Programs and Camps

Join Lake Paran and North Bennington organizations for an 8 week day-camp program that will focus on outdoor recreation, place-based activities, and learning. Each week, campers ages 5-12, will explore hiking, swimming, food systems, art, and learning about the natural environment in the North Bennington area.

Everyday your camper will explore one of our partner sites from gardening at Hiland Hall Gardens, Nature Hour with Bennington College, summer reading and special guests at McCullough Library, community art creation with Vermont Arts Exchange, making meals from the garden harvests at Meals on Wheels, and ending the afternoon at Lake Paran swimming, exploring nature, and having fun.

Every camper will be able to enroll in a swim lesson and have meals/snacks provided. Our mission is for our camp to be accessible to every family in and near Bennington, therefore we offer scholarships on a needs-basis. We look forward to a fun filled summer of learning and outdoor fun.

To apply for a scholarship, click here

For questions, please email Camille:

More on each week’s theme:

Week 1: 6/20- 6/24: Deep Dive into Lake Paran and Beyond

Take a deep dive into Lake Paran and the Village of North Bennington. Discover the best parts of our Village as we kick off the summer. We will tour the sculpture show, do a scavenger hunt, and build community through teamwork! Of course we will take literal dives into Lake Paran too! 

Week 2: 6/27-7/1: Rocks, Fossils, and History Explorers

Discover the history of Lake Paran and the Village of North Bennington. Learn about the geology and rocks that make up the earth we walk on. Explore unique rock formations and create a rock exhibition to display our findings! Find out how North Bennington’s industrial past shaped our community today.  

Week 3: TUESDAY, 7/5-7/8: Into the Woods

Grab your nature journals, butterfly nets, and magnifying glasses, we will be exploring the forests, meadows, and marshes surrounding Lake Paran. Participants will transform into nature explorers while enjoying trail adventures and detecting native animals and plants who make their homes at Lake Paran. While this is a terrestrial exploration camp, plenty of swimming will be taking place as well.

Week 4: 7/11- 7/15: Wet and Wild

Get to know the waters that make up the lake we love. From fishing, to dip netting for creatures, and the occasional canoe ride, our feet will constantly be wet this week as we dive into the hidden wonders of life beneath the water’s surface.

Week 5: 7/25-7/29: Fun with Farm to Table

Where does our food come from? How do we make delicious pizza from harvested tomatoes and herbs? Get close with fresh fruits and vegetables grown locally in our community gardens. Learn simple recipes and get creative during our campers cook off! We’ll explore the in’s and out’s of the local food system and help pollinators by planting native plants!

Week 6: 8/1-8/5: Sustainability Stewards

Youth are the next generation of environmental stewards. Learn how to be a sustainable community member by up-cycling, participating in citizen science, and more. We will explore how climate change is effecting Bennington and how we can be active sustainable stewards!  

Week 7: 8/8- 8/12: Recreation Wonderland

Get outside and get moving in the great outdoors of North Bennington. Join us for a general recreation week where we will hike the trails around the Lake, swim, fish and boat, and play games on our volleyball court. It will be a fun-filled week while being active outside.

Week 8: 8/15-8/19: Building Community

The finale. Building community is the most important take-away from our camp! While we make valuable connections with our village’s assets, we will physically build things too! From boats to science experiments, let’s help the community and make cool things while we are at it!

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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