Bottle rockets, kites, jet propulsion and more at DRA’s Camp Mummichog

Posted:  Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 7:00am

Many made-made machines are similar to machines found in nature. Weevil joints have gears, grasshoppers have built-in levers, and squids use jet propulsion.

During two special camp sessions this summer, Camp Mummichog campers at Damariscotta River Association (DRA) will have a chance to explore machines like these in nature and build their own.

Machines in Nature, for kids ages 9 to 13, will take place July 10 to 14. Campers will learn about structures and machines found in nature, and will build and launch kites and rockets of their own. This session is co-taught by DRA staff and local mechanic and teacher Danny Hupp. A kayak excursion in Great Salt Bay with Midcoast Kayak will round out the week.

Be a Marine Biologist, for campers ages 9 to 12, runs from July 31 to August 4. New this year, DRA has partnered with Joe Thompson through the University of Maine Darling Marine Center to develop programming for this session. Thompson, a scientist with Franklin and Marshall College, studies muscle structure and function in the long-finned squid. He will share his enthusiasm and knowledge with campers, with a focus on jet propulsion in nature. He will also work with staff to develop new programming ideas along this theme.

Sarah Gladu, DRA education director explained, “Our community is rich with people who can offer a great deal to our kids. Natural science can be taught through most any lens. For example, at Camp Mummichog we explore science through visual art, music and mechanical engineering. Everything we do is through immersion and hand-on learning, and the kids can follow their passions and make discoveries.”

DRA camp sessions feature nature discovery in many forms, for example spending time with naturalists, learning hands-on outdoor living skills, taking field trips to islands for exploration, and playing nature-focused games.

Machines in Nature and Be a Marine Biologist will both take place at DRA Headquarters on Belvedere Road in Damariscotta. The sessions run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The cost is $220 per week for non-members and $195 for members. Scholarships are still available.

Download a camp brochure, or find on-line registration and participant health form at

Damariscotta River Association is a non-profit, membership supported, and nationally accredited land trust dedicated to preserving and promoting the natural, cultural, and historical heritage of the Damariscotta region, centered on the Damariscotta River.

DRA has active programs in the areas of land conservation, stewardship, community education, water quality monitoring, marine conservation and cultural preservation.

Visitors are welcome at the Great Salt Bay Heritage Center in Damariscotta as well as the many other DRA properties throughout the region. For more information about the camps or other programs and events call 207-563-1393, email, or visit