It’s a summer nature camp morning!

You wake to sunlight and birdsong. You have free time before breakfast. You could take a dip in the pond, or join a birding group. Supervise the crayfish from the stream hammock. Stroll out to the field and watch the mist rise from the ridges.

Then the old farm bell rings. You head in to eat with other campers and staff.  The food is cooked from scratch, and it’s delicious. There is a sudden hush: A doe and fawn sighted, a wood thrush singing, or a black rat snake slithering by?  It’s enchanting, and silence reigns.  That is the kind of community you are in.

After an outlandish skit weighing food scraps, there are reminders to sign up for a camping trip, attempt the “What Is It”, and to prepare for the butterfly census.

Onwards into a  full and active day! Workshops or your project for the morning,  hikes, games or arts in the afternoon, and more possibilities for the evening. The day will bring variety, surprise, laughter, camaraderie, and the richness of the natural world.

The Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies is:

  • An overnight nature camp with coed sessions for 8-10 year olds,  11-15 year olds and adults.
  • Small in size: no more than 36 campers per session.
  • A camp incorporating creativity, humor, games, hikes, arts and music into a relaxed but high quality program focusing on animals, plants, geology, astronomy, ecology and conservation.
  • A friendly, non-competitive community.
  • A mix of whole group, small group, and individual activities, and reflective time alone.
  • Located in a secluded 506-acre wildlife sanctuary in the Appalachian Mountains west of Capon Bridge, WV, just 2.5 hours from Washington, DC.
  • The mountain campus of the Burgundy Farm Country Day School
  • Attended by campers and staff who cannot get enough of the outdoors, and who return year after year.
  • Accredited by the American Camp Association.


BCWS was a haven from mainstream American adolescence. Being enthusiastic, knowledgeable, kind, anti-consumerist, and creative were celebrated. It was also the first place in my life where feminism was practiced actively, and boys and girls were peers. I learned that respect for each other and nature could create a wonderful community, rather than “respect” meaning just obedience. I learned to build a bridge between academics and life, and saw that pursuing knowledge about natural science also included reflection, ethics, and humor. My experiences there led me into a life of field biology later. I could not recommend BCWS enough.
Britt H., BCWS camper / staff member
Our son talks about camp all the time and is excited to return. When together, he and his fellow campers reminisce and laugh. Burgundy has enriched his life in so many ways. He’s become an avid birder, he’s more confident, he writes about camp in his school essays…I could go on and on. We’re very thankful for BCWS! We love the atmosphere, the philosophy and the staff.
Melissa S., BCWS parent
You inspired me to love animals. Now I want to be a biologist! You let me think twice and think not only for myself, but others.
Marie C, BCWS Junior camper
Recently my mom told me the only reason she sent any of us to camp was so we would learn how to clean things and make our beds. Mission accomplished, but here I was thinking she sent us because we loved it and we never talked about anything else.
Madeline E., BCWS camper / staff member
This evening our daughter asked if she could make things more like camp. We now have a bird list in our dining room. Thank you and your staff for inspiring her about nature.
Kathleen T., BCWS parent
I did really well in astronomy last year because of this place.  I even showed the teacher a constellation she didn’t know!
Darien C., BCWS Camper

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