Nature Hike: Connecting With Ourselves and Our Environment

posted on Jul 06 2021

by Jessica Pomeroy, Program Coordinator

What is the “Nature Hike?”

Well, it's pretty self-explanatory. It's a nature. A nature hike is a great way to form a connection with the outside world. But the mainstages nature hike offers an opportunity to teach about connection to self, using creative elements.


1. Meet outside in a nice wooded area surrounded by trees.

2. Set the plan that we should be focusing on reflection and better preparing our senses for what’s around us.

3. Campers walk through the woods in small groups or pairs depending on camp rules, and campers’ age/ability.

4. Campers follow the cards placed along the hiking path, and discuss the questions or complete the activities on each one.

5. Search for the next card to make sure that they are on the correct path.

The Goal:

To stay focused, have fun, and get to know their group/partners and themselves a bit better!

Nature's Theater Hike

Rules for the Hike:

  • Keep a Distance/Stagger Entrance
  • Bring a paper and pencil with you, so you can write down things you need to remember!
  • Travel through with your partner or group of three, don’t leave anyone behind!
  • Take your time - don’t rush!
  • Commit to the process

Pre-Hike Prep:

Before you get started, you’ll have to set up your hike! This will involve pinning cards to the trees along your hike path with prompts on them. (see the next section for what might go on these cards!)

Setting Up the Cards:

  • Create a path for the hike that feels easy enough to follow, but difficult enough that the campers have to focus and search for the cards.
  • Try to create a path in a loop or a path that directs the campers back to the entrance once they have finished the hike.
  • Use colors on the cards that are not typically found in nature, so that they are not too hard to find.
  • Cards can be pinned/tied to trees, taped to rocks, or left in any other creative place you can think of, as long as they are visible, and keep the campers on the path.
  • Space the cards out enough that groups can talk without other groups listening in.
Download Nature Hike Cards

Other Prep Tips:

  • Remind campers to take note of any dances, moments, gestures, poems, or other creations they make on their path. They may be shared later!
  • Stagger the entrance so that groups don’t run into each other too often along the path.
  • Station staff members or counselors at different points in the hike, to ensure that campers stay on the path, and are participating appropriately and safely.
  • Wait for the campers at the end of the hike, and have a plan and location for their post-hike chat!
  • Get ready for an awesome conversation/presentation after the hike! (See below)
Nature's Theater Hike

What to Include In Your Hike:

You can include as many of these things as you would like, depending on the type of hike you think will be the most successful with your group of campers. Questions are more insightful, quiet, conversation starters. Activities are fun, big, and active, and Installations are community creations with the goal of bringing campers closer to one another through creating a project together. We encourage you to use a combination of these!

Insightful Questions


  • When someone tells you you’re walking “into the woods,” how do you feel?
  • Pretend you are a rock in nature. What would it be like to be in this one spot for years and years?
  • Sharpen your focus and find something interesting around you that does not ordinarily appear in nature. Share with your partner/group.
  • Spot one living thing. How would you describe it to someone who has never seen one? Describe it to your partner/group.
  • If you were a bird, where would you build your nest? What would you make it out of?
  • Which tree nearby is your favorite? What is so nice about it?
  • What is the weather like today? How does that make you feel?
  • When someone tells you you’re walking “out of the woods” how do you feel?



  • With your group or partner, make up a short dance or movement that represents the nature around you. Remember it, you’ll share it with the group later!
  • Close your eyes and find one sound from nature. Do your best to make that same noise yourself.
  • Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back.
  • Find something that is moving. Do your best to recreate that movement with your body. Remember it, you’ll share it with the group later!
  • Hop on one foot to the next card
  • Tie your shoelace to your partner's and 3-legged-walk to the next spot
  • Take an item from the woods and try to balance it on your head to the next spot without it falling off
  • Dig for a worm
  • Find one item (each) close to this spot that makes you feel happy. Share it with your group, and bring it back with you! Remind students not to hurt any living things or remove items that shouldn’t be removed - leaves, sticks, rocks, dirt, etc are great items!



Rock Memory Garden:

For this installation, campers decorate rocks to represent someone they are missing while they are at camp. They can decorate them with things that remind them of this person, or write or paint something they like to do with this person, etc... After their rocks are decorated, the campers can decide how and where along the hike they would like to arrange the rocks, to create a living monument or art piece, representing those they can’t be with right now!

Tree of Kindness:

Give each camper two pieces of paper, and ask them to write down a memory of a time that someone was kind to them, and one time that they were kind to someone else. Once everyone is finished, take them to the designated spot on the hike, and have them tie their memories to the same tree. Over the course of the summer, this tree will grow full of campers’ memories and act as a reminder of the importance of kind acts.

Faces on Trees:

These kinds of tree faces can be a fun way to add some silliness to your hike! Attach these to trees or rocks around the path to give campers a sense of magic and moments of discovery.

Gnome Hunt:

Hide Gnomes around the path, and challenge campers to find as many of them as they can while they are on their hike! Give them a piece of paper and something to write with to record which Gnomes they found and where they were. As part of the “After The Hike” activity, you can find out how many Gnomes each group found (make sure they tell you where!) and see which group found the most Gnomes.

nature's theater hike

After The Hike:

Come together as a group at the end of the hike, and ask campers to share their experiences. The questions below are to get you started, but depending on your individual hike, you may do a variety of different things with this time! If your hike was full of activities, maybe this is a time to share any dances or movements created! If the hike was full of questions, maybe this is more of a conversation and community bonding time.

Conversation Starters:

  • Ask groups to share their dance/movement that gives thanks to nature (if they would like to)
  • Ask groups to share the items they found and why they chose them.
  • What surprised them?
  • What did they notice around them (referring to using senses and emotions)?
  • Did they do anything or talk about anything new that they haven't done or talked about before?
  • Did they see anything that they weren’t expecting?
  • What was the best part of the hike?
  • What was the worst part of the hike?
  • If they were to do this again, what would they do differently?
  • What do they wish had been a part of the hike that was not?
There you have it, a Nature Hike for campers to connect with themselves and the environment, and having FUN in the process!

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Jessica Pomeroy

posted on Jul 06 2021

by Jessica Pomeroy

Jessica Ashleigh Pomeroy is an NYC­ based director, producer, performer and teaching artist. She holds a BFA in Dramatic Arts with a Concentration in Directing from The New School for Drama. Jessica grew up in Connecticut, where she first discovered her love of theatre, a love that only grew as she got older, and that she is passionate about sharing with young people. Jessica looks to bring professional ­level performance training to young performers, and seeks to do just that through her training and experience as a singer, actor and director.