Category Archives: Wild at Art Summer Camp

Nature Story Time from the Museum of American Bird Art

We are excited to announce our Nature Story Time video series, so even in times where we need to be isolated, we can still be together. We hope to bring you a few nature story times each week along with a little art project or nature exploration that you can do at home. Please comment and let us know what stories you’d like to hear, what you like about the program, and most importantly how we can improve.

“There are no greater treasures than the little things… ~ Little Bird”

Learning to Fly, From “Little Bird” by Germano Zullo and illustrated by Albertine.

Our first story is Little Bird, by Germano Zullo and illustrated by Albertine. Just like in Little Bird, these days it is restoring to look for the little treasures in nature and discover spring come alive right outside your door, on the sidewalk, little gardens, and in your neighborhood. Enjoy the story.

Enjoy Nature Story Time

“May my heart always be open to little birds
who are the secrets of living…”

~ E.E. Cummings

Eastern Bluebird Art Project

Enjoy this wonderful art project created by Dan Boudreau, MABA’s incredible TerraCorp service member.

It’s spring and that means that Eastern bluebirds are headed back our way to make their nests and raise their young! The meadow behind the Museum has several bird boxes that bluebirds sometimes build their nests in. Want to make your own bird box scene with a brightly colored bluebird? 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Watercolor paints, a brush, and clean water
  • A paper grocery bag (or brown construction paper)
  • Oil pastels, crayons, or colored pencils
  • Glue
  • A sturdy piece of paper or cardstock for your background
  • A small piece of cardstock or an index card for your bird
  • Black marker

Step 1:

Draw your bird shape onto the small piece of cardstock (I used an index card), then cut it out.

Step 2: Watercolor the bird!

First, wet the paper enough that it shines in the light. Be careful not to overwet it, though, or the paper will start to fall apart. Then, paint on blue for the back and orange for the chest. We’ll do the eye later. Put the bird aside to dry while you work on the box.

Step 3: Making the bird box

Cut a rectangle out of the grocery bag and use a black marker to draw a hole for the bluebird to get in and out of.

Step 4: Draw your background

Using pastels, crayons, or colored pencils, draw the sky and meadow onto your large piece of paper. Make sure to leave a blank spot to glue your bird box onto, since glue won’t stick well to crayon or pastel. I used pastels because I love being able to smudge and blend them to make a cool texture for the sky. 

Step 5: Assemble!

Now’s the time to glue it all together! To make a perch for the bluebird, I just cut a piece of the handle from the grocery bag and glued it right on. I did the same to make the post for the box. Now that your watercolors have dried, it’s also a good time to draw an eye on the bluebird. I used a black marker.

And voila! You’ve made an eastern bluebird in its spring habitat! The bird box provides important shelter for the bluebird and the chicks that will come soon. Can you think of anything else that bluebirds might need to live? Draw them in to your own art project!

Whooos woods are these…Nature, Awe, and Wonder in a Minute

Rarely does the moment arrive when everything seems to fit together perfectly and converges at just the right moment, but that’s probably why transcendent moments are so rare and special and our vacation campers had this type of moment this morning.

Over the past few weeks, we have been keeping tabs on a pair of Great Horned Owls and a single Barred Owl that have been very active in our wildlife sanctuary. For one week, a Barred Owl has been roosting during the day in the same tree in our pine grove, but was not there today. Alas, I thought our vacation campers wouldn’t get to see this amazing owl.

Barred Owl from February 7, 2019

BUT the reason it wasn’t in it’s daytime roost was because it had taken up residence in a nest that was in perfect view of the trail in our pine grove. This is the first Barred Owl nest we have ever found on the sanctuary.

So with the snow sparkling in the mid morning sun, an owl resplendent in it’s nest, the first people to see it were our vacation program campers and the look on their faces just tells it all, so much more than words could.

“ Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”

― Mary Oliver

A Peregrine Falcon comes to the Wild at Art Camp

On July 12, we have a Peregrine Falcon and amazing naturalist Perry Ellis from the Blue Hills Trailside Museum visit our summer camp. Enjoy these two videos of this amazing day.


Inspiring wonder, creativity, and curiosity at the Nature Lab: An inside peek at the Wild at Art Travel Camp

Our inaugural travel week at the Wild at Art Summer Camp has just wrapped up. From July 9 to July 13, our travel program included a visit to the amazing and inspiring Nature Lab at the Rhode Island Institute of Design.

Campers had a close up look at many amazing natural history artifacts and were able to use state of the art microscopes to be amazing by a tiny world that is almost always hidden.  Enjoy this short video of the day.

Inspiring curiosity, creativity and more with Barry Van Dusen: A Day with the Wild at Art Travel Camp

Our inaugural travel week at the Wild at Art Summer Camp has just wrapped up. From July 9 to July 13, our travel program included visits to Barry Van Dusen’s art studio for an inside look at his craft and a short trip to Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary to paint and sketch with Barry in the field. It was wonderful to see all the campers inspired by a true master artist and wonderful person. Enjoy this short video of the day.

