Hunterdon County, NJ | Department of Planning, Economic Development and Land Use | GROUP EDUCATION AND PROGRAMS


GROUP EDUCATION and PROGRAMS

Group Programs Brochure

EDUCATORS | SCOUT GROUPS | HOME SCHOOLED GROUPS | OTHER GROUP PROGRAMS OFFERED

 

Free Tot Walks

Enjoy a walk in the park or at your school and take your group birding with a naturalist!

EDUCATORS:

NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards and Hunterdon County Parks & Recreation Programs

Visual & Performing Arts, Comprehensive Health & Physical Education, Social Studies, Technology and 21st-Century Life and Careers

Next Generation Science Standards and Hunterdon County Parks & Recreation Programs

Includes Nature Studies, Environmental Issues, Indoor Explorations and more.

Please contact our staff for additional information on Programs for Educators by calling 908-782-1158 or emailing parks@co.hunterdon.nj.us

 

Free Tot Walks

Bring your group to a nature or recreation program, like Woodworking!

SCOUT GROUP PROGRAMS:

Download our brochure.

The Division of Parks and Recreation sponsors many scout group education programs for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

Please refer to the corresponding program under Outdoor Education, Craft Workshops, or Outreach Programs above for pricing information. Contact our staff for additional information on Scout Group Programs by calling 908-782-1158 or emailing parks@co.hunterdon.nj.us

CUBSCOUTS (Tiger - Wolf - Bear - Weblows & Arrow of Light)

TIGER

  • Adventure
    • Backyard Jungle: Take a short hike to see and hear birds and other wildlife (#1, 2, & 5).  Ask for Seasonal Nature Walk.
    • Tigers in the Wild: Prepare for a hike, or look for animals and plants on a short hike. Hiking Knowledge or Seasonal Nature Walk.  
  • Elective Adventure
    • Floats and Boats: Learn about boats and water safety, and practice using a life jacket (#1-6).  Emergency Preparedness.
    • Good Knights: Create a shield and a recycled castle and do a service project (#2, 3, & 5). Earth-Inspired Crafts. 
    • Rolling Tigers: Learn all about bike gear and safety. Bike Safety. 
    • Sky is the Limit: Please call for information on limited star programs. 
    • Stories in Shapes: Make several art pieces using shapes (#1B, 2A, & 2B). Earth-Inspired Crafts. 
    • Tiger Safe and Smart: Meet an EMT who will teach you about fire safety and emergencies. Emergency Preparedness. 
    • Tiger Theater: Make a puppet, perform in a Reader’s Theater, and attend a story time (#3, 4, &5). Earth-Inspired Crafts. 

WOLF

  • Adventure
    • Call of the Wild: Prepare to be outside with knots, weather changes, and Leave No Trace.  Ask for Camping Knowledge. 
    • Council Fire: Meet a naturalist and complete #5 & 6, reduce, reuse, and recycle. Recycling. 
    • Paws on the Path: Prepare for a hike and then take a short hike, or go on a nature walk.  Hiking Knowledge/ Seasonal Nature Walk
  • Elective Adventure
    • Air of the Wolf: Make a paper airplane, musical instrument, and kite.  Earth-Inspired Crafts
    • Finding Your Way: Use a compass to go on a scavenger hunt at Echo Hill (#3 & 4).  Orienteering. 
    • Germs Alive: Learn how to prevent germs.  Emergency Preparedness
    • Motor Away: Build several simple vehicles!  Earth-Inspired Crafts
    • Spirit of the Water: Learning about the water cycle, water pollution and conserving.

BEAR

  • Adventure
    • Bear Claws: Learn how to safely use knives.  Ask for Knife Safety
    • Bear Necessities: Plan for a camping trip by preparing gear and setting up a tent.  Or cook a meal outdoors.  Camping Knowledge. 
    • Fur, Feathers, and Ferns: Visit a park and learn about wildlife, or explore composting.  Seasonal Nature Walk/ Composting for the Home. 
    • Grin and Bear It: Present carnival games at our Earth Day festival in April!
  • Elective Adventure
    • Baloo the Builder: Learn about tools and make a project out of wood.  Woodworking.
    • A Bear Goes Fishing: Go on a fishing adventure! (#4)  Fishing Clinic. 
    • Beat of the Drum: Learn about the Lenape and make a Native American Craft.  Earth-Inspired Crafts.
    • Marble Madness: Play some marble games and make a marble bag. Earth-Inspired Crafts. 
    • Robotics: Learn about robots and build a robot hand (#1-3). Earth-Inspired Crafts. 
    • Salmon Run: Learn about safety, equipment, paddling form, and rescue for canoeing (#1-3). Canoe Clinic.
    • A World of Sound: Create instruments from around the world!  Earth-Inspired Crafts. 

