Blog Post


Firefly Camp: An Early Exposure To Nature 

by Jeremy Lloyd, Photos By Tremont

Little people want to play in the woods too! That’s why this summer Tremont Institute is starting our first-ever camp for 5-8 year olds and the big people in their lives – mothers, fathers, aunts, grandparents, etc. This overnight adventure, beginning and ending at noon each day, promises opportunities for bonding time, playing games that build confidence and awaken the senses, and getting to know the forest. We’ll take an afternoon dip in the river. And in the evening, as darkness falls, we’ll sing songs around the campfire and gaze at – you guessed it – fireflies.

There’s another equally important reason were naming this camp after the diminutive creatures that shine so brightly in the night. Obesity, cognitive development, and social skills are concerns every parent has for their children. Will they grow up to be healthy, well-functioning adults? Screen-time and long hours spent sitting indoors are other worries. How do we get kids to be as interested in nature and the outdoors as much as they are computers, television, and handheld communication devices? Conservationists, too, are voicing concerns over the low value a generation alienated from nature might place on wild places years from now when it’s their turn to become decision makers.

Help us spread the word about this potentially life-changing experience for tomorrow’s leaders.

The answer? Start kids young. Light the fire early. “It only takes a spark to get a fire going,” goes the campfire song from my youth. Children need such a spark for the sake of their own health, as well as for the health of the ecosystems they depend on and will someday pass on to their own children.

Help us spread the word about this potentially life-changing experience for tomorrow’s leaders. Two or three-night night adventures are also available. Imagine a smile blossoming on a child’s face at the sight of their first salamander – a crystallizing moment that will pay dividends for many years afterward. Firefly Camp awaits.

Jeremy began working at Tremont in 1996. A native of Western Pennsylvania, he received a B.A. from Calvin College and an M.F.A. from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He directs Tremont’s summer camps, hiking programs, college consortiums and family camps, and teaches several courses in the Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification Program. He is the author of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Pocket Guide & Journal and A Home In Walker Valley: The Story of Tremont. Books, wilderness, fly-fishing, hunting, good food and good conversation number among his many loves. And of course his wife, Elan, who he married in 2006.

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