The Benefits of Summer Camp and Spending Time in Nature

As schools across the country close their doors for the summer, many parents are left wondering how their child can continue to learn and grow while not spending time in the classroom. Furthermore, they are searching for ways to keep their child active and healthy in the process of learning. Thankfully, there’s a solution that helps children learn about themselves, their peers, and the wonderful world around them while also allowing them to use up all that pent-up energy: Thorne Summer Camp!

At Thorne, we recognize that humans are an inseparable part of the environment and that joyful, hands-on experiences in nature cultivate essential skills that can’t be learned in a standard classroom while promoting an active lifestyle for years to come. With programs that involve activities such as bird-banding, biking the Platte River, building debris huts, catching critters in streams, making handmade tools and nature creations, or hiking up to Boulder’s beautiful Flatirons taught by our caring and experienced staff, we hope to give children the summer experience of a lifetime.

Learning and Development at Thorne Summer Camp

Two Thorne campers make silly faces while enjoying their time at summer camp

At Thorne Summer Camp, we expose campers to the wonders of nature and allow them to collaborate and work together to understand the connections between humans and the environment. Such a system comes with many benefits to how our campers learn and develop, including:

  • The ability to get along well with others
  • Critical-thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Learning what it means to be a leader
  • Fostering an emotional connection with the environment
  • Cherishing time spent outdoors over time spent on screens
  • Ability to interact with the environment in a safe manner

Of course, these are just a few of the many skills that Thorne Summer Camp instills in our campers. If you’d like to learn more about how your child benefits, we recommend reading this article from Our Kids or this research from Psychology Today.

Thorne Summer Camp and an Active and Healthy Lifestyle

Three boys bike along the Platte River during their time at Thorne Summer CampWe also recognize just how important it is that we begin to instill the joy of an active and healthy lifestyle in our campers. Whether we’re discussing the importance of taking water breaks during hikes, splashing through creeks with clear and crisp mountain water, or enjoying delicious and nutritious snacks after a day packed with adventure, our camp experiences teach children that it’s fun and easy to be active and healthy.

Being outsides comes along with a host of other benefits, such as:

  • Increased ability to concentrate
  • Exposure to sunlight and Vitamin D
  • Ability to learn more effectively
  • Reduced stress
  • Greater physical health

We recommend reading this great article from the American Psychological Association about why it’s so important that children spend time outdoors to learn more.

Thorne: A Different Way of Learning

School may be out, but your child can still learn so much about themselves and the environment by taking part in one of our great summer camps. Our camp experiences provide campers with a different way of learning: one that fosters a connection with nature, promotes hands-on experiences, and is all about being active and healthy.

If you’re looking for a way to help your child develop while also giving them an experience they won’t forget, make sure to sign up for one of our summer camps before they’re filled up!


Introducing Thorne’s New Blog and Camp Photo System

For more than six decades, Thorne Nature Experience has provided youth with joyful, hands-on, place-based environmental education experiences that foster an emotional connection to nature. Whether through our School Programs, Family & Community Events, or our wonderfully varied Summer Camps, the organization has committed itself to providing unique ways for children to engage in the environment around them.

Now, Thorne aims to further strengthen the connections we help children form with nature by making it easier than ever for nature to come home with the whole family. We are excited to announce our new blog and photo system, both serving the purpose of expanding our nature education and creating new ways for lasting impressions with nature to form.

The Thorne Blog

Starting today, weekly blogs will be posted under the About -> News section of the Thorne website to help parents learn how they can continue place-based education methods into their homes, to shine a light on the current research showing the varied and lasting benefits of spending time in nature, and to showcase the Thorne staff and community whom our mission could not be achieved without, and more. 

Find the Thorne Blog by clicking "About" and then "News"

With the understanding that life today is perhaps more hectic than ever (especially for parents), we promise to deliver this information in a short yet concise manner. In this way, it is our hope to make introducing nature to your household as easy as it is fun for parents. Please continue to check our blog in the coming weeks, and feel free to share it on Facebook, Instagram, or anywhere where you think members of the community would benefit!

Camp Photos

We also recognize that some of the most magical parts of the Thorne experience are the memories and friends made along the way, which is why we are also excited to introduce you to our new photo system for this summer season. We’ll begin using CampMinder’s photo system so you can fill out forms, make payments, and view photos all in the same place. Photos will be uploaded throughout the summer season so campers can cherish the wonderful time they had at camp and parents can enjoy watching how their children bonded with nature during the experience.

How to Use the New Photo System 

Viewing photos from Thorne Summer Camp is a simple and seamless experience which we’ll describe in detail here.

Begin by logging into your CampMinder account on the Thorne website. Once you’re logged in you’ll see a photos icon at the top of your account page where you can start exploring. After clicking into this section of our site, you will be able to see all camp pictures from any week your child was enrolled in a camp and can use the filter system to search for the correct album of photos. 

In addition to viewing photos of your camper at camp, you can also purchase photos! Whether you’d like a digital download, printed photo or even a mug, you’ll have those options and more. To purchase one photo, simply hover over the photo and select “Add to Cart.” To purchase multiple photos, scroll to the top of the page and click “Select Multiple Photos.”

Lastly, if you’d like to share the camp experience, you can do that by creating a guest account for any family or friend. Once they’ve made their own account they too can view our photos of camp. Return to your account’s homepage by clicking “Menu” in the bottom left and then “My Account.” From here, just under the photos icon, you’ll see a green key icon with the title “Guest Accounts.” Click on this link and follow the instructions provided to set up a guest account.