Summer Nature Program for Kids

Summers @ Schiff provide kids ages 4-15 a healthy dose of fresh air, active fun, exploration in nature, and the integration of environmental education. At Schiff Summer Nature Program, kids get outside to play, explore and learn together while deepening their sense of community, self-confidence, and an appreciation for the natural world.

"My son comes home everyday. He might be dirty. He might be wet, but he has had the time of his life."

  • Mar 4 at midnight - Early Registration OPEN for current Schiff members
  • Mar 11 at midnight - Open Registration for Summer Nature Program

Check out the fun on Facebook & Instagram!

Jenny Chmura
Meet Jenny Chmura
Summer Nature Program Co-Director

Jenny Chmura
Meet Chrissy Daly
Summer Nature Program Co-Director

What We Offer Each Week

  • Experienced professional educators as lead instructors
  • Morning and afternoon sessions available
  • A 1:10 staff to child ratio
  • Lessons designed to softly educate, motivate, delight, and inspire young children
  • Nature games, trips to the stream, tie dye making, and shelter building
  • Recycled craft projects to promote environmental awareness
  • Opportunities to explore the natural world and build strong friendships
  • Science, Sustainability, and Ecology integrated into our curriculum
  • Plenty of opportunity for exploration of Schiff's many splendors
    • Access to 500 acres of streams, forest and meadow
    • 15 miles of hiking trails to explore and discover

If a session has full enrollment, please email to be placed on our wait list.


Ages 4 & 5 (9-11 AM) - Fee $170.00
Schiff Fledglings (Age: 4 & 5)
July 9 - July 13
July 16 - July 20
July 23 - July 27
July 30 - August 3

The Fledglings summer program includes many hands-on activities for our youngest stewards. Our littlest ones will use their five senses to explore the wonder of Schiff’s landscapes, plant, and wildlife through a variety of hands-on, engaging, and age appropriate activities including outdoor exploration, stories, nature-themed art projects, and interactive nature games all meant to inspire joy and wonder and increase independence.

Ages 6 - 13 (Morning 9-12:30 PM) (Afternoon 1:30-5 PM) - Fee $200.00
Session 1: Animal Antics (Age: 6 - 13)
July 9 - July 13
July 9 - July 13

The deciduous forests of NJ are home to some amazing mammals. Prepare to be amazed and full of awe as we study the furry critters that inhabit Schiff’s forests. We will climb trees like the squirrels, find treasures like the chipmunks, follow the tracks of the raccoon, be sly like the fox, listen carefully like the deer, howl like the wolves, and make dens like the bears. We are sure to find a connection to the wildlife around us as we play fun games, go on animal adventures, and create crafts!

Session 2: Frogs, Turtles, and More! (Age: 6 - 13)
July 16 - July 20
July 16 - July 20

NJ is home to numerous species of reptiles and amphibians. Join us as we explore the habitats of these fascinating species who call the preserve home. We will hike the trails, explore the logs, and look under rocks as we search for salamanders, hope to cross paths with a turtle, maybe slide along with the snakes, and prepare to meet our frogs and toads. Crafts, fun, learning, and adventure await as we “come out of our shells!”

Session 3: Living Treasures (Age: 6 - 13)
July 23 - July 27
July 23 - July 27

The summer is a great time to enjoy the shade of Schiff’s beautiful canopy. The magic and majesty of flowers, plants, and trees is in full blossom and ready to be explored and enjoyed. Join us this week as we hike through the meadow, admire our trees, pick wineberries, and produce some delectable wineberry treats while learning all about the important role of the plants and trees around us.

Session 4: Soaring Through Schiff (Age: 6 - 13)
July 30 - August 3
July 30 - August 3

The preserve is home to many different forms of wildlife. Many of them have wings and fly high over the mountains and right through Schiff. Some fly by day, others at night. Some are big, while others are small. Some soar, others hover. This week we will keep our eyes to the skies while we flutter and drift around the trails in search of butterflies, bats, owls, and other winged creatures. You never know “whooo” we may find.

Special Electives (Afternoon Only 1:30-5 PM) - Fee $200.00
Schiff Survival Explorers (Age: 12-15)
July 16 - July 20

Everyone loves a fun time in the great outdoors. Nature becomes our teacher in this special elective. Join us as we explore a variety of ways to safely survive in the wilderness.Test your skills of telling time and navigating through wilderness areas, constructing shelter, finding food and water (and making it safe to consume), fire making techniques, creating rope and other tools from scratch, and more! This awesome adventure awaits you!