WEBLOS & ARROW OF LIGHT

  • Weblos Adventure
    • Cast Iron Chef: Learn about fire building or outdoor cooking.  Ask for Fire Building/ Camping Knowledge. 
    • First Responder: Our EMT will teach you first aid and how to be ready in emergencies.  Emergency Preparedness. 
    • Weblos Walkabout: Prepare for a hike by learning about first aid and dangerous animals/plants.  Hiking Knowledge. 
  • AOL Adventure
    • Camper: Prepare for your campout by setting up a tent, planning for emergencies, and tying a bowline, or go geocaching. Camping Knowledge/ Geocaching.
    • Scouting Adventure: Learn knots and rope care, and demonstrate knife safety (#5 & 6).   Knot Tying/ Knife Safety. 
  • Elective Adventure
    • Aquanaut: Learn how to canoe safely and properly (#3, 4, 9, & 10).  Canoe Clinic. 
    • Art Explosion: Make a clay project and a project with natural or recycled materials (#3A, 3B, 3C, & 3D). Creating with Clay/ Earth-Inspired Crafts
    • Build It: Learn about tools and build a wood project (#1-4).  Woodworking. 
    • Castaway: Build a shelter and learn outdoor survival skills.  Outdoor Survival. 
    • Earth Rocks!: Find out about rocks, minerals, and geology.  Rocks & Minerals.
    • Engineer: Build a catapult and another project using engineering skills (#4).  Earth-Inspired Crafts. 
    • Into the Wild: Explore with a naturalist and learn about animals and ecosystems. Seasonal Nature Walk. 
    • Into the Woods: Discover trees and other parts of the forest.  Seasonal Nature Walk

BOY SCOUTS

Our staff are counselors for these merit badges:  Astronomy, Basketry, Bird Study, Camping, Canoeing, Cycling, Environmental Science, First Aid, Fire Safety, Fishing, Forestry, Geocaching, Hiking, Insect Study, Mammal Study, Nature, Orienteering, Reptile & Amphibian Study, Soil and Water Conservation.  Price based on time and equipment. 

GIRL SCOUTS (Daisies - Brownies - Juniors - Cadettes - Seniors - Ambassadors)

DAISIES

  • Between Earth and Sky Journey
    • Seeds & Plants:  Learn about seeds and plants, including invasive plants.  Ask for Seasonal Nature Walk. 
  • The Daisy Flower Garden Journey
    • Composting: Learn about different Types of composting, including worm composting. Composting for the Home.
    • Garden Party: Visit our gardens and surrounding property at the Arboretum with a naturalist. Bring your own refreshments and enjoy a picnic! Seasonal Nature Walk
  • 5 Flowers, 4 Stories, 3 Cheers for Animals! Journey
    • Nests & Eggs: Learn which animals lay eggs and make nests, and why, and touch some real nests.  Nests & Eggs. 

BROWNIES

  • Wonders of Water Journey
    • Water Issues: Learn how important water management is to humans and the environment.  Ask for Water Issues.
    • Pond/Stream Study: Explore a wetland by using nets to catch freshwater critters!  Pond/Stream Study. 
  • Legacy Badges
    • First Aid - Brownie First Aid: Meet an EMT who will teach you basic first aid.  Emergency Preparedness. 
    • Naturalist - Bugs: Study bugs with a Naturalist!  Incredible Insects. 
  • Skill Building Badges
    • Craft - Potter: Make a pot and an art piece.  Creating with Clay. 
    • Outdoors—Hiker: Learn about hiking gear and places to hike nearby.  Or learn the skill of orienteering at Echo Hill.   Hiking Knowledge/ Orienteering. 

