Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

EXPLORE! Summer 2023—6 Sessions

July 27, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

NEW! We now have an online registration form—see below. To sign up for any or all of the Explore! sessions, fill out the form below.
You will receive an email with payment information. Your reservation is not complete without payment.

The Institute is offering a series of six new outdoor adventure programs in June and July. Designed for kids in grades K to 5, EXPLORE! programs will run on Thursdays, June 22 and 29, and July 6, 13, 20, and 27, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Pine Hill Recreation Area in Waynesboro, Pa.

Each session is a full 90 minutes of educational fun!

All program activities are outside, and each week features a different theme. Taught by Institute educators, programs include educational activities related to the season and theme. Students may attend any or all sessions.

June 22
Log Sweet Log

Students will get “up close with nature” as they explore life on, in, and under logs in the forest at Pine Hill. Magnifiers, hands, and cameras can all be used in this exploration of how this “forest trash” is really a forest treasure. Participants will be investigating what makes fallen trees so important to so many forms of life in the forest, including 

living trees and soon-to-be trees—seeds!

Check out these remaining EXPLORE! Sessions:

June 29
Fairy Houses
Kids will listen to an enchanting story book and then take a hike in the woods, collecting treasures from nature along the way—leaves, rocks, sticks, vines and more—to build a fairy house in the woods. Fairy houses can be created in any season and in any outdoor setting.

July 6
Fluttering Butterflies
Students learn about the life cycle of a butterfly, and enjoy listening to a story book on the subject. Kids will discover what makes Monarch butterflies unique—their life cycle, migration patterns and food. A fun “butterfly parade” invites kids to dress up in their favorite butterfly-themed clothing, and a guided craft helps each child make their own flower-crown for the parade.

July 13
Trees Are Terrific!
Students will embark on an adventure hike through the woods on Fox Crossing Trail and learn to identify several trees that are common at Pine Hill Park. Each student will create their own booklet with drawings and words describing what they like best about trees and forests. Activities also include painting leaf art, listening to a famous poem about trees, and playing forest-themed games.

July 20
What’s the Buzz?
Students go on a scavenger hunt to learn about the life of a honey bee, including the elusive Queen Bee. In a make-and-take craft, they create a ‘Bee a Kind Human’ card. Activities include a ‘Proboscis Relay’—kids become a worker or forager bee to make honey for the hive. Kids take home a packet of pollinator-friendly seed mix.

July 27
World of Turtles
Kids learn all about turtles, including what they eat, where they live, why they have a shell, and what it means to be a cold-blooded reptile. With a focus on turtles native to Pennsylvania, kids will try to answer the question, “Why did the turtle cross the road?” They will explore the world from a “turtle’s eye view,” make their own turtle for a turtle race, and enjoy a poem about turtles.

Pre-registration and payment in advance are required. Fee: Single Session– $8 member, $10 general public. Attendance is limited.

To register, use the form below or on any of the individual session pages. 

For more information, email to [email protected] or call 717-762-0373.

EXPLORE! programs are sponsored by The Anderson Family Fund, in memory of Vida Mae Anderson, and The Institute’s Today’s Horizon Fund Contributors: The Nora Roberts Foundation; Marge Kiersz; Alma W. Oyer; and the Carolyn Terry Eddy Family: Carolyn, with daughters Connie Fleagle & Kim Larkin. Facility support courtesy of Washington Township.

NEW! Online Registration Form!


July 27, 2023
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Event Category:


Buttonwood Nature Center–Home of The Institute
(717) 762-0373


Pine Hill Recreation Area
12684 Mentzer Gap Rd
Waynesboro, PA 17268 United States
+ Google Map