Brooks day camp teaches woods survival skills

BROOKS, Maine (WABI) - A day camp in Brooks is embracing everything outdoors.

In fact, you have to hike in to actually get there.

Joy Hollowell takes us to Camp Forest.

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"This is called the debris hut," says Adam Stone, pointing to his creation. "It could save your life if you were lost in the forest."

Nurturing a love of nature is the mission of Camp Forest. It sits smack in the middle of about 20 acres of forest owned by Founder Adam Stone.

"Camp Forest is dedicated to teaching children about the outdoors and connecting children with nature," he explains on day one of a week long day camp.

Stone started Camp Forest about 15 years ago as a day camp. It has since expanded to include expeditions.

"See, this is a big piece of birch bark and it's totally waterproof," he says, allowing the young kids to feel the smooth edges of the wood.

Campers earn badges throughout the week based on their abilities to learn survival skills.

"And when they get the shelter badge, we know they can make a shelter," Stone explains. "They can get the tracking badge, we have a plant badge where they learn all the wild, medicinal. edible plants."

"There's a racoon, here's a deer," he says, showing the campers molds of animals tracks.

"This is animal week," says Camp Couselor Mark Greene. "Right now, we're geared towards learning about animals, tracks, and animal behaviors."

"It's like a fun place, and I get to learn stuff about the woods and learn how to take care of the woods so I'm not like destroying the woods," says 9 year old camper Webster.

"Well, we've been looking at huts, they're over there," adds 8 year old Catharine.

Campers are 7 to 17 years old. Stone calls it a crucial age for children to make a connection with nature.

"And then for the rest of their lives, no matter what they do, no matter what career they choose, they'll know they have some connection with nature," he says.

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Camp Forest is on the Payson Road in Brooks.

For more information, log onto http://www.campforestmaine.com/