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.
At Rapp Nature Camp, we have discovered that "Nature lessons are life lessons." Plants and animals, stars and clouds, rivers and ponds all reveal something to us of our own nature. But this is only true if we take the time to observe living plants and animals in their own habitats. All of our natural history lessons are aimed at motivating children to observe the real things of nature in context. This kind of observation is the only means of allowing children, and all of us, to come closer to the question, "What is life?"
Rapp Nature Camp has been providing a unique camp experience for children 8-12 for over 30 years. In 2018 we starting inviting older campers (12 to 16 years old) to a separate summer session. We are also holding additional programs and events this year (including "Perennial Campers !" for adults), and through outreach to other communities, we are hoping to encourage establishment of new nature-study camps.
Formerly operating under the auspices of the Piedmont Environmental Council and Headwaters Foundation, we are now in our second year as an independent nonprofit organization, thanks to help from our camp community and a start-up grant from the Richard Lykes Community Fund at the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation. Read about our educational program at www.rappnaturecamp.org.
"As I sit here during Quiet Time listening, I listen very closely. What do I hear? The whisper of the trees, the talking river. We think we have better things to do, but if you listen, you will hear a story never heard before. The river has conversations with the breeze. Listen for a long time and become part of the forest. Then you will say to yourself, "I should've started listening a long time ago!" -- camper, C.H., age 12
"At Nature Camp my sense of wonder was encouraged and rewarded. I learned many facts about the animals and plants and atmosphere around me. More importantly, though, I learned how to respect, protect and be a part of the natural world that existed long before me and will continue to exist long after I'm gone." -- Erin Platt, former camper, parent of camper, and current board member
"As we have always known, you offer two weeks of potentially life-changing magic by helping young people to see the world around them in a very different way. Thanks for all you do. You have really touched the lives of so many children." -- Beth Hilscher, parent of 2 former campers