2018 Nature & Design Summer Camp

Manitoga's Summer Nature and Design Camp 2018

July 9-20, 2018


It was another great year at camp!

To view photos from this year’s exciting program, please use the Facebook link below.

2018 Summer Nature & Design Camp
2 Week Program
july 9 - july 20

Monday through Friday, 9am - 3pm
Children Ages 5 to 12

Manitoga offers a summer day camp program to cultivate an awareness and love of nature and design in children. Join us as we explore designer Russel Wright's modernist house and garden where the inside is like the outside, and the outside feels like home. This dynamic 2-week program offers the very best of Manitoga, continuing the tradition of inspiring creativity and design through a deeper appreciation of the natural world. Magical adventures await!





The camp is open to children 5 to 12 years of age who will be divided into groups according to age and grade level. Some activities involve the whole camp, while others are tailored to the abilities and interests of specific age groups. Each day begins at 9am and ends at 2:45pm for 5 and 6 year olds and at 3pm for those 7 and older. Throughout the day, campers rotate through a variety of activities built around specific themes in nature. 

Follow Manitoga's Summer Camp Facebook Page: 

talented & certified staff

Camp will be led once again by long-time educator and artist Melinda Franzese, an art teacher at the progressive Soundview Preparatory School in Yorktown Heights and founder/director of their Summer STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) program. Also on board are bright, enthusiastic Counselors to supervise and conduct a compelling array of activities with campers on Manitoga's magical and inspiring property. 

4 special guest educators in just 10 days

Eric Stone from the Rewilding School leads programs sure to inspire your child's connection with the natural world. Campers will take to the trails and get an in depth look at the exciting plants and critters that call Manitoga home. To learn more about this exciting programming, visit: rewildingschool.com.

Bill Robinson conducts a presentation of live birds where campers feel the wind from their wings and learn (by watching!) what they eat and how they survive in the wild. For more information, visit: robinsonwildlifelectures.com.  

Tomoko Abe, artist and educator, teaches campers how to make art out of nature and in nature in her creative Cyanotype Workshop. To learn more about her artwork and process, please visit: tomokoabe.com.

Nicole Tantillo, a teacher from Soundview Preparatory School, who puts the fun in art and science through exciting activities such as making clouds from dry ice, capturing the wind with handmade pinwheels, and exploring the power of the sun. Her science-themed Instagram page is designed to spark interest and initiate conversation about STEAM - @mstantillo.

central themes

Nature activities and art & design projects bring these central themes to life in multi-faceted ways:


Design is everywhere at Manitoga! Campers explore designer Russel Wright's modernist House, Studio and garden where the inside is like the outside, and the outside feels like home. They see first-hand how nature inspires creativity and design.


Before Manitoga was the place we love today, it was covered by ice, home to Native Americans, and a granite quarry.  Campers learn about the plants and animals native to the area and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the processes and patterns found in nature.


How do you "see" the woods when your eyes are closed? With your ears, hands and even your feet, of course. Orienteering, mapping, foraging, and "sneaker creaking" are just some of the activities planned as part of the adventures in the woods.


Manitoga is a magical place for children to cultivate a deep love of nature and a profound respect for the environment.  Using all of their senses, the campers and staff are fully immersed in the scents, sounds, textures, and visible beauty that the site has to offer. Russel Wright's principles of Know Nature and Feel Nature infuse all aspects of the camp program.


Taking inspiration from the distinct design elements of Russel Wright and the artistry of the natural world, campers participate in a variety of art activities that encourage their individual creativity. 

Safe and sound

Manitoga Summer Nature & Design Camp operates in strict compliance with Putnam County Department of Health regulations. The camp is inspected before the season begins and once the program is in session. All camp staff are certified in CPR/First Aid and Responding to Emergencies and/or Wilderness Training. 

Per the Putnam County Health Department, please review the following with regard to Summer Camps in New York State:



Refund policy

Manitoga Summer Nature & Design Camp Refund Policy

Fox T-shirt Design: Joe Pimentel
Photos: Melissa Pimentel & Melinda Franzese,