Happy camper Harley Kerr holds a Luna moth he befriended last summer at the Rapp Nature Camp.

‘We will discover new places, blaze new trails, invent new names for flowers…’

Beginning in 1986, I have had the privilege and the challenge and the fun of leading young Rapp Nature Campers through countless explorations of our county’s varied natural habitats — rivers and ponds, forests and meadows, gardens and cliffs and the ever-changing sky.

We have been very noisy chasing all kinds of flying things, slipping and squealing in the Hazel River, singing songs about ticks and rainbows and pukwudgies.

We have been very quiet walking like coyotes and listening to all kinds of wild things at our individual Quiet Spots.

We have squinted through telescopes pointed at the sky and investigated the mysterious lives of honeybees inside their dark hives.

We have returned to familiar places year after year to explore a secret garden, touch frogs at our little pond, and set up tents for our one night of camping.

And this year we will experience “New Things” — our 2020 theme of study. We will discover new places, blaze new trails, invent new names for flowers… After all, one of our goals has always been “to make new discoveries every day.” 

Parents of our campers (some of whom have been campers themselves) have called Rapp Nature Camp “a Rappahannock treasure.” And now these experiences are open to campers of all ages. Here is this summer’s day camp schedule, Monday-Friday:

— Session 1 (ages 8 to 12): June 15 to June 26

— Session 2 (ages 12 to 16): June 29 to July 10

Adults (and their guests, who can be any age) may join our Perennial Campers for a series of springtime excursions to interesting habitats in Rappahannock and surrounding counties.

Join us at the Rappahannock County Library on March 1 at 4 p.m. for our initial free meeting and a short presentation on “Dragonflies and Damselflies: Life in Water and Air.” 

You will have a chance to sign up for our series of six excursions in Rappahannock and surrounding counties, or you can sign up after March 1 via 

For info on any of Rapp Nature Camp’s 2020 programs, visit our website or call 987-9530. If you like, pick up a copy of our 16-page newsletter, News from Singing Creek, at the library. It is full of stories and colorful drawings by our campers.

See you at camp!

— Lyt Wood is an arborist, forester and director of Rapp Nature Camp near Sperryville.