camp team.


2020 CREA SUMMER CAMP WEEKS

*Grade Level noted is rising grade level as of September 2020*

Adventure Skills | July 6 – 10 | Grades 3 – 5

This week campers will practice basic outdoor adventure skills and Leave No Trace principles to enjoy exploring responsibly. Camper teams will race to identify local flora and fauna and test their shelter building techniques! From knot tying and basic orienteering to engineering boats to race on the Cathance River, this week we’re ready for adventure! Are you up for the challenge?

Jr. Biologists | July 13 – 17 | Grades 3 – 5 

Campers will explore the Cathance River watershed from a scientific perspective, taking part in ecological research and monitoring projects. Participants will be presented with a research question at the beginning of each camp day and will be guided through techniques for collecting data and analyzing results. We might spend the day tracking turtles, testing water quality, or measuring salamander diversity at different spots throughout the Cathance River Nature Preserve. Campers will be immersed in nature, practicing fieldwork techniques – a hands on way to learn and have fun outdoors! 

Weather Wise | July 20 – 24 | Grades 3 – 5 

What is the difference between weather and climate? What can trees tell us about our climate and how it is changing? This week campers will explore these questions while creating our own weather! We’ll discover why our weather is changing and what small steps we can take to make a difference today. We’ll harness the power of the sun to roast camp s’mores in solar ovens & build bird feeders for our local avian friends in need. 

Wilderness Squad | July 27 – 31 | Grades 1 – 2 

This week is all about wilderness challenges! Can your team work together to find frogs, turtles, insect larva, salamanders, and fungus? Will you be able to build a boat that can withstand the rapids of the Cathance River? We’ll design our own mini ecosystems, investigate animal tracks, and create our own hiking sticks for our Friday hike!

Owl Eyes | August 3 – 7 | Grades 1 – 2 

Campers will work together and as a team to build, explore, and challenge their 5 basic senses on the Preserve. What can you hear with your “deer ears” on? What can you observe from your own quiet sit spot in the forest? Campers create their own binoculars, nature camouflage, and build wildlife observation journals! 

Sr. Biologists | August 10 – 14 | Grades 6 – 8

Campers will explore the Cathance River watershed from a scientific perspective, taking part in ecological research and monitoring projects. Participants will be presented with a research question at the beginning of each camp day and will be guided through techniques for collecting data and analyzing results. We might spend the day tracking turtles, testing water quality, or measuring salamander diversity at different spots throughout the Cathance River Nature Preserve. Campers will be immersed in nature, practicing fieldwork techniques – a hands on way to learn and have fun outdoors!  

Noble Naturalists | August 17 – 21 | Grades 6 – 8 

For our oldest campers, the last week of the summer YOU are the researchers! While working in small groups, campers will be guided in choosing their own scientific research topic to delve into on the Preserve. Throughout the week, campers will observe, monitor, collect scientific data and evaluate their results. Campers will present their findings on Friday at the closing ceremony to their peers and family. What will you discover?

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“I would have to say that our camper was very interested in all animals and insects prior to CREA. Though, after returning from camp he now has a respect for these creatures. He informs us not to kill even a mosquito. He is also aware of the damage one can make from littering. It seems he has a Buddhist approach to life for now. I feel that CREA has enriched his life. He didn’t seem to have a single favorite experience, he enjoyed it all! He loves the outdoors and playing outside. CREA is an awesome privilege to have in a day where children only ever want to sit inside and watch YouTube.” – Camp Parent


What’s New for 2020?

New, Extended Hours! 8:30am – 4:00pm for 2020 Summer Camps. We’ve added one hour to the camp day to accommodate parents’ work schedules.

Wilderness Wisdom Wednesdays! This summer, we will dive even deeper into the natural world. To do this, each week a specialist will come to teach campers about a topic related to the week’s theme. Presenters’ bios and details will be shared with registered families prior to each session of camp.

New Science Immersion Weeks: Our 2020 Jr. & Sr. Biologists and Noble Naturalist programs are designed for campers who are looking for a more hands-on, science-centered camp experience. We will begin our morning with group team building activities, then will head into the woods to investigate our research questions for the day. Each day, campers will have a specific ecological topic to explore. Campers will learn how to use a variety of tools and fieldwork techniques to explore the topic and collect data. Some days we might bring our lunches, as our schedule will be dictated by wherever the river (or bird or turtle, etc) leads us, and we may not return to the Ecology Center until after lunch. Campers who enroll in this program should have an interest in learning more about the plants, animals, and ecosystems at CREA. No prior knowledge or experience is necessary; just a desire to explore, investigate, and get dirty!

Meet CREA’s 2020 Camp Team! For those who are new to CREA Camps or want to re-orient your child to our camp setting, we will host our Camp Open House – Sunday, June 28 – 2:00pm to 4:00pm. Feel free to stop by, meet camp staff, explore the CREA Ecology Center space where camp takes place, learn about our plans for the camp weeks, and ask any questions in person.


2020 Camp Tuition:

With an additional hour of camp included in our 2020 sessions, camp rates have increased accordingly.

Non-CREA Members

$290 / Camper per week

CREA Members

$220 / Camper per week

Annual Family Membership

$60

CREA partners with Brunswick & MSAD 75 school Counselors to provide camp scholarships for local youth in need. If you have additional questions about these opportunities, please email our Camp Director, Jenny Mueller at for additional information. If you’d like to donate a week of camp to a child in our community please click HERE.


Required Camper & CIT forms for registration:

2020 CREA SUMMER CAMP WAIVERS & HEALTH HISTORY

2020 CREA Camp Medication Log

2020 CREA Summer Camp CIT Application


CREA COUNSELOR-IN-TRAINING SESSIONS

Young naturalists ages 14 – 16 are eligible to apply for our Counselor-in-Training leadership development program.  Each CIT session is a 2- or 3-week commitment. CIT’s will be immersed in camper groups daily, building their leadership skills and confidence while enjoying all of the camp day fun! CIT’s will meet with CREA’s Camp Director every day for leadership team building projects and games, lesson preparation, and camp recap discussions.

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“Thank you for such a wonderful two weeks of camp for Maggie. She really had a great time and had her eyes opened to what it’s like to be responsible for others, and also loved all the science and nature. I cannot think of any two week span of her life where she came home everyday reporting the day was “awesome” until this. Thank you again, we are so grateful to you and CREA for this experience.” – 2019 CIT Parent


2020 CIT Sessions & Tuition: 

CIT Session 1: July 6 – 17 (2 week session) – $100

CIT Session 2 : July 20 – August 7   (3 week session) – $150

CIT Session 3: August 10 – 21  (2 week session) – $100

CIT sessions are a learning and service leadership experience. Each CIT must complete an application to be accepted into the program. Documentation of CIT hours for community service credit is provided at the completion of each leadership session.


If you have any questions regarding 2020 CREA Summer Camps, please contact:

Jenny Mueller, Camp Director | | (207) 331 – 3202 x4


Learn More about CREA Summer Camp from our Camp Info Sheet

See what families are saying about CREA summer camp

Directions to CREA Summer Camp

CREA Camp FAQ

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