Camp Mahackeno Heads To Earthplace This Summer

There is no Santa Claus. (Sorry, kids!)

But — in a Christmas gift of sorts for Westport children — there will definitely be a Camp Mahackeno this summer.

The 32-acre Saugatuck River site — where the camp has operated every year since the 1940s — will be unavailable, due to construction of the new Westport Family Y facility.

For a while, it seemed Camp Mahackeno would not be held in 2013. But the Y and  Earthplace announced today that they’ll conduct a joint camp at the 62-acre wildlife sanctuary on Woodside Lane. The property includes an interactive natural history museum, trails, a live animal hall and a preschool facility.

The setting will provide campers with “great new opportunities to learn about nature, science and the environment, while having fun,” says Y camp and youth director Meaghan George.

Earthplace camp director Becky Newman is pleased that her organization’s campers will have access to the Y’s pools for free swims during the summer.

“Combining the 2 camp programs will require considerable teamwork among the 2 staffs, as well as some enhancements to Earthplace’s current camp facilities,” today’s joint announcement said.

Earthplace camp capacity will increase to 175 children, in grades 1 to 11. Earthplace’s preschool program will continue to be served by that staff.

Registration information will be available soon, on both organizations’ websites.

Meaghan George of the Family Y (left) and Becky Newman of Earthplace hold a terrapin and turtle. (Camp Mahackeno’s longtime mascot is a snapping turtle.

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