“Nature lessons are life lessons.”
Rapp Nature Camp is set in southern Rappahannock County, Virginia. The 2023 Summer Session was our 38th year!
Below are the 2024 dates for summer day camp. Please revisit this webpage this winter for enrollment information.
SESSION 1: JUNE 10-14
SESSION 2: JUNE 17-21
SESSION 3: JUNE 24-28
SESSION 4: JULY 1-5 (Note: July 4 will be a regular camp day)
Please note the following:
- Every session is open to campers age 8 to 16, and any camper may attend any number of sessions. No two weeks are alike, and we hope you will consider signing up for more than one! Note that campers must be 8 to 16 years old as of the first day of camp, no exceptions.
- Contact Camp at [email protected] or call Director Rachel Bynum at 540-252-6308 before enrolling regarding tuition assistance. It’s easy to apply, and nobody should miss Camp due to financial need.
- Rappahannock Nature Camp will take appropriate measures consistent with current Public Health practices to do what we can to keep campers safe and healthy.
- Local Residence is not required for registration.
The goals of the camp are:
• to awaken an interest in our wonderfully beautiful and diverse natural surroundings
• to observe living plants and animals in their natural habitats
• to understand the role of human beings in this shared environment
• to have fun and make new discoveries every day
Campers explore the forests, meadows, rivers and ponds of the Singing Creek property and surrounding areas, including the Shenandoah National Park which is within walking distance. The camp’s home base is on the Hazel River, two miles west of Route 231. Some of our favorite places to explore are: the Hazel River, Frog Pond, Secret Garden, Puckwudgie Tree, Azalea Rocks and our own individual Quiet Spots.
Many of our campers are Rappahannock County residents; some come each year from far away and are visiting grandparents or other relatives who live in the county. Our mission is “to allow individuals, especially children, to discover for themselves the wonder and beauty of the natural world, and to understand what it means to be a part of a community of living things.” The camp’s motto is “Nature lessons are life lessons.” Our activities are almost all outdoors and are focused on community building, nature observation, and respect for the natural environment and its inhabitants. Everything we do is oriented towards such “life lessons” as developing listening, confidence in public speaking, vocabulary, working cooperatively, art and music, and imagination. Each camper has a special “Quiet Spot” and spends “Quiet Time” alone, just observing nature. Every year, the campers write and draw for our 16-page annual newsletter.
Over the years, Rapp Nature Camp has been made possible by tremendous volunteer support. Neighbors allow use of their properties, and volunteers have built the camp barn, a footbridge over the Hazel River, and the Frog Pond which is the focus of our habitat studies. Volunteers also help with registration and serve as visiting instructors. For many years, one former camper’s parents donated, delivered, prepared, and served all food and supplies for a night of camp. So Rapp Nature Camp is a true community effort!
“Here at camp and many other places, I’ve seen many forms of nature. From creek to mountain, from forest to beach. And I’ve found to adapt, learn from it, and respect it…. The creek teached me about life. Everyone is a stick that falls into the creek. You flow through life hitting bumpy rapids with problems. When the stick is stuck on land or between two rocks then life is over. It’s a fact that we’re all sticks in the creek, it can keep moving or it can stop at any time.”
-Joe W. (camper 2007)
Photos: Top Header: 2022 Session 2 Campers Bottom: Campers beekeeping.