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CAMPS

ECHO offers one-day and week-long science, stewardship, and design themed day camps during summer break and school vacation weeks.
Campers are sucessful in their search for Champ

School Vacation Camps

Summer Camps

Camp Family Handbook 2013-2014

Pay Camps Balance

Top Reasons To Attend ECHO Camps

  • Meet the animals
  • Care for the earth
  • Discover science

What Happens at ECHO Camps?

ECHO Camps occupy that powerful place where passion for science and compassion for the earth meet to create an explosively-rich environment of excitement and learning. We insist that science is fun and that kids who love science, nature, and making things are the most awesome kids around. To some outsiders, it might seem that ECHO camps are just an excuse for our staff to hang out with the most interesting children in the Northeast, but insiders know that ECHO camps are a transformative experience that combine inquiry, creativity, and guided discovery to produce one of the most engaging camp experiences in Vermont.

A camper's diagram of the leap of the red-eyed tree frogSet against the backdrop of the bustling Burlington Waterfront, a day at ECHO camp can move from an impromptu, behind-the-scenes observation of ECHO's animal care activities to a lakeside game of Turtle Tag to an underwater robot-enabled search for Champ. We love kids who care, kids who imagine, kids who are different, kids who know more than us, and kids who are quietly brilliant. So what do these kids do at ECHO Camp? Take a look:

Video: 4th-5th Grade Camp’s Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle Launch

Video: 3rd-5th Grade Camp’s Channel 5 News Piece

What Parents Are Saying

“We thought it was awesome that science camp was his favorite camp this year.”

“Quinn just told me ECHO camp, ‘is the most funnest camp in history.’ Thank you all!”

“Thank you SO much. Jamie had a great time and I felt that he was always in good hands with the talented staff. We plan to attend again next year. I have been telling others about your wonderful ECHO camp experience.”

"Sarah & I still talk about our trip to VT, it was a great experience. I'm going to use ECHO as a baseline to judge future summer camp experiences."

AfterCare

AfterCare is available for all camps until 5pm for an additional fee of $12/day. Sign-up is available during drop-off.


Vacation Camp Descriptions & Registration

ECHO offers one-day and week-long science, stewardship, and design themed camps for children K - 5th grade during Vermont's October, December, February, March, and April breaks.

December 29, 30, 31 & January 2 (register for any or all days)

Kinetic Toy Lab
Grades: K - 5th
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

In this creative camp, children will design and build moving toys inspired by the wild animals of Lake Champlain. Make a salmon run up a marble maze, a bullfrog leap out of a box, or an automaton turtle snaps its beak.

Monday: Marble Mazes
Tuesday: Jack-in-the-boxes
Wednesday : Mobile Sculptures
Friday: Automatons

Member: $60/day
Non-member: $65/day
Register for Kinetic Toy Lab

 

February 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 (register for any or all days)

Water Park Tycoon
Grades: K - 5th
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Discover the fascinating mechanics of everyday play structures during this fun-fueled camp. Campers will blend design and hydrology to build their own water park empires, using simple machines to lift, spin, and race imaginary visitors.

Monday: Sensational Swings
Tuesday: Playful Pulleys
Wednesday: Spectacular Seesaws
Thursday: Silly Slides
Friday: Wacky Wheels

Member: $60/day
Non-member: $65/day
Register for Water Park Tycoon

 

March 2 & 3 (2 day camp)

Makers Camp: Angry Bird Feeders
Grades: 1st - 5th
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

During this imaginative camp, children will design and construct their own squirrel-proof bird fortresses. They will use simple hand tools to execute barriers and pitfalls that will keep squirrels out and native birds feasting.

Member: $120
Non-member: $130
Register for Makers Camp: Angry Bird Feeders

 

April 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 (register for any or all days)

Rock Collectors Camp Redux
Grades: K - 5th
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Rock Collectors Camp is back with an all new roster of rocks to discover. Campers will learn where to find different rocks in Vermont, discover their special properties, and explore their unique uses. Campers will also leave each day with a new rock for their home collections!

Monday: Stone Skippers
Tuesday: Rock Rembrandts
Wednesday: Copper Crafters
Thursday: Volcanic Voyagers
Friday: Stone Stackers

Member: $60/day
Non-member: $65/day
Register for Rock Collectors Camp Redux

 


Summer Camp Descriptions & Registration

ECHO offers a selection of exciting week-long science, stewardship, and design themed day camps for children entering K-6th grade from late-June through late-August. Below are the descriptions from this past 2014 summer. Check back in February for 2015 summer camps descriptions and registration.

June 23 – June 27, 2014

Adopt-a-Frog
Grades: Entering 1st - 3rd
June 23 – June 27, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Is that poison dart frog really poisonous? I only see one frog, no two, no five! In this camp, children will select a frog from ECHO’s weird and wacky collection. They will make live observations, take photos, and build life-sized models of their frogs. They will then strap on their mud boots and search for wild frogs like real herpetologists. At week’s end, campers will share their work with friends and families during a special camp reception.