Artists of the Forest (Age: 6 - 13)
July 30 - August 3

Nature has been inspiring artistic expression for all of human existence. This elective combines nature exploration with hands-on crafts and art projects. Some artwork will remain in the wild, and other pieces will be displayed in the Nature Center. Parents will have an exclusive tour of the show at the end of the week.

Counselors in Training (Ages 13-16) - Fee $100.00
Counselors in Training (Age: 13-16)
July 9 - August 3
July 9 - August 3

Students seeking experience and volunteer hours during Summer Nature Program can volunteer for 1-2 weeks of the SNP. Responsibilities will include assistance setting up and implementing activities, crafts, and games. Fee includes training and supervision. Please Click HERE to enter your information and make payment. Please be sure to indicate which week you are interested in. NOTE: Morning Session - July 9-13 - Closed and Morning Session - July 16-20 - Closed

Important Notices

  • Family Membership is required for Registration. If you are not already a member, please click here. A $50 family yearly membership must be renewed prior to the beginning of the program. Please contact if you are unsure about your membership status.
  • Health Forms are required for each summer nature program child. Please download a health form here. Each child attending the Summer Nature Program MUST have a completed form on file by June 1, 2018. Forms may be mailed or emailed.
  • Registration is accepted online with payment via PayPal. Over the course of a year, Schiff incurs over $1,000 in Paypal fees for our customers to have the convenience of using Paypal to donate or register for programs. When you are sent to Paypal to pay for a transaction you'll be asked whether you'd like to add the additional amount of 2.2% and .30 to help us offset these costs. Thank you.
  • If you must pay by check or cash, contact .
  • To choose a session, click on the link and follow the registration process. If you wish to register for multiple sessions, you need to click on each session link and follow the registration process again. You will be paying PayPal separately for each session.
  • Choose as many sessions as you like. Please note that morning and afternoon sessions are identical each day unless you sign up for an afternoon elective. However, if you choose to register your child for a morning AND afternoon session in the same week, a parent or caregiver must be on the premises with your child between 12:30 and 1:30pm.
  • For your planning purposes, our groups are divided by grades.  If you would like your child placed with a sibling or friend in the approximate same grade, please let us know in advance in the "comments section" as it is difficult to make changes once the program has begun. Thank you.
  • After you register, you will receive an acknowledgement email which is verified by PayPal, at which point your spot is guaranteed.
  • Waitlist is available, if a session has full enrollment. Please email to be placed on our wait list.
  • Cancellations received by email or phone with 14 days notice are eligible for a full tuition refund minus $40 administrative fee. No refunds will be given for cancellations less than 14 days prior to the start of child's summer nature program.

Please email with any questions about registration.

Words from Friends:

"My kids had nothing bad to say about the program at all - it was their absolute favorite week at camp and can't wait to return."

"He loved every minute of it. He loves being outdoors and loved learning and going on hikes."

"She was excited about the art and hiking and she was eager to go each day."

"She LOVED Artist's week, but also really enjoyed collecting wine berries, eating them, and making jam."

"He wished the week wouldn't end."

Jenny Chmura, Summer Nature Program Co-Director

Jenny has been part of the Schiff community since 2014 as an instructor with the Summer Nature Program and is excited to be part the magic of Schiff. She has worked as an eighth grade language arts teacher since 2001. Jenny earned BA in English from Montclair State University and also earned her Masters in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College. Jenny's passion is providing opportunities for children to learn about, appreciate, explore, and respect their natural environment. When she is not at Schiff she can usually be found hiking local trails with her dog and bird watching.

Chrissy Daly, Summer Nature Program Co-Director

Chrissy was an instructor at Schiff in 2015 and is so excited to be back! She has worked as an 8th grade Earth Science teacher since 2011. Chrissy double majored in the Geosciences and Secondary Education: Earth and Space Science at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. She recently earned her master's degree in school administration and leadership in hopes to one day become a building principal. Chrissy is passionate about making science fun for kids of all ages. When she is not at Schiff enjoying all that the preserve has to offer, she is coaching color guard for a local marching band and spending time outside with her husband and two dogs.