Natural Science Programs

Our programs are divided into four main areas, making it easy for trip leaders to align activities to their goals and objectives for the group. Trips can be planned to focus on one or multiple areas.

Hibernation, food chains, and watersheds are only a few of the numerous topics covered in our science classes. Learning about nature is exciting and engaging in classes that provide plenty of hands-on opportunities and active exercises for demonstrations.


SONY DSCRattlesnake Mountain Hike with Natural History (Pok-O Patch)

Students approach the summit on a picturesque old logging road closed to motor vehicles. Along the way, instructors discuss the history of the surrounding land and the impact logging has had on the delicate ecosystem. The last quarter of the hike follows a steep, rocky trail to the top. The view from Rattlesnake is one of the best in the area, encompassing Lake Champlain, the Adirondack High Peaks, Burlington Vermont, and the Green Mountains of Vermont. This panorama will provide the backdrop for a geological lesson on the formation of Lake Champlain as well as Long Pond.



A student favorite, this class begins with an introduction to the senses through hands-on activities. Participants will then have an opportunity to follow a sensory trail while blindfolded and in silence. The activity ends with an instructor-led debrief in which the students can discuss the lessons learned when they were unable to use their dominant senses.


Nature Walk 3Nature Walk

A guided tour of our nature trail network accompanied by an informal discussion. Topics which may be covered include animal tracks and scat, the natural history of the Champlain Valley, land use in Adirondack Park, local flora, logging and forest fires.



snow 2Winter Ecology

Using observation, simulation games, and animal identification, students investigate topics including adaptation, hibernation, and winter tracking.




Wildlife EcologyWildlife Ecology

Through discussion and simulation games, students learn about the interrelationships found in a forest ecosystem. Topics include food chains, predator-prey relationships, resource use, and adaptation.




Pond Ecology 2Pond Ecology

On the banks of Long Pond, students use direct observation, and catch-and-release studies to become acquainted with the pond’s ecosystem. Topics include watersheds, macro-invertebrates, food webs and ecosystem dynamics.




Participants will learn under the night sky by constructing a scale model of our solar system, spacing out the planets across the Center’s property. Regardless of the weather, students will learn how to read a star chart and identify key constellations.




Bird Watching

A great way to connect with nature, Students will first learn a few birding basics such as how to use a field guide and work with binoculars.  Either through a quiet walk in the woods or from the comfort of our indoor seating areas, students will practice their observation and identification skills.


Outdoor EthicsOutdoor Ethics

Students will use our 300 acre wilderness to fuel their discussions about the proper and improper way people should interact with their natural surroundings. Camping, wildlife respect, waste disposal and other “Leave-No-Trace” outdoor skills and ethics will be considered. This class is also an extreme weather option, as it can be taught indoors.