Campers greet a family of ducks on the WaterfrontMarine Biology Gets Fresh
Grades: Entering 3rd - 6th
June 23 – June 27, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Ever dream about becoming a marine biologist when you grow up? Feeding a real live sea star? Come learn what it takes to become a real marine or freshwater biologist at ECHO this summer. Campers will meet real research scientists, get behind-the-scenes of ECHO’s animal department, and come face-to-face with the aquatic animals of Lake Champlain. Capping off the week, campers will head out on UVM’s Melosira Research Vessel to conduct their very own field study!

June 30 – July 3, 2014

Cameras, Costumes, & Camouflage
Grades: Entering 1st - 3rd
June 30 – July 3, 2014 (4-day camp)
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Is that a leaf or a toad? Is that tomato moving? Learn how animals disguise themselves during this hands-on, how-to camouflage camp. Campers will photograph camouflaged animals, make their own animal inspired costumes, and design their own habitat-themed forts. They will then record short informational videos as their animals to share with family and friends.

Champ & Friends
Grades: Entering K
June 30 – July 3, 2014 (4-day camp)
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Is Champ friendly or fearsome? Have you seen him? During this adventure-fueled camp, children will investigate the ecology, culture, and history of Lake Champlain while in hot-pursuit of its resident lake monster. We’ll investigate Champ sighting stories, while discovering how people can help protect lake monsters and other aquatic animals.

July 7 – July 11, 2014

A wizard meets a fish at ECHO CampPirates, Mermaids, & Sea Monster
Grades: Entering 1st - 3rd
July 7 – July 11, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Did pirates once terrorize our waterways? Are there such things as freshwater mermaids? How many lake monsters live in Lake Champlain anyway? In this imaginative adventure, children will experience high-sea-style fun while exploring the history and culture of Lake Champlain. We will search for treasure in the depths of ECHO’s model shipwreck, search for mythical creatures, and make merry at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. So, arrrrrrr you in?

Underwater Archaeology
Grades: Entering 3rd - 6th
July 7 – July 11, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

From historic shipwrecks to underwater robotics, this ECHO camp will introduce children into a world of underwater archaeology. Campers will gain exclusive access to the murky depths of Lake Champlain pulling zebra mussels aboard UVM’s Melosira Research Vessel, meeting real underwater archaeologists, and peering into the past at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Who knows what adventures lies just below the surface?

July 14 – July 18, 2014

Turtl-ology
Grades: Entering 1st - 3rd
July 14 – July 18, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

A snapping turtle’s bite is 9x stronger than a human’s. A baby softshell turtle is the size of an Oreo. Selecting from our awesome array of turtles, children will “adopt” a turtle from ECHO’s collection. They will become experts on their turtles, video recording behavior, assisting our animal care staff, and observing turtles up-close. At week’s end, they will share their knowledge with friends and families during a special camp reception.

Saw-Whet OwlWings: Falcons to F-16’s
Grades: Entering 3rd - 6th
July 14 – July 18, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s ECHO Camp! From hummingbirds to helicopters, this camp will explore human and avian flight. Campers will explore the physics of flight, discover different birds of prey, and design and build their own aircrafts. They will meet real live hawks and owls from Outreach for Earth Stewardship’s raptor rehabilitation program and get up close and personal with jets at Vermont’s Air National Guard.

July 21 – July 25, 2014

Adopt-a-Frog
Grades: Entering 1st - 3rd
July 21 – July 25, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Is that poison dart frog really poisonous? I only see one frog, no two, no five! In this camp, children will select a frog from ECHO’s weird and wacky collection. They will make live observations, take photos, and build life-size models of their frogs. They will then strap on their mud boots and search for wild frogs like real herpetologists. At week’s end, campers will share their work with friends and families during a special camp reception.

Go Viral! Wildlife Videography
Grades: Entering 3rd - 6th
July 21 - July 25, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Did you see it? Look, over there! Equipped with Go-Pros, Flip Cams, & time-lapse cameras, campers will shoot and produce their own wildlife videos. They will capture live animal footage, edit, and post their short films to ECHO’s youtube channel to share with the world. At the end of the week, they will host a short film festival to share their masterpieces with family and friends.

July 28 – August 1, 2014

Campers dress-up for a stewardship-themed playCameras, Costumes, & Camouflage
Grades: Entering 1st - 3rd
July 28 – August 1, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Is that a leaf or a toad? Is that tomato moving? Learn how animals disguise themselves during this hands-on, how-to camouflage camp. Campers will photograph camouflaged animals, make their own animal inspired costumes, and design their own habitat-themed forts. They will then record short informational videos as their animals to share with family and friends.

