Review: Piedmont Wildlife Center

This is a personal review of the Piedmont Wildlife Center (PWC) located in Durham, NC.

My kids have participated in several programs there, including summer camps and homeschool camps.  Piedmont Wildlife Center (PWC) does a variety of outreach programs, wildlife rehabilitation, and camps.  Specifically, I will be reviewing their camps for kids.

I am happy to say that PWC has come a long way from when we first started attending their camps, approximately ten years ago.  They offer specialized outdoor camps for kids throughout the year.  The camp environment is entirely outdoor-based, but there are opportunities to be indoors in case of inclement weather.  The focus of all PWC programs is environmental education.

Summer camps are themed week-long sessions.  One week might be “wildlife science” while the next week’s theme might be “art in the wild” so if your child has a particular interest, they may prefer one week over another, but the general pacing of each week seems to be very similar.

Kids are arranged by age groups with a team of counselors per group.  During the day, the groups work on their own projects, but also come together with the greater camp community to share games, stories, circle times, and other camp-wide activities.  One thing that always impresses me while watching the kids is that there is so much positive interaction between the age groups.  It’s wonderful to observe the younger kids looking up to the older kids, and the older kids taking leadership roles to help with the younger kids.  Plus it’s really fun to see them all playing a game together where everyone is seen as equals.

This seems to be one of the few camps in the area that has programming specifically targeted at teens.  Many area camps have programs for kids ages 5-12, but many stop there.  If you have a teen interested in outdoors, camping, hiking, survival skills, or teen leadership skills, I highly recommend the teen programs at PWC.

My kids generally enjoy their days at camp.  There have been a few times where they have come home and said it wasn’t the best day, but overall, they report having a good time.

I would happily recommend the PWC camps to anyone whose kid enjoys the outdoors, likes getting dirty, has lots of energy, and loves learning about nature.  Sometimes they even have one day camps (“Wild for a Day”) which would be a good introduction to the program without committing to an entire week.

4-18 avery grapples a tree

Climbing a tree at camp