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Exploration Kits for Families!

Nature Day Camp 2015 (Curt Chipman photo)

Though Nature Day Camp and in-person programming are canceled for the summer, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust is offering exploration kits to give families the tools, ideas and inspiration to create lasting outdoor memories!

We are deeply committed to making these kits accessible to all families and are offering them on a sliding scale. You can choose to pay nothing, cover our materials costs or pay extra to help cover another family’s kit. Please don’t hesitate to reserve a kit, even if it’s not within your budget this summer.

The kits will include high-quality exploration tools made to last, as well as activity ideas and supplies. See below for more about the kits, which Harpswell Heritage Land Trust has created from scratch. They are designed for preschool and elementary-age children. Some activities can be done independently, but most are more fun with company from parents or siblings.

We are considering offering separate exploration kits for adults (more information to come). That said, these kits are not reserved for families. No matter your age or the age of your children, if you think the materials below sound like fun, feel free to reserve one or more for yourself.

To enrich your experience, we encourage you to get the exploration basics kit and one or more add-ons. Because we can’t be sure about availability, we reserve the right to substitute tools and materials of similar value.

And you can always access our 50 outdoor activity ideas on our website for free.

Here’s how it works:

  1. The deadline to reserve a kit was July 1. If you missed the July 1 deadline and are interested, please send an email to Julia McLeod at outreach@hhltmaine.org. We may offer another order deadline later in the summer.
  2. In order to avoid holding an inventory of unwanted equipment, we will order tools and materials after we compile all the orders. This means that kits won’t be available for pick up until at least the middle of July.
  3. We will let you know when your kits are ready and will send you a link to pay online.
  4. You can choose to pick up your kits from the front deck at the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust office (153 Harpswell Neck Road, Harpswell) or we can mail them to you. We will ask you to cover the cost of shipping.

Exploration basics

Available on a sliding scale. $19-35 covers our costs (depending on the size of the family).

Nature Day Camp 2019 (Courtney Cronin photo)

The kit includes one per family of the following:

  • Activity ideas
  • Markers
  • One of our favorite nature-themed children’s picture books (used but in good condition)
  • A guide to Harpswell’s trails and preserves
  • Reusable bag to hold exploration supplies

And one per child of the following:

  • Clipboard
  • Scavenger hunts, laminated
  • Nature journal, blank
  • Junior Ranger Activity Book

Tidepool/Beach Add-on

Available on a sliding scale. $15-27 covers our costs (depending on the size of the family).

Nature Day Camp 2019 (Courtney Cronin photo)

The kit includes one per family of the following:

  • Collection bin
  • Waterproof folding pocket field guide to Northeastern seashore life

And one per child of the following:

  • Aquarium net
  • Magnifying glass
  • Materials and instructions for a fun collection and classification activity
  • A building kit donated by Home Depot

Butterfly Add-on

Available on a sliding scale. $42-45 covers our costs (depending on the size of the family). Please note that this is more expensive because it includes a high quality butterfly net and tent.

Nature Day Camp 2018 (Curt Chipman photo)

The kit includes one per family of the following:

  • Butterfly net
  • Butterfly tent
  • Waterproof folding pocket field guide to butterflies and moths
  • Instructions for using the butterfly tent to raise and release Monarchs from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly (an unforgettable experience!)
  • Materials and instructions for a fun migration game

And one per child of the following:

  • Materials for flower pounding on a fabric flag.

Forest Add-on

Available on a sliding scale. $12-19 covers our costs (depending on the size of the family).

Harpswell Community School field trip 2016 (Curt Chipman photo)

The kit includes one per family of the following:

  • Waterproof folding pocket field guide to Maine trees and wildflowers
  • Materials for a fun color and shape matching activity

And one per child of the following:

  • Magnifying glass
  • Materials for an outdoor create a mini habitat activity
  • Materials to create a simple fabric animal puppet