Nature Center campout offers a return to the outdoors
The New Canaan Nature Center will help residents get in touch with nature during its Great American Campout this weekend.
The family event kicks off Saturday, June 26, and continues throughout the night and into morning of Sunday, June 27. The campout will include dinner, breakfast, activities and entertainment.
Keith Marshall, the center's director of education, expects the campout to be one of the most engaging ways of learning about nature.
"Today's society is tech-based and the majority of people lose track of the good old-fashioned pick- up game of baseball and interest in the little things right outside their back door," he said. "This campout is a new and unique way to allow people to get back to nature; it is one step above a backyard, but not quite Yellowstone National Park."
As an example, Marshall said he went to the center early one day and saw snapping turtles exiting the water to lay their eggs.
"Most people who come to the Nature Center stay only an hour or two and miss things like that, and a lot more of what the center has to offer," he said.
Marshall shared a few more examples, including seeing the deer that run through the fields at dusk and birds singing early in the morning.
"A lot of the magic happens around four in the morning, and most people miss it," Marshall said. "By camping out on site, attendees will be able to witness the sounds and events that take place in nature. One may see a wild animal that they never thought would be right here in their own town."
The campout will feature hands-on exercises including a one-match fire pit and lessons on how to pitch a tent. A night-sit will be available for people to sit back, relax, watch and listen to nature in silence while positioned in the heart of it all.
"We want people to just get outdoors," Marshall said. "In this fast-paced world, many lose the sight of the simplest things and basics of nature. You come here and you're not worrying about if you have dishes to wash; you can slow down and for once have nothing to do."
Admission to the campout is $100 per tent for members and $150 for non-members. The event is first-come, first-serve and suitable for all ages.
"Take a moment and enjoy this space, put down the Nintendo and come play tag," Marshall said.
Other events at the Nature Center throughout the summer include the Naturepalooza Family Concert and Campfire on July 24 and the Summer Night Hike and Campfire on Aug. 13.
For more information, visit www.newcanaannature.org.