Nature & Wellness

Time to Be a Kid: Nature Inspires at Camp Serenbe

Getting kids back to nature in its most simple form is the main goal of Camp Serenbe, which offers 7 weeks of summer camp sessions for children ages 3 to 12.

From Minecraft sessions to online lessons and TV time, kids are inundated with technology in their daily lives. Yet a rich body of research shows that children can reap real benefits, including physical health, social-emotional mental health, cognition and academic learning, from spending more time in nature. “Studies have found that for young adults, the more nature they experience, the more life satisfaction they feel daily. In short, time in nature heals,” said RichardLouv, author of “Last Child in The Woods,” who coined the term “nature deficit disorder.” Getting kids back to nature in its most simple form is the main goal of Camp Serenbe, which offers 7 weeks of summer camp sessions for children ages 3 to 12.

“Camp Serenbe lets them be outside and explore trails, our nearby creek, find bugs, see the horses and more without any fluff or overly organized activities,” said Kara Nygren Adler, owner and founder, who launched the camp in the summer of 2007.


Nygren Adler, who grew up at Serenbe and now has two children ages 5 and 7 of her own, started Camp Serenbe to offer the community kids fun activities in the summer. It began with a three-hour weekly Wednesday program for 12 kids and has grown into a true summer-long camp hosting between 80-90 children daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To attend Camp Serenbe, children must be residents or staying at The Inn at Serenbe or one of the many Serenbe Property Management rentals with their family.

The most visible benefit of nature on children that Nygren Adler has noticed is its calming effect. “Nature has a soothing quality. Our campers don’t know that they are relaxing, but we see them immersing themselves into its peacefulness and finding a sense of calm that they may not always experience with life’s ‘go, go, go’ nonstop schedules and activities,” she said.

On any given week, around 18 counselor guides oversee the camp activities that vary based on age group. Though everyone gets some freedom to run around and explore, the 3- to 4-year-olds participate in more structured activities, such as animal feedings, scavenger hunts and hayrides; the group with ages 5 to 7 add on nature walks, archery, and canoe trips; and the older campers, 8- to 12-year-olds, have the opportunity to do longer hikes, build a campsite and many more summer activities.

“We give kids time to slow down and enjoy the outdoors,” said Nygren Adler, who has a degree in psychology and previously taught ages 3 to 6 at the original Montessori school at Serenbe.

In addition to the traditional camp, there are three enrichment camps offered in summer 2024: horseback riding, art, and cooking and farming. The riding camp teaches 8- to 12-year-olds beginner riding skills along with the basics of taking care of horses and preparing them for a ride. The art camp(for ages 4 to 12) focuses on learning an age-appropriate mixture of art mediums, including arts and crafts projects using items from the surrounding woods and trails. As for the cooking and farming, campers (ages 5 to 12) have the chance to spend time at Serenbe’s organic farm followed by cooking meals and snacks with the harvested seasonal produce.

“Many families who live in the community like to come for multiple weeks or even the whole summer.The enrichment camps give them more options. If it’s anyone’s first time, I always recommend the traditional camp first,” said Nygren Adler.

Camp registration is OPEN. New families will receive an email notification once they book accommodations at the Inn or through Serenbe Property Management and residents can access the registration portal through the weekly Serenbe HOA Newsletter.The first week of camp is the week of June 10 and is available for six weeks this summer. Visit for more details. Visit The Inn at or to book camp vacation rentals.

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