DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS AMAZING OPPORTUNITY! Camp Wilder – Primitive Skills Summer Camp – 06/27/2016 – 07/01/2016


Camp WilderSkills.blast_Page_1Join Jason Drevenak, primitive skills expert and founder of North American Bushcraft and Erin Fairlight, head naturalist of Broadlands, for a week of living in the wilds right here at the Nature Center and surrounding forests.

REGISTRATION: Opens Monday morning at 9:00 am on March 1 and closes on April 1. There are only 12 spots available.  Camp runs 8am-5pm, M-F with additional BBQ/Sleepover on Thursday. Click to Register HERE>>


  • Camp runs June 27-July 1, 8:00am – 5:00pm, Monday-Friday for ages 9-14.
  • Campers will build shelters, satchels, tools, cordage, bows & arrows, and create water filtration all from the materials in our neighboring forests.
  • Other activities campers will learn: Build fires without matches, create emergency wilderness medicine with our local plants, forage for food, learn tracking, tree, animal, and insect identification.
  • Campers will learn about the skills and tools Native Americans and early frontier people utilized daily to produce food, shelter, water, music and thrive off of the land. All activities are designed for the group to begin and end together, no one is first or last; we do every thing as a team. By the end of the week all campers can expect to have created several crafts such as their own wooden spoon, buckskin leather bag and a basket made from native materials.


  • $400 per camper (with special discounts for siblings. please contact for modification in pricing for families)
  • $40 for additional sleepover/BBQ night on Thursday, June 30th


Our Naturalist Needs Your Feedback on Nature Center Programs

From Naturalist Erin…

So what follows are some ideas. I would teach or hire out to teach all of these classes if I saw a wee bit of interest. And by showing interest I mean sending me an email to–my telepathic powers are running low! The grand ideas (mostly stolen from other–less fantastic, yet more established and class offering–nature centers)

For Littles and Middles

  1. Wee Beasties- This is a weekly class for ages 5-10. Each week you bring home a new wee beastie (a hissing cockroach, crickets, snails…) we gather to learn how to care for each of the pets, and to share the stories of their care.
  2. Family events. Kid events. Hidden treasures abound.
  3. Babes in the Woods–hikes with a naturalist for parents who wear babies and are ready to explore some paths. Ages are obviously a tiny and a tall person.
  4. Mythical creatures at the Nature Center–Basilisks, dragons, cyclops, Loch Ness Monster, Saskwatch, centaurs, chimeras, griffins, golems, unicorns, etc. are all descended from other animals we know. Learn the best guess we have of their biological family trees and the legends that surround them.

Two classes. One for littles (5+) and one for middles (10+)

  1. Homeschooling at the nature center. We have a few groups that have said they are interested in doing a consistent science curriculum at our center. If you would like to hear the dates and times being considered please contact me.
  2. Fiery science–an afterschool club where we explode things. And learn why they explode.

Two classes. One fore littles (5+) and one for middles (10+)

  1. Youth Naturalists. This already exists. But just to let you know, you can still join. It is for kids 8-18 (roughly we have a few 6-year olds and two 18+) we  take you if you want to serve our animals and go on a