RECESS | Things to do this week: Register for nature, music and mountain bike camps

Meet ...

The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation is offering week-long, half-day summer outdoor nature programs for children at its Sheep Hill headquarters on Cold Spring Road (Route 7) in Williamstown. The week-long science and nature programs begin with a 4-day session of "Parent and Preschooler Nature Exploration" with environmental educator and science enrichment specialist Kathy Chesney, Leslie Reed-Evans and staff from 10 to 11:30 a.m. daily, from Tuesday, June 27 through Friday, June 30. The program will include discovery walks, outdoor play, craft activities and stories, and sturdy shoes and outdoor clothing layers are recommended.

"Explore, Discover and Create" for 5-8 year olds will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday, July 10 through Friday, July 14, featuring outdoor habitat exploration, crafts, cooking, games, stories and more. The "Sheep Hill Junior Naturalist" program for 7-10 year olds, will run Monday, July 17 through Friday, July 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., daily. The program will feature in-depth exploration of Sheep Hill's ecosystem, crafts, cooking, and more.

Program fees range from $35 to $200. Space is limited; registration is required and can be done by contacting WRLF via, 413-458-2494, or

Think ...

The Berkshire Athenaeum and The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum is hosting its 39th annual Short Story Writing Contest for Children and the 20th annual Short Story Contest for Young Adults. Entry forms are available at the Children's desk in the library. Stories will be judged on their originality, appeal, and writing style. Cash prizes are donated by the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum.

Each contestant should submit her or his story to the Berkshire Athenaeum Children's Library, 1 Wendell Avenue, Pittsfield, MA 01201; all entries, whether delivered in person or by mail, must be received by 4 p.m. on Monday, July 17.

Winning entries, honorable mentions and works of merit will be bound and added to the library's collection. An awards ceremony and reception with special speakers, refreshments, and a meet and greet, for all participants, family, and friends, will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18.

See ...

Berkshire region residents are invited to attend from noon to 3 p.m. this Saturday, a free Community Day at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, 358 George Carter Road, Becket. This event will include performances by nearly a dozen Berkshire area companies and studios; Zumba, freestyle and hip-hop dance classes taught by local artists; children's activities, historic tours, a scavenger hunt and more. Find details online at or call 413-243-9919.

Play ...

Rock On! Workshop, a music education and performance program, will run for three weeks, July 10-28, at the Berkshire Community College main campus, 1350 West St., in Pittsfield. Activities include playing in bands, songwriting, digital recording and performing. This year's special guests are drummer Steve Holley, who performed and recorded with Paul McCartney and Wings from 1978-81, and playwright Lucy Thurber, who will work with students on her new play for Williamstown Theatre Festival's Community Works project directed by Laura Savia.

Programs run from noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and tuition is $250 per week. Registration and detailed class information is available at or call 413-329-2280.

Grow ...

Little Bellas, a mountain biking program for girls, is expanding to offer two camp sessions this summer. This all-girls mountain bikes program will be based at the Lulu Brook site in Pittsfield State Forest. A program for girls ages 8 to 11 years old will be held from 8 a.m. to noon, during the week of July 24. The second program, for ages 7 to 14, will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday afternoons, from July 9 through Aug. 27. Each day will include games, snacks, and of course, trail riding. Tuition is $240, and financial aid is available.

The program will be co-facilitated by Mary Hannaha Parkman, outdoor sports guide and yoga teacher at Canyon Ranch and Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and Alison McGee, special education teacher for Pittsfield Public Schools. Additional women mentors are being sought to serve as positive role models for the Sunday afternoon program.

Info and registration: or contact Mary Hannah Parkman at


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