App Stars: Minecraft to Wild Kratts
Grades: Entering 3rd - 6th
July 28 – August 1, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Wanted: tech-savvy kids with a passion for the planet. In this camp, participants will produce tablet-based apps for use inside and outside of ECHO. They will learn how to design and construct their own augmented reality scavenger hunts, build-up ECHO’s Minecraft world, and film short videos on Lake Science for an app to be released nationally on iTunes. They will also mingle with real mobile app developers working in the field.

August 4 – August 8, 2014

Pirates, Mermaids, & Sea Monsters
Grades: Entering 1st - 3rd
August 4 – August 8, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Did pirates once terrorize our waterways? Are there such things as freshwater mermaids? How many lake monsters live in Lake Champlain anyway? In this imaginative adventure, children will experience high-sea style fun while exploring the history and culture of Lake Champlain. We will search for treasure in the depths of ECHO’s model shipwreck, search of mythical creatures, and make merry at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. So, arrrrrrr you in?

Projectiles: Angry Birds to Falling Stars
Grades: Entering 3rd - 6th
August 4 – August 8, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Look, up there, in the sky! From Native American hunting tools to meteoroids, campers will explore the fascinating world of projectile motion. We will try our hands at flinging an Abenaki atlatl, designing our own sling-shots, and launching miniature rockets. We will also visit the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum to explore full size, replica cannons first hand. How far can you make a stuffed bird fly?

August 11 – August 15, 2014

Turtl-ology
Grades: Entering 1st - 3rd
August 11 – August 15, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

A snapping turtle’s bite is 9x stronger than a human’s. A baby softshell turtle is the size of an Oreo. Selecting from our awesome array of turtles, children will “adopt” a turtle from ECHO’s collection. They will become experts on their turtles, video recording behavior, assisting our animal care staff, and observing turtles up-close. At week’s end, they will share their knowledge with friends and families during a special camp reception.

Campers dissect owl pelletsAnimal Lovers
Grades: Entering K
August 11 – August 15, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Do you love animals? Come explore the diverse world of vertebrates during this fun-filled camp. Meet a turtle, befriend a frog! We will explore a different animal group each day, coming to face-to-face with animal ambassadors from the reptile, amphibians, fish, mammal, and bird families. Campers will also have a chance to learn and observe how ECHO cares for its animals behind-the-scenes.

August 18 – August 22, 2014

DIY Makers
Grades: Entering 1st - 6th
August 18 – August 22, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Are you a tinkerer, designer, inventor? This camp is designed to give you the space, tools, and support you need to bring your inner imaginings to life. During this camp, campers will design their own circuits, animate movies, and build Rube Goldberg machines. They will then select one project to focus on and make more awesome. Campers will also visit one of Burlington’s emerging “Maker Spaces” to check-out cutting-edge DIY technology, including 3-D printers and laser cutters.

Summer Camp Deposit

A $135 (member) $165 (non-member) deposit is due upon registration. The remaining $140 balance will be due two weeks prior to the start of your camp.

Summer Camp Refund Policy

Families who cancel two weeks prior the start of their camp(s) will receive a refund less a $50 check processing fee. No refunds will be issued within two weeks of a camp’s start date.


Camp Staff

Our stellar camp team is composed of year-round ECHO educators, seasonal staff with backgrounds in science and education, and members of ECHO's environmental teen leadership program. We believe the intimate, responsive atmosphere of our camps is what makes ECHO Camps a truly engaging experience. Therefore, we ensure a low instructor-to-child ratio of approximately 1:6. Past guest instructors have included scientists from UVM's Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Lab, members of ECHO's animal care team, WPTZ meteorologist Tom Messner, and robotic engineers from Greensea Systems Inc.

Meet the 2014 Camp Counselors

Nina RidhibhinyoMeet Nina Ridhibhinyo, ECHO Camp Director

Nina Ridhibhinyo is in charge of ECHO's summer camps, overnights program and student summits. Prior to ECHO, Nina was a site leader for the Burlington Kids After School Program at Champlain Elementary, where she developed managed enrichment programming. She also overhauled out-of-school programming for the City of Winooski's Recreation Department, including their summer camp and after school programs. She has a ScB in Environmental Science from Brown University and experience launching a community garden, running a green jobs training program for high-risk teenagers, and teaching environmental stewardship to middle school students.

Speaking about camps Nina says: "It is my goal that every camper has a transformative experience at ECHO."

ECHO Camp Scholarship

ECHO has limited scholarship funds available for those requiring financial assistance to participate in our camps.
ECHO Camp Scholarship Application available here.

 

Contact Information

Questions about camp: Nina at 1.802.864.1848 ext. 142, camps@echovermont.org

ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center
Camps
One College Street
Burlington, VT 05401

©2014 LCBSC - ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain - One College St. - Burlington VT 05401 - 1.877.324.6386
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