JUNIORS

  • Get Moving! Journey
    • Natural Nestings: Take a walk to learn about natural packaging and look for examples.  Ask for Seasonal
      Nature Walk.
    • Recycling: Learn about recycling in this PowerPoint with related activities.  Recycling. 
    • Recycled Paper: Learn about recycling as we make our own paper!  Recycling. 
      Animal & Plant Energy: Take a walk to look for animals and plants and learn about how they move and use energy.  Seasonal Nature Walk. 
  • Agent of Change Journey
    • Teambuilding: Our fun challenge activities foster teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills.  Initiatives & Teambuilding. 
  • Legacy Badges
    • First Aid—Junior First Aid: Meet an EMT who will show you first aid.  Emergency Preparedness. 
    • Naturalist—Flowers: Meet some wildflowers and learn about their importance.  Seasonal Nature Walk. 
  • Skill Building Badges
    • Outdoors—Camper: Prepare for a campout, or learn fire building/cooking, knots, or orienteering.   Camping Knowledge, Fire Building, Knot Tying, or Orienteering. 
    • Adventure—Geocacher: Use a GPS to find hidden treasure!  Geocaching 101. 
    • Animals—Animal Habitats: Explore habitats at our parks and learn about the animal residents.  Nature Walk

CADETTES

  • Breathe Journey
    • Fresh Air Walk: Take a walk in the fresh air and learn about how plants care for our air. Ask for Nature Walk. 
  • Legacy Badges
    • First Aid—Cadette First Aid: Meet an EMT to earn this badge.  Emergency Preparedness. 
    • Naturalist—Trees: Learn to identify types of trees and describe the function of each tree part.  Or visit us in March to see maple syrup made!  Nature Walk/ Maple Sugaring. 
  • Skill Building Badges
    • Do It Yourself—Woodworker: Learn tool use by making a wood project.  Woodworking. 
    • Outdoors—Trailblazing: Let an expert in backpacking help you prepare for your trip, or learn the skill of orienteering.  Backpacking Knowledge/ Orienteering

SENIORS

  • Sow What? Journey
    • BioBlitz: Identify as many plants and animals as possible to learn about biodiversity.  Ask for Seasonal Nature Walk. 
    • Composting: Learn how you can turn organic household waste into rich, healthy compost for your home and garden.  Composting for the Home.
    • Mushrooms & Molds: Learn about the importance of fungi in a slideshow.  Mushrooms & Molds. 
  • Legacy Badges
    • First Aid—Senior First Aid: Meet an EMT to earn this badge.  Emergency Preparedness
  • Skill Building Badges
    • Craft—Textile Artist: Learn basketry as a unique textile art.  Basketry. 
    • Outdoors—Adventurer: Do teambuilding with our staff, who are experts in canoeing and backpacking.  Initiatives & Teambuilding.

AMBASSADORS

  • Justice Journey
    • Nature Break: Take a Nature Break with a naturalist and search for signs of nature growing despite difficult circumstances!  Ask for Seasonal Nature Walk

 

HOME SCHOOLED GROUPS

Your group will visit with a Park Naturalist for a new lesson once a month. Each lesson will last an hour and is designed to fit into a seasonal theme. There are nine themes covering three school years.

Lessons focus on the relationships that exist between fauna, flora and humans. Each lesson includes instruction, group activities and 'homework'. We use a hands on approach and visual aids to reinforce the students abilities in not only science, but also math, language arts and social skills. We will be more than happy to discuss any lesson with you in advance or provide a program outline for you to review.

We can also provide resource information for follow up activities.

Your group is not committed to attend each month's lesson, although each lesson tends to build on the previous lessons. you can select those sessions that are best suited for your group.

For additional information contact our staff at 908-782-1158, email parks@co.hunterdon.nj.us and download our Home Schooled Groups Programs brochure.

 

OTHER GROUP PROGRAMS:

(Nature Programs - Outdoor Skills - Craft Workshops - Outreach Programs)

Download our Group Programs Brochure

NATURE STUDIES: Join a County Naturalist to explore the habitats and wildlife of the County Parks.  Nature Study programs cost $30 per group and run approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. Maximum group size is 25, and minimum is six.  Additional topics are available by Special arrangement:

