Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center is closed as part of Penn State’s efforts to maintain public health and safety in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. For questions about cancellations, program changes, or virtual delivery due to the coronavirus pandemic, please contact us at ShaversCreek@psu.edu. For the latest updates and information, visit: virusinfo.psu.edu.

Investigators

Ages: 12–14

Last year we launched Investigators, which offers a different program each year to participants, focused on building Naturalist skills. This year our topic is Fungi! Starting with the identification of fungi, we will learn how to safely and consistently identify a number of local species. Off-site field trips will help to cement that knowledge and aid in increasing our understanding of the Fungi Kingdom. The week’s program culminates in the cooking and eating of different dishes involving the fungi identified and learned about during the week. Friday evening features an edible hors d’oeuvres program made by Investigators and the mushrooms they learned about at camp; this program will take place at the same time as Night Walks (for Discovery and Explorer campers). Families are encouraged to engage in all of the fun of Friday evenings including ice cream, the campfire, and overnight camping. (Families need to bring all of their own equipment if camping out.) Breakfast on Saturday morning of pancakes and coffee is served from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.!

COVID-19 Information

In accordance with all University health and safety stipulations concerning Youth Programs, Shaver’s Creek has constructed a plan to keep everyone safe during summer camps. Please familiarize yourself with the plan’s practices

Four-Day Camp Sessions

Cost:
$385 for nonmembers (save 15% with membership)

Times:
Tuesday–Thursday: 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Families: Friday 5:00 p.m.–Saturday 8:00 a.m.; optional program (see below); includes breakfast Saturday

Date:
July 27–31, 2021

Registration will open in early 2021.

Do you remember your username and password from 2019? You’ll need to login to your membership to register for camp. Send a password reset to your email or see our camp FAQ for more details.

Five-Day Camp Sessions

Cost:
$435 for nonmembers (save 15% with membership)

Times:
Monday–Thursday: 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Families: Friday 5:00 p.m.–Saturday 8:00 a.m.; optional program (see below); includes breakfast Saturday

Date:
August 2–7, 2021

Optional Transportation for 5-day Sessions:
Bus transportation will be provided for an additional fee from the Spikes Stadium at Medlar Field, 701 Porter Road. Drop-off (Monday–Friday) will be from 8:00–8:30 a.m., and pick-up (Monday–Thursday) will be from 4:30–5:00 p.m. You must register for bus transportation separately during the registration process in order to secure space. Space is limited.

Registration will open in early 2021.

Do you remember your username and password from 2019? You’ll need to login to your membership to register for camp. Send a password reset to your email or see our camp FAQ for more details.

Daily Schedule
Day Activity

Monday

9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.:

On the first day, we will begin with an introduction to the topic of the year: fungi! Starting with the different parts of fungi, we will learn how to identify different groupings of this incredible kingdom. This foundation will allow us to become more comfortable and familiar with a specific set of groups and species. Nature journaling will be introduced as a record-keeping method for identification and increased understanding of our subjects. We will also take time to become familiar with the other members of our group.

Tuesday

9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.:

Building upon our identification skills, we will harvest mushrooms to be used in kitchen creations. We will also delve into an investigation project to be presented on Friday evening to families.

Wednesday

9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.:

Utilizing the mushrooms gathered yesterday, we will cook, eat, and enjoy different mushroom-based dishes!

Thursday

9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.:

Branching out beyond the species we focused on thus far, on this day we will learn about additional species. Part of this day will be off-site (transportation is provided).

Friday

9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.:

Mushrooms offer a vast array of benefits to the entire forest and to humans. Today we will explore the connections between humans and fungi. We will also travel to Whipple Dam to enjoy some time in the water and on the beach!  (Weather permitting) 

5:00 p.m.: Claim your camper and stay with your family to enjoy the rest of the optional activities throughout the evening!  Start with your own self-provided dinner on the front lawn!

  • Note: Please do not begin setting up your gear before 4:45 p.m. if you are staying for the Friday overnight.
  • With no cooking facilities available, please bring something that is easy and quick.
  • We are a zero waste facility and able to compost anything organic (including food scraps and paper products). Please still bring reusable plates and utensils if possible.
  • Families may “Adopt-A-Counselor” by bringing food for them and enjoying the picnic together! A signup sheet will be available starting Wednesday afternoon on a first come basis.

6:30 p.m.: Ice cream from Meyer Dairy provided

7:15 p.m.: Campfire program! Campers and staff will present a myriad of songs, poems, skits, stories and adventures from the camp week. Bring along a blanket/chair or sit on the giant rocks in front of the stage.

8:30–9:30 p.m.: Presentations of projects and sampling of wild edible mushroom dishes prepared by Investigators in the Treehouse (Hamer) building!

10:00 p.m.: Settle into your tent for the night!

Saturday

6:30–8:00 a.m.: Breakfast/Last Day

6:30 a.m.: Coffee!

7:00–8:00 a.m.: Breakfast is served — featuring freshly made pancakes and coffee, plus milk, juices, and pancake toppings!

What do I need to wear and bring each day?

Investigators will need to wear outdoor clothes that can get dirty and closed-toed shoes. You should also bring a small backpack for carrying the following things: a zero waste, nut-free lunch, a full water bottle, a raincoat or poncho, a hat, and sunscreen. Optional daily items include drawing pencils, a notebook, a camera that can tolerate the conditions at camp/outdoors, and a favorite plant ID guide.