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Nature Study Retreat 2024

  • Sunday, May 19, 2024
  • 3:00 PM
  • Friday, May 24, 2024
  • 12:00 PM
  • Kirkmont Center, Zanesfield, Ohio
  • 24


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:


2024 Nature Study Retreat

Registration Deadline: April 19, 2024

The 2024 Nature Study Retreat will move to Central Ohio this year, to the Kirkmont Center near Bellefontaine. This area features the Ohio Caverns and Cedar Bog, and these attractions are on our itinerary! We also have a Wild Edibles program in the works and an evening with an astronomer, along with hikes and other nature programs that are still being scheduled.

We’re including some great crafts and are working with the Kirkmont director on varied and and fun meal options, such as an all-American cookout on the patio.

Nature Study will begin Sunday, May 19, with an afternoon check-in and dinner, and will conclude Friday, May 24, after breakfast. Accommodations are dorm-room style, with four to eight to a room, depending on the building; all beds will be lower bunks, with room to store your gear on the top bunks.

There will be three opportunities to observe/ help with a bioblitz, being conducted on site by naturalist Judy Semrock. These are all optional; but for those interested, this will be a great opportunity to contribute knowledge about the species that call Kirkmont home and to learn how the experts conduct such a survey.


Sunday, May 19: Check-in, make name tags and enjoy dinner.

Monday-Thursday: 7 a.m. bird/nature walk with naturalist Cheryl Erwin

Monday, May 20: 9:30 a.m. Observational walk and Intro to Journaling

Monday, May 20: 1:00 p.m. Wild Edibles hike and tasting with Bill Carpenter, 1 p.m. The “menu” might include such delights as sautéed greens and teas. In the evening, we’ll hold the annual plant auction.

Monday, May 20: 3:30 p.m. Program on camouflage and mimicry with Judy Semroc

Tuesday, May 21: 10 a.m. Geology of the Area with Molly Hunt, ODNR Geologic Survey and 1:30 p.m. Stepping stone craft

Wednesday, May 22: A guided tour at Ohio Caverns (approx. 50 minutes), at 2 p.m. The cost of this tour will be included in the full-time registration fees; anyone planning to join the Nature Study Retreat on a part-time basis will pay an up-charge of $20 on top of their registration fees.  For those planning to visit the Ohio Caverns, please be aware that while there is an entrance ramp, there are 60 steps you will climb to exit the cavern.

Wednesday, May 22: 9:30 a.m. Design and tee-shirt

Thursday, May 23, 10 a.m.: Visit the McCracken Fen and Owens Fen state nature preserves. Then, travel to Cedar Bog and eat a bagged lunch there, followed by a 1 p.m. Cedar Bog guided tour.

The retreat is always an enjoyable time; please consider joining us, to connect with nature and one another!


Juniors may attend NSR with an adult, who will room with and participate in programs with the junior attendee. Any junior (under the age of 18) attending NSR for the first time, may apply for scholarship assistance by submitting a letter explaining why they wish to attend the retreat. Please email to coordinator Sue Hagan, She will forward the request to the OAGC Foundation Development Director. Please include your name, address, phone number, and age. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is April 10. This will allow enough time for the Foundation to review the application before the NSR registration deadline. 

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