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Registration Opening for Dutchess County Parks’ Popular Naturalist Programming

Published: 4/12/2021

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus, Communications Director
(845) 486-2000

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced registration opens tomorrow, April 13th, for Dutchess County Parks’ popular Adventure and Survival summer programs for children ages 9-17 at Bowdoin Park in the Town of Poughkeepsie and Wilcox Memorial Park in the Town of Milan. Due to the popularity of these programs, sessions are limited to 12 participants and one session per student. View the summer program brochure and register online at

Program sessions will feature hands-on activities such as hiking, shelter making, fire building, and other survival skills, as well as tracking, archery, and building group problem-solving skills. Sessions are held Monday-Thursday from 9:30am to 4pm with early drop-off and late-pick up options available.

County Executive, Marc Molinaro, said, “Dutchess County Parks’ naturalist programs teach life skills through the lens of fun, outdoor exploration and provide participants with tools that last a lifetime. Our summer programs highlight all that both Bowdoin and Wilcox parks have to offer and give participants the chance to slow down, explore, reconnect, and gain a greater appreciation for the natural beauty around them.”

Summer Program Schedule

The Adventure Program and Survival Program, for ages 9-11, will be held July 5th-8th or July 19th-22nd. The Adventure Program, for ages 12-14, will be held July 12th-15th or August 2nd-5th. The Survival Intensive Program, for ages 12-14, will be held July 12th-15th. These programs will be at Bowdoin Park.

Additional programs include Complete Survival at Wilcox Park for ages 12-14 on July 26th-29th and Living Survival at Bowdoin Park for ages 15-17 on August 9th-12th. These sessions will mimic a real survival situation framed in the context of a story that changes every year. Complete Survival requires students to have participated in Survival Intensive and ends with an optional overnight stay.

Sessions cost $175 per student.

New Eaglet Program for Young Children

Additionally, an Eaglet Adventures session will be held for ages 6-8 and their caregivers on August 2nd-5th. These sessions will be from 10am-2pm and will give children a chance to become better explorers and scientists. Children will develop skills to identify animal tracks, discover pond life and begin to see the interconnection that keeps the natural world in balance.

This session is limited to 12 children plus one caregiver and costs $125 per student.

Adult Survival Programs

Adults, ages 21 and up, can get in on the fun with Adult Survival I and II programs. Adult Survival I will take place at Bowdoin Park on Saturday, May 15th from 9am-4pm and will go through the skills needed in a short-term survival situation. Adult Survival II is an overnight survival challenge at Wilcox Park on June 19th-20th, from 9am Saturday to 10am Sunday.  A pre-requisite for Adult Survival II is taking part in Adult Survival I. Session capacity is 12 adults and costs $40 per session.

Dutchess County Parks Director Sandy Washburn said, “It is such a benefit to be able to offer educational nature programs and learning experiences where both youth and adults get an opportunity to explore their creativity, courage, perseverance and their own situational awareness in nature, while interacting in a safe environment alongside their peers.”

To learn more about Dutchess County Parks or to register for an upcoming program, visit or call (845) 298-4600.