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The Dutchess County Parks Division will once again host its popular summer programs for children ages 9-17 at Bowdoin Park in the Town of Poughkeepsie and Wilcox Park in the Town of Milan. Dutchess County’s summer programs feature hands-on activities such as hiking, starting campfires, finding food and water and other survival skills, tracking, archery, Nerf tag, and building group problem solving skills. Each program is a four-day session held from 9:30am to 4pm with early drop-off and late-pick up options available. Cost is $170 per session. The sessions are filling up fast and due to popular demand, children are limited to one session of each program.
“In today’s fast paced world, it’s easy for children to get swept up in the rush of modern, technology-centered life and many have very little time to slow down and explore outdoors. Our summer programs give kids the chance to explore the outdoors and appreciate the world around them in our beautiful parks,” said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.
Bowdoin Park program schedule:
Day Program (ages 9-11) Session Dates: July 9th-12th or July 23rd-26th
The Day Program is a combination of nature study and survival skills, with a focus this year on hunting and gathering. Children will explore forest habitats, hike through the park’s many trails, and observe native wildlife.
Adventure Day Program (ages 9-11) Session Dates: July 9th-12th or July 23rd-26th.
Adventure Intensive Program (ages 12-14) Session Dates: July 16th-19th or August 6th-9th
The Adventure Day and Adventure Intensive programs are designed to duplicate the excitement of a movie or videogame in a physical way. Participants will learn archery, battle with foam weapons, play Nerf tag and learn group problem solving. There will be group challenges each day and the end of the week will feature an adventure for participants to use all of their new skills to overcome obstacles and win the game.
Survival Intensive (ages 12-14) Session Dates: July 16th-19th or August 6th-9th
Program blends survival techniques with an understanding of how prehistoric people lived in harmony with the land. The focus this year is hunting and gathering. Topics include silent movement & camouflage, animal tracking, traps, survival awareness and edible plants.
Living Survival (ages 15-17) Session Dates: August 13th-16th
This session is designed to mimic a real survival situation framed in the context of a story. Participants will have to use all of their skills and knowledge to complete challenges including making fires, purifying water, finding edible plants, tracking, using camouflage, finding a lost person, deciphering clues that may lead to an ancient relic, and more. All the while, the woods are filled with adversaries who may attack at any time. The focus is to teach self-reliance and teamwork and the actions of the group will influence the storyline. This program is limited to 20 students.
Wilcox Park program schedule:
Complete Survival (ages 12-14) Session Dates: July 30th-August 2nd
This session ties together survival techniques and an understanding of how prehistoric people approached survival and resources. Participants will recreate a survival situation by building shelters, starting camp fires, finding food and water, and observing wildlife while working together to accomplish tasks and challenges. This program is limited to 20 participants and ends with an optional overnight stay.
Dutchess County Legislator Kenneth Roman said, “Summer is a time for children to enjoy the outdoors and these programs offer a great opportunity to keep the learning process going outside the traditional classroom, allowing these girls and boys to build interpersonal skills while creating memories that will last a lifetime.”
Dutchess County Parks Director Steve Olsen said, “Our summer programs are very popular, with families returning year after year to participate. The programs are a wonderful opportunity to give children an appreciation for the natural world when far too often, society takes our environment for granted. In nature, every choice and action has consequences. These programs offer challenges and teambuilding exercises while giving kids a new appreciation for the natural world.”
View the Summer Program brochure here for more information. The summer program is part of a wide range of educational programming available at Dutchess County Parks including school and scout programs, archery, maple sugaring, and more. To learn more about all of the programs available at Bowdoin Park as well as other Dutchess County Parks, visit www.dutchessny.gov or call the Dutchess County Parks Division at (845) 298-4600.
Dutchess County is currently developing a new Dutchess County Parks and Recreation Master Plan and the public is encouraged to share input about park facilities and the programming offered. Residents and visitors can take part by participating in this online Parks and Recreation Community Needs Survey and by attending public engagement events on June 4th & 5th at multiple locations throughout the county:
Monday, June 4, 2018 – Bowdoin Park Pavilion #5, 85 Sheafe Road, Wappingers Falls
Tuesday, June 5, 2018 – Town of Milan Town Hall, 20 Wilcox Circle, Red Hook
Tuesday, June 5, 2018 – Quiet Cove Park, 1 Clear Water Drive, Poughkeepsie