RYE, N.Y. -- Oliver Hughes and his little sister Talia watched a young horseshoe crab skittering along the bottom of an aquarium tank as their mother filled out paperwork to register them for a week of summer camp at the Marshlands Conservancy .
"Nature camps provide a different experience compared to other summer camps," said New Rochelle mother Faith Kostel-Hughes, who teaches ecology at the College of New Rochelle. "It's an opportunity to learn for the love of learning."
The Marshlands Conservancy is currently offering weekly summer programs through August 13. Oliver and Talia will get to explore the conservancy's different habitats from forests and meadows to freshwater ponds and saltwater marshes. Down on the shore at Milton Harbor they'll get to interact with the local sea creatures like the horseshoe crab.
"They come here every May to lay their eggs," said their conservancy's curator Scott Williamson. "They've done this for over 250 million years."
Oliver and Talia will also participate in other activities like animal tracking, bird watching and perform "ecodramas" where they act out things they have learned.
"Nature is a great way to build relationships," said Williamson. "They learn not only to respect it, but themselves and each other."