Programs and Camps

Lake Paran’s Outdoor Camp Series Ended with a Splash!

We want to thank you for making our first Lake Paran & North Bennington Outdoor Camp Series such a success! This summer had many memorable moments and we are grateful that we were able to share and create them with the children in our community. Although we had to battle with countless rainy days and extreme heat, the waters were (mostly) warm, and everyone’s spirits were high. Thanks to our camp parents and the campers themselves, we had an incredible summer season!

In August 2020, we welcomed our AmeriCorps Vista, Camille, as a year-round Outreach Coordinator for Lake Paran. With a background in Environmental Education, she was a able to assist in the growth of the outdoor camp series and is grateful to have the opportunity to continue working with Lake Paran in this new capacity.

We were happy to receive so many responses to our end of session surveys this year; all of the feedback is very helpful. In the parent responses to our survey, a majority of parents mentioned seeing an increase of their campers knowledge of local environmental resources, especially local food systems, a deeper connection to nature, and a sense of joy that children were not able to attain during the past year and a half. The camp staff and our partner organizations worked diligently to foster a community where this kind of growth in our community’s youth can take place and we will continue to work towards that goal.

Some of the favorite activities campers mentioned in their survey responses were: swimming (swimming and more swimming), live animal demonstrations featuring the state’s only legal mammal in captivity, a possum!, riding on the bus to Meals on Wheels of Bennington to assist in gleaning, finding several baby turtles, pond dipping for lake creatures, and of course making new friends! Of course there were so many more favorites noted by our 75 in total enrolled campers. We’ve been working on increasing camp accessibility by offering fully funded camperships. This year about 25% of our campers participated with full funded camperships.  Our absolute goal is to provide outdoor education programming free of cost to all Bennington residents.

Now that is is September, we will take some time to reflect and unwind after the summer season. We plan to host our nature-themed school break camps throughout this coming year. In the meantime, please continue to follow our Facebook page and Paran Post Newsletters for youth and adult programming announcements. We are dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of our programs and depend on your feedback to do so.  If you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to click the link and complete the Paran Camper Satisfaction Survey. We value your feedback and will implement your suggestions into next year’s programming. Thank you!

For all of our programs and camps our mission is to immerse participants in:

  • Paran’s natural environment from the lake ecosystem to the plants and animals who make their habitat at Lake Paran
  • Lessons in conservation management techniques
  • Food system education that will teach children how to cook, process & store foods grown from local community gardens.
  • Knowledge of the Wabenaki indigenous peoples who used this land and their cultural heritage especially as it relates to food.

Win a free summer membership by taking our survey.

We want to hear your input into how our programs should be shaped for the best interest of our community members and youth by responding to this 10 minute survey below:

Thank you to our Partners!

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