WESTPORT, Conn. – Camp Mahackeno, the Westport Weston Family Y’s summer day camp, will not be held at the Y’s 32-acre Mahackeno Outdoor Center this summer due to construction on a new Y facility there.
Instead, the camp is hosting a nine-week joint summer camp program with Earthplace, Westport’s nature discovery center, at the Earthplace sanctuary on Woodside Lane, Y officials said.
“We’re so excited about this partnership,” Meaghan George, camp and youth director for the Family Y, said in a statement. “Our Mahackeno campers will be in a wonderfully natural setting that’s close to our longtime home and that will also provide them great new opportunities to learn about nature, science and the environment while having fun.”
Not far from the Mahackeno Outdoor Center, Earthplace is located on a 62-acre wildlife sanctuary that features a natural history museum, more than 2 miles of trails, playgrounds, a live animal hall, a preschool facility and more.
Through the collaboration, kids will experience new — and some familiar — activities. For example, Earthplace campers will get to enjoy free swim at the Y’s downtown location four times a week and the Y campers will get to participate in popular Earthplace activities, such as pond studies, trail walks and animal encounters.
“Talk about a win-win,” Family Y CEO Rob Reeves said. “I know both camps will learn new things from one another about how to make our great local camp programs even better.”
Construction on a 54,000-square-foot building on a portion of the Mahackeno campus is set to break ground Feb. 5. This building, expected to be completed by November 2014, is phase one of the Y project, which calls for a 102,000-square-foot facility.
The Mahackeno Outdoor Center has been home to Camp Mahackeno since the early 1940s, Y officials said. Camp registration is expected to begin this month.
More information about what campers can expect this summer will be available this Saturday during the Winterfest celebration at Earthplace, 10 Woodside Lane, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. More information, including this summer’s weekly camp themes, can be found on the Family Y website .