Spotlight: Alfresco activities


Ethan Hyman, News & Observer file photo

by Mary Powell Boney

Warm weather is here, and who can resist playing outside? Add some structure to kids’ time outdoors this summer at city-organized day camps. Both the Nature Adventures and Eco-Explorers sessions offer hands-on learning environments throughout June and July.

For an immersive experience, explore the ins and outs of Durant Nature Preserve during Nature Adventures. Campers will be given free reign to romp around and then learn about the plant and animal species they find. By the end of the week, graduates will have thoroughly explored the forest, stream, and pond’s ecosystems.

For a lighter take, weeklong Eco-Explorers sessions offer wildlife-inspired programming at Powell Drive Park. Campers embark on nature walks, conduct mini science experiments, play outdoor games, and even take a few boating and swimming field trips.

The idea is to set a few parameters and then let kids run wild; hopefully conscious playtime now builds environmentally responsible citizens later. In the meantime, it’s a pretty fun breath of fresh air.

Nature Adventures

June 13-17, June 20-24, June 27-July 1, July 11-15, and July 18-22; 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; $150; sessions vary between ages 7-9 and 10-12


June 13-17, June 20-24, June 27-July 1, July 5-8, July 11-15, July 25-29, August 1-5; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; $160; sessions vary between ages 7-8 and 9-10

Visit or call 919-996-4800 for a full summer camp brochure.