Top Wilderness Summer Camps and Summer Wilderness Programs for Kids & Teens in Connecticut

The Best Connecticut Wilderness Summer Camps | Summer 2023-24 Directory of  Summer Wilderness Camps for Kids & Teens
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Bushy Hill Day Camp
Ivoryton, Connecticut

Visit Our Bushy Hill Day Camp Website
860-767-2148 ext 104
253 Bushy Hill Rd
Ivoryton, Connecticut 06442

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TYPE OF CAMP: Day Camp. Weekdays, 8:30am-4:00pm with before and after care available. Transportation available.

CAMPER GENDER(S): Coed Campers.

BRIEF CAMP DESCRIPTION: The best nature, science, education-based camp on the CT Shoreline! 1-2 week session options; 10 wks total. Kids get unplugged and back to basics! Campers are grouped by age and are with the same counselor and field group for their full session, allowing them to build strong and lasting friendships. Field groups will spend the first half of the day exploring and playing in the woods, getting dirty and having fun, swimming, canoeing, completing group challenges on our low and high ropes in a non-competitive atmosphere. Optional overnight campout experience for ages 7 and up.

SPECIAL NEEDS CAMPERS: We work closely with parents and school Special Ed teachers and paras to bring the best experience to all of our campers. School paras and aides are welcome!

Wilderness/Nature, Waterfront/Aquatics, Adventure, Swimming, Team Sports, Science, and more. Archery
Cliff Jumping
Rope Swing
Low Ropes
High Ropes
Fires & Fire Safety
Survival Skills
Plant & Animal Identification

CAMP LOCATION: Our 750 acre wooded property surrounds a private mile-long lake and is conveniently located 2 hours from NYC and Boston along the CT Shoreline. Shopping outlets, malls, state beaches and parks are all less than 30 min from our camp. Please visit our website and follow our FaceBook page to see pictures and our video of our beautiful property.

CAMP FACILITIES: We have 750 acres off forests and wetlands surrounding a pristine, private, mike-long, spring-fed lake. Our hiking trails are well blazed, range in distance from 1/4 mile to 5 miles, with intermediate being the highest level of difficulty. campers spend the summer playing in and exploring the woods, hiking and learning as they go! The dirtier we get, the more fun we've had!

Our beautiful Bushy Hill Nature Center is home-base for our camp in the summer and a community hot-spot in the off-season. Just a short walk from the Nature Center is the Bushy Hill Farm, home to our playful goats, curious llamas, friendly pot-belly pig, and more!

CAMP PROGRAM INFO: Want your kids to have the time of their life, learn, make lasting friendships, and go home tired? Bushy Hill is the perfect place!

Our directors are both former public school teachers as well as former Bushy Hill campers themselves!

Summer camp counselors are at least 18 years old. Most are going to college for a degree in Education and/or the Sciences.

Assistant counselors are 16-17 years old and are on the path to go to college for Education or a field in the Sciences.

All staff are at minimum First Aid/CPR/AED certified. Most (if not all) are Lifeguard certified as well.

All counselors are trained in medication administration.

-Seedlings Camp ages 4-5
-Bushy Hill Day Camp ages 5-12
-Bushy Mountain Camp ages 13-15
-CIT program ages 15-16
-SCOUT Wilderness Survival Skills Camp ages 13-16
-Advanced SCOUT ages 16+
-Fringe SCOUT ages 16+

CAMP LEADERSHIP CIT/LIT PROGRAMS: The counselor in training program at Bushy Hill offers teens the unique opportunity to learn and develop skills as a counselor. Each session, the CITs will work with a counselor (a professional educator) in a small group setting for the first two days.

The following eight days, they will work with different field groups and age levels each day to practice their skills and observe various teaching styles.

At the end of each day there is a debrief so that they can discuss specific situations with each other and their counselor.

Skills Developed:
Conflict Resolution
Peer Mediation
Large & Small Group Management
Risk Management and Safety

CAMP SCHOLARSHIPS OR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE: Financial aid applications are available by request only. Up to 50% of the tuition can be awarded. Email Brendan Hylan brendan[AT]

FAMILY CAMP SESSION(S): Every other Saturday throughout the summer, on the weekend that falls WITHIN a two week session, we host a Family Fun Day and Open House. This is a chance for campers to share the fun of camp with their friends and family. Over the course of two hours, campers and their guests have the opportunity to explore the hiking trails, swim at our waterfront and meet our amazing staff!

