Summer Camps: City Wild

by Marilyn Anthony

In the heat of summer, everyone wants to be near water, and City Wild offers plenty of it.

Campers gather each day of the two-week sessions at the Fairmount Waterworks, then set off by van for points around the city, including Dilworth Park and the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. Afternoons at Miquon Camp offer campers a swimming pool, a creek and a pottery studio as places to relax.

City Wild is a new program of the nonprofit Land Health Institute, whose mission is to “Put nature back through nontraditional environmental education programming.” 

Camp Director Sandy Rothman’s enthusiasm bubbles over in her description of City Wild’s goals for 10- to 13-year-olds. “We want kids to develop a positive relationship with nature in the neighborhoods. We want them to learn to look, and to see nature in the city and to realize that a habitat is going on all over the place.” 

Rothman’s diverse excursions take kids behind the scenes, walking across the Ben Franklin Bridge, climbing to the top of City Hall and discovering historical treasures such as the burial site of Betsy Ross. 

City Wild is an active camp with plenty of walking and outdoor play, so campers should bring energy, curiosity and a sense of adventure to get the most from the experience. 

“Kids come home tired, but in a good way because they used all their senses,” says Rothman. City Wild runs from June 27 through Aug. 19, and some financial assistance is available.

Website: landhealthinstitute.org/camps
Address: 614 S. 4th St., #341, Philadelphia, Pa.
Email: info@putnatureback.org
Phone: 267-571-5750