We also visited World’s End in Hingham, travel by ferry to Peddock’s Island in Boston Harbor, visited the Roger Williams Zoo, had ice cream at Crescent Ridge, and visted the amazing Nature Lab at Rhode Island Institute of Design

Discovering, exploring, and creating: Wild at Art Vacation programs are soaring

We have had a wonderful February Vacation Week of programs and wanted to share our programming with you though these brief videos.

Tuesday February 20, 2018

We had an absolutely wonderful day on Tuesday. The weather was spectacular. We created lots of art and explored in our wildlife sanctuary, including hiking to the brook, marbling paper (sumingashi), creating nature journals, making landscape art near the brook, creating clay birds, and more.

Wednesday February 21, 2018

The weather on Wednesday was amazing and we spent lots of time outside and the rest of the day creating art. Today, we hiked to our “eagle’s nest” in the pine grove, learned about tracking deer, and everybody was challenged to create their own bird’s nests, they were spectacular. We also created lots of art, including a paper bag city, ate snack and lunch outside, and did a lot of exploring.

Thursday February 22, 2018

Although the weather has changed back to winter on Thursday, we had a fantastic day. We leaped into the world of printmaking with collagraph prints and silk screens of a fox. We hiked to the brook and create with nature in the pine grove in the center of our sanctuary. We create lots of art and sketched in the museum and had lots of fun.

Highlights from Week 5 of the Wild at Art Camp: Butterfly Safari, Caterpillar Lab, and Nature CSI

It has been such a wonderful summer so far and I am so grateful for all the families that have sent their children to the Wild at Art camp this summer. We have been having a wonderful week at the end of July. On Monday, we talked about going on journey this week looking for spectacular “things.” Here are a few highlights from the week with all our spectacular findings.

Highlight #1: A visit from the amazing Caterpillar Lab!

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Highlight #2: Making spectacular wildlife discoveries with friends

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Highlight #3: Exploring in the brook for aquatic critters

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Highlight #4: Creating art and making friends

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Highlight #5: Exploring in the meadow

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Soaring Owls, Field Biology, and more: Highlights from Week 3 of our Wild at Art Summer Camp

We have been having a wonderful week of camp with the campers enjoying owls, art, and nature. The campers have been able to see live owls up close, with a barn owl and great horned owl visiting this week. In addition, each group has been finding exciting wildlife and plants in our wildlife sanctuary – discovering froglets and salamanders in our vernal pool, finding caterpillars in our meadow, and exploring in our pine grove. All the groups have been enjoying creating art with their groups and our fantastic art educator Lindsey Caputo. Here are a few highlights from the week.


Highlight #1: Visit from a Great Horned Owl

On Tuesday, all the campers looked closely, with some sketching, at a Great Horned Owl brought over from Mass Audubon’s Trailside Museum. Perry Ellis, a teacher naturalist from Trailside, provided a fantastic program teaching all the campers about how owls see  the world. It was a wonderful experience for all.

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Highlight #2: Finding salamanders, frogs, and other wildlife at our vernal pool

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Highlight #3: Learning about dragonflies

Campers in our field biology, nature journaling, and watercolor painting group learned about different species of dragonflies and learned how to collect them and handle them safely. Check out these amazing pictures of campers with dragonflies.

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Highlight #4: Having fun and making friends

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Highlight #5: Creating Art

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Highlight #6: Watercolor painting and sketching by the brook

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Highlight #7: Visit from a Barn Owl

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Wild at Art Summer Camp – Highlights from Week 1

The first week of our 2017 summer camp season is off and running to a fantastic start. During the first week, the campers are learning about the ways birds and other animals fly, swim, and move. Here are a few of the highlights:

Highlight #1: Seeing larval salamanders and wood frog tadpoles at the vernal pool

Highlight #2: Creating Amazing Art with Lindsey Caputo (Art Educator)

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Highlight #3: Making Animal Themed Hats

Highlight #4: Hiking to the pine forest to see our “eagle’s nest”


Top Moments from Week 4: A butterfly safari, the caterpillar lab, digital cameras, and more

We’ve been having a fantastic week. Campers have been searching for butterflies and caterpillars, learning about the science and art of photography, exploring our brook and vernal pool (and catching a few frogs and salamanders), and taping into their creative side by creating lots of fantastic art. Here are some of the top moments from the week.

Visit from the caterpillar lab

The caterpillar lab visited on Tuesday and it was an amazing experience for all the campers. Here are a few photo galleries of the visit.

Ages 4-5

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Ages 6-7

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Ages 8-14

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Learning about vernal pools and holding frogs

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Metamorphosis: Pottery and ceramics

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Building a camera and fun with photography

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Having fun with and making new friends

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