YEAR-ROUND PROGRAMS: Bushy Hill Nature Center proudly works with the community, local schools of all ages, Boy and Girl Scouts, and professional organizations throughout the year through field trips, classroom visits, overnight trips, professional development opportunities, workshops, the Maple Sugar Shack, and more!

We offer birthday party options through the year.

In February and April we provide vacation camps for students on school break.

OTHER CAMP INFO: Campers bring a backpack with a lunch, water bottle, bathing suit and towel. They will carry their bag with them throughout the day. Closed-toed shoes are required at all times.

We offer an optional overnight experience for campers ages 7 and up. The overnights are split up by ages, each group having its own night, and each one has a different focus. The last two years the overnights have included campers sleeping in tents, our tipi, or just in a sleeping bag under the stars!


7-9 year old campers have guest visitors from A Place Called Hope, a local raptor rescue. APCH brings their resident owls to meet campers and share with them why they shouldn't be afraid of the woods at night. The noises are usually just a toad or a mouse rustling in the leaves, or the owls calling!

10-12 year old campers enjoy a sunset hike and canoe ride along our lake before heading out on their evening night hike, a sensory experience!

Bushy Mountain campers (ages 13-15) venture farther out onto our property, setting up camp, telling stories around the fire before heading out on a night hike.

SCOUT campers (ages 13-16) will spend the day leading up to the overnight building their debris hut shelters. Each shelter must be sturdy and waterproof (and will be put to the test!). In the evening the campers will use the skills taught during the session to make fire by friction, forage for a meal, make their spoons and bowls, etc.

Adanced SCOUT (age 16+) is for campers who have completed a minimum of 3 years in our SCOUT program, have demonstrated a near mastery level of basic survival skills. A group of campers and two staff members will spend a week in the woods using the skills they learned in the previous years to survive with the bare minimum of supplies. Campers must complete a skills test and must be at least 16 years old before they can be accepted into Advanced SCOUT.

Fringe SCOUT is a program for campers who have successfully completed Advanced SCOUT and who are interested in focusing and becoming a master of a specific skill set. Fringe SCOUT campers live in the woods for a week with the focus less on survival skills and more on knowledge, understanding, and development of one skill.

*note: CIT campers do NOT have an overnight option.

Please visit our website Our Camp Website Link: for the complete listing of session dates for each of our Day Camp programs.

Camp season: June 19-August 26

Before and after care available.
Transportation available.

Seedlings Camp (ages 4-5); ten 1-week sessions; 9am-3pm; Transportation not available for this program.

Bushy Hill Day Camp (ages 5-12); five 2-week sessions with some 1-week session options; 8:30am-4:00pm

Bushy Mountain Day Camp (ages 13-15); five 2-week sessions with some 1-week session options; 8:30am-4:00pm

Bushy Hill SCOUT Wilderness Survival Skills Camp (ages 13-16); five 2-week sessions with some 1-week session options; 8:30am-4:00pm

Bushy Hill CIT Program (ages 15-16); five 2-week sessions with some 1-week session options; 8:30am-4:00pm

Bushy Hill Nature Center is hiring Day Camp Counselors for its summer day camp programs running June 19-August 25, with orientation starting June 12.

Bushy Hill is a nature and education based program with a strong emphasis on the environment, our relationship with nature and our relationships with each other. We are located on 750 acres surrounding a mile long spring fed lake in Ivoryton, CT. Campers range from 4 – 16 years old.

Counselor applicants must be at least 18 years of age. All applicants must have, or be willing to obtain, at minimum, First Aid and CPR training. Lifeguard certified preferred, but not required. Background check and references required.

Compensation based on experience. Room and board provided. To apply for a position, please download an application at Our Camp Website Link: and send it and/or your resume to Jen Malaguti, Director, at jen[AT] Please call Jen at 860-767-2148 ext. 104 for more information. Positions open until filled.

Go to The Best Connecticut Wilderness Camps Directory to Find More Summer Wilderness Camps Near Ivoryton, Connecticut.

Connecticut Summer Wilderness Camps Offer Wide Range of Wilderness Programs & Summer Wilderness Activities

Be sure to check each camp listing under INSTRUCTIONAL ACTIVITIES OFFERED for the range of Special Interest Activities and Programs provided by each Connecticut Wilderness Summer Camp or Summer Wilderness Recreation Program.

Many Connecticut Day and Sleepaway Wilderness Camps offer professional level instruction in a wide-range of Wilderness Activities.

For a complete List of Connecticut Special Interest Wilderness Summer Camps & Summer Wilderness Recreation Programs scroll down to the big black bar at the very bottom of this page.

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Updated: May 24, 2018

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