County to hold spring and summer camps for children

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Essex County invites children of all ages to participate in spring and summer camp opportunities at Turtle Back Zoo, Codey Arena and the Essex County Environmental Center. These affordable programs provide the campers with a fun and enriching experience while school is on recess.

Turtle Back Zoo has several week-long camp adventures that will introduce children to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science.

Campers and their parents/guardians are invited to attend a summer camp open house at Turtle Back Zoo on Saturday, March 3, from noon to 3 p.m. at 560 Northfield Ave. At this free event, they can meet camp counselors, learn about the science-based curriculum, try a camp-styled activity and say hello to a few of the zoo’s animal ambassadors.

The week-long Spring Break Mini-Camp is from Monday, April 2, to Friday, April 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Students ages 5 to 10 become world travelers as they learn about animals and cultures from around the globe. Discovery activities, science experiments and special animal experiences make this a fun way to spend spring break. Enroll for one day or attend all week.

The Zoo Summer Camp will be held from July through August from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Campers will be introduced to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science. The age-appropriate themed camps for children ages 5 to 14 include hands-on scientific inquiry, teacher-guided lessons, behind-the-scenes experiences, up-close animal encounters, and fun crafts and activities. Zoological Society members may register beginning Saturday, March 17; online registration for the general public begins Saturday, March 31.

To learn more about these programs or to register, visit www.turtlebackzoo.com/zoo-camp/. Advanced registration and payment are required. Turtle Back Zoo is located at 560 Northfield Ave. in West Orange.

The Essex County Environmental Center is offering Nature Explorers Spring and Summer Camps for children in preschool to grade five.

The Nature Explorers Spring Camp is a three-day program for children in grades one to five. The sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, April 3; Wednesday, April 4; and Thursday, April 5, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The Wilderness Skills Summer Camp is for children in grades five to eight. Traditional Earth Skills instructor Mike Dennis will lead two sessions of outdoor skills building. During session one, students will take a traditional approach and, during session two, a modern approach will be followed. Participants will identify plants, learn to track animals, create fire, go canoeing, make natural rope, build shelters and more. Children can sign up for one or two sessions. Session one is Wednesday, June 26; Thursday, June 27; and Friday, June 28, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Session two is Tuesday, July 3; Thursday, July 5; and Friday, July 6, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The Nature Explorers Summer Camp is a one-week program for children in pre-kindergarten to grade four. Students will explore woodland and river habitats for insects, birds, amphibians, Lenape life and more. Children can sign up for one or two weeks per grade level. Sessions for children in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten will be held July 9 to 13 and July 16 to 20 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. each day. Sessions for children in grades one and two will be held July 23 to 27 and July 30 to Aug. 3 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. each day. Sessions for children in grades three and four will be held Aug. 6 to 10 and Aug. 13 to 17 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. each day.

A minimum number of participants, advanced registration and payment are required. For information, call the Environmental Center at 973-228-8776. The Essex County Environmental Center is located at 621B Eagle Rock Ave. in Roseland.

Codey Arena has sessions of its Learn to Skate camps available for young skaters as well as hockey and figure skating camps.

Spring Learn to Skate classes are held for eight weeks from March to May on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Summer Learn to Skate classes are held for six to eight weeks from June to July on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

A Summer Figure Skating Camp is held weekly from Monday, June 25, to Friday, Aug. 3. Full and half day sessions are available.

The schedule for Summer Hockey Camps is as follows: Monday, July 9, to Friday, July 13, is the D1 Hockey Development Camp; Monday, July 9, to Friday, July 13, and Monday, July 23, to Friday, July 27, is the Great Saves Goaltending Camp; Monday, July 16, to Monday, July 23, is the Erik Nates Hockey Camp; Friday, July 20, to Sunday, July 22, is the Simply Defense Hockey Camp; and Monday, July 30, to Friday, Aug. 3, is the Pro Ambitions Hockey Camp.

For information about and fees for the skating programs, call the arena at 973-731-3828. Codey Arena is located at 560 Northfield Ave. in West Orange.

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