ecology camp campers 2012

Ecology Camp

Our goals during our summer Ecology Camp are to use children's natural curiosity and enthusiasm for the outdoors to help them understand important ecological concepts, give them the opportunity to ask and answer their own scientific questions, expose them to the field of Ecology, and develop confidence in their ability to use science to understand and positively impact the world.

Please check back February 2015 for information about Ecology Camp 2015.

Last year...

Rot and Roll: Exploring the Hidden World of Decomposition

This year campers will discover what happens to organisms in our forests, fields, ponds and streams as they rot and are rolled back into our ecosystem. The fascinating and important work of scavengers, microbes and other seldom-seen members of the food web will be revealed!

ecology camp campers
2013 campers

What do the campers do?

During Ecology Camp, children entering grades 2-7 explore the hills, valleys, ponds, and streams of our 2,000-acre Dutchess County campus.  During each 1-week session campers will conduct mini-scientific investigations, learn about the natural history of the area, and participate in team building activities. At the Cary Institute's Ecology Camp, children have a unique opportunity to experience ecological science with our skilled ecology educators and research scientists.

Each year the camp has a different theme, allowing campers to have unique experiences year after year. Past camp themes have included: wetlands (2011),limno-explorers (2012), and life cycle (2013).

Visit the camp Flickr photo gallery to see just how much fun our campers have!

ecology camp campers
2013 campers

What are the numbers and ages of campers?

Each week of camp will have a maximum of 12 campers and will be dedicated to either younger campers (entering grades 2-4) or older campers (entering grades 5-7). In addition, two educators with extensive experience in ecology and education will teach each week.

Our Eco-Investigator session will have a maximum of 6 students with one Cary educator leading them.  This session will be limited to students entering the 8th thru 10th grade only.

Camp for the younger campers runs from 9am to 3pm, Monday through Friday, with early drop off (8am) and late pick up (4pm) options available. For older campers, the camp day runs from 9am to 4pm. This year, the second week is a four day session due to the July 4 holiday. Each week of camp follows the same program, and therefore campers may participate for one session only.

Our Eco-Investigator session will run from 9am to 4pm for nine days, June 30  - July 11.  There will be no camp on the July 4 holiday.

How much does it cost?

Our one week sessions cost $235 and $275 for younger and older campers, respectively.
The Eco-Investigator session cost $475 for the nine days.

Early drop-off (8am) – $40/week
Late pick-up (4pm) –  $40/week
Early drop-off/late pick-up –  $70/week

Refund Policy

Withdrawal from camp prior to June 13, 2014 refunded total fee less $25.00 for administrative costs.  No refund for any reason after June 13, 2014.

Camp Scholarships:

Through the generosity of community members, we are proud to offer a limited number of scholarships to families who could not normally afford to send their children to camp.

For more information, contact Jen Rubbo at 845-677-7600 ext. 303 or 

What about older campers?

Junior Counselor Youth Leadership Program

Our Junior Counselor Youth Leadership Program is for students entering grades 8-12. Junior Counselors assist educators during each ecology day camp session while also leading the collection of scientific data.


Eco–Investigator Session

For the third year, we are offering an additional opportunity for students entering grades 8-10.  This special two week session will focus on the experimental process and give older, motivated students the chance to do their own ecological research project.  During this session campers will gain knowledge of natural history, apply the scientific process and learn how to effectively communicate what they have learned to others. 


For more information about the Cary Institute's Ecology Camp, contact Jen Rubbo at (845) 677-7600 ext. 303 or via email at

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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