  • Seasonal Nature Walk (All Ages): Whether crunching through fall leaves, following tracks  through the snow, or spying the first spring blossoms, a seasonal nature walk is fun outdoor exploration any time of year. ($20)
  • Animal Clues (Grade K & up): Animals leave behind many clues as they travel through the woods.  In this program, we will look at footprints and other signs to unravel the mystery of “What happened here?”
  • Amazing Adaptations (Grade K & up): Explore the park while learning more about the adaptations that allow our local plants and animals to thrive.  Along the way we will play games that demonstrate specific adaptations.
  • Incredible Insects (Grade 1 & up): What makes an insect an insect?  Why are they important anyway?  This hands-on program offers an up-close look at some of the park’s smallest inhabitants.  (April—October)
  • Plant Study (Grade 1 & up): We will identify different plants, and get specific about the reproductive structures, anatomy, and life cycles. 
  • Birding (Grade 3 & up): Find and identify local birds with a naturalist.  We will discover how field marks, songs, and behavior can help us distinguish our feathered friends.
  • Pond or Stream Study (Grade 1 & up): Get your feet wet while finding and identifying the many freshwater organisms of the pond or stream.  Learn what these creatures can tell us about the health of the water. (April—October)

OUTDOOR SKILLS: These hands-on workshops get your group ready for outdoor adventure.  Skill clinics cost $30 per group and run approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.  Recommended maximum group size is 15 Participants, unless otherwise noted, and minimum is six

  • Emergency Preparedness (Grade 3 & up): Gain knowledge of First Aid and CPR (not a certification).  We will go over what to do in an emergency: basic bandaging, bleeding, choking, other medical Emergencies, and a CPR demo.  Taught by an EMT.  (10 maximum participants)
  • CPR Certification (Grade 7 & up): An American Heart Association instructor will teach you  Adult, Child, and Infant CPR and Choking.  Participants will be ready to help anyone of any age.   (4 hours/ $25 per person/4-6 participants)
  • First Aid Certification (Grade 7 & up): This course will cover basic first aid, and can be combined with CPR (call for price for both together). (3 hours / $25 per person / 4-6 participants)
  • Orienteering Grade (4 & up): Learn how to use a compass, then set out on our course through the Forests and fields of Echo Hill.  
  • Geocaching 101 (Grade 4 & up): Use the coordinates on your GPS receiver to seek out treasure in geocaches hidden in our parks. 
  • Hiking Knowledge (Grade 2 & up): Prepare for a hike by learning about hiking gear, potential risks, and local trails.  Then go on a short hike. 
  • Backpacking Knowledge (Grade 5 & up): Learn the basics of backpacking before your first trip, including gear, useful tips, and safety. 
  • Camping Knowledge (Grade 4 & up): Preparation is key to camping fun.  Consider what your group needs to do before your trip begins.  Learn how to set up a safe and functional campsite.  Choose to focus on camping gear or campfire cooking. 
  • Knife Safety (Grade 3 & up): Participants will learn proper pen knife handling techniques, safety, and maintenance, and practice basic carving techniques.  ($30 + materials fee/ 8 max + 2 adult assistants)  Carving class also available —ask for details. 
  • Camp Tools (Grade 3 & up): Learn safe use of a hatchet, bow saw, and camp shovel. (10 maximum participants)
  • Knot Tying (Grade 2 & up): Learn how to tie basic knots.  Program will be tailored to the age group.  (10 maximum participants) 
  • Fire Building (Grade 4 & up): Learn the fundamentals and safety of building a fire.  (10 maximum participants + 2 adult assistants)
  • Outdoor Survival (Grade 4 & up): Covers basic survival skills like shelter building, lostproofing, and navigating many outdoor hazards.
  • Canoe Clinic (Grade 5 & up): Clinic focuses on safety, equipment, and basic strokes.  Includes plenty of practice time on the pond. ($175/ 16 maximum participants)
  • Fishing Clinic (Grade 1 & up): Let us show you the basics of fishing, including safety, etiquette, equipment, and casting.  We have a limited number of fishing rods available to borrow.  Bait, hooks, bobbers, and weights are provided.  ($30 per group + $2 per person bait & supplies fee)
  • Bike Safety (Grade 3 & up): We will cover NJ bicycling laws, equipment, how to pick the right bike, and where to ride. We will demo how to check and fix your bike, and how to size it, and talk about helmets.
  • Initiatives & Team Building (Grade 4 & up): Our fun challenge activities foster teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills.  A great way to get your group acquainted with one another.

CRAFTS WORKSHOPS: 1.5 to 2 hours.  Minimum 6 participants and maximum 10 with at least 2 adults.
$30 on-site and $50 off-site ($75 out-of-county).   Additional materials fee may apply.

  • Earth-Inspired Crafts (Grade 1 & up): Do crafts with natural or repurposed materials.  Project tailored to your interest.
  • Creating with Clay (Grade 1 & up): Make a sculpture or pinch pot with self-hardening clay. 
  • Woodworking (Grade 2 & up): Learn about basic woodworking tools and build a project. 
  • Basketry (Grade 3 & up): An introduction to the world of basket weaving, participants will weave a small round basket. ($30 per group + $3 per person materials fee)

OUTREACH PROGRAMS: Park outreach brings environmental education and nature study right to you.  Or let our staff host your group at the Echo Hill Lodge, the Arboretum, or Teetertown (seasonally).  Programs run approximately one hour.  On-site $30 / Off-site $50 / Out-of-County $75 (limited range) Off-site discount: $10 off per program for 3 or more!

Lecture Series: Slideshows provide striking visuals while our staff shares their expertise on the topic.  Programs are for all ages, but we recommend third graders through adults.

  • Batty About Bats
  • Birds of Hunterdon
  • Butterflies & Moths
  • Co-Existing with Coyotes
  • Herptiles of Hunterdon (Reptiles & Amphibians)
  • Mammals of Hunterdon
  • Mushrooms & Molds
  • New Jersey Black Bears
  • Owls of Hunterdon
  • Planets of the Inner Solar System
  • Planets of the Outer Solar System
  • Raptors of Hunterdon (Hawks & Falcons)
  • Trees of Hunterdon
  • Waterfowl of Hunterdon
  • Wildflower Folklore
  • Wildlife of Hunterdon
  • Woodpeckers of Hunterdon
  • Attracting Birds to Your Backyard (Adults)
  • Hunterdon County Division of Parks & Recreation (Adults, free)

Indoor Explorations

  • Animal Strategies (All Ages): Students will learn about local animals and how they survive in their environments.  Through the use of mounted specimens, the students will get a close look at the physical features of these animals.
  • Reptiles Alive (All Ages): Our scaly and slimy wildlife is often misunderstood.  Learn all about reptiles and amphibians as we meet a few live animal friends.
  • Rocks and Minerals (Grade 3 & up): Discover the differences between “rocks” and “minerals.”  We will learn about the rock cycle and conduct a short lab experiment to identify three mystery mineral samples.
  • Introduction to Birding (Grade 3 & up): Students will learn how to use field guides to identify birds and participate in a fast-paced identification game.  This lesson complements our outdoor Birding Program.
  • Skull Workshop (Grade 2 & up): The group will answer a questionnaire about the skulls at each station.  Then, we will explore as a group the key features of the skulls and what they reveal about our wildlife.
  • Scat & Tracks Workshop (Grade 3 & up): Using stations and a questionnaire, the group will explore the features of tracks and scats.
  • Wings & Feathers Workshop (Grade 3 & up): We will explore the features and structure of feathers and wings with the aid of stations and a questionnaire. 
  • Nests & Eggs (Grade K & up): We will look at the composition of an egg, talk about different animals that lay eggs, and view some real nests & replica bird eggs. 
  • Maple Sugar To-Go (All Ages): Learn about maple trees, hear a Native American story, see the tools used to tap a tree, learn about the boiling process, and taste real maple syrup.  (February—April)

Environmental Issues

  • Recycling (Grade 1 & up): Students will develop an understanding of the importance of recycling.  They will explore how recycling and conservation go hand in hand and how they can help improve the environment.  Older students will explore how cost plays a factor in recycling.
  • Water Issues (Grade 1 & up): Learn how important water management is to both the environment and human needs.  Through physical demonstrations and visual aids, explore how the water supply is limited and how pollution affects that supply. 
  • Composting for the Home (Grade 3 & up): Learn how you can turn organic household waste into rich, healthy compost for your home and garden.  We will consider different composting techniques and the benefits of each.

For additional information contact our staff at 908-782-1158 or email parks@co.hunterdon.nj.us

 

 

PHYSICAL ADDRESS: Hunterdon County Arboretum, 1020 Highway 31, Lebanon, NJ 08833       MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 2900, Flemington, NJ 08822
PHONE: 908-782-1158       EMAIL: parks@co.hunterdon.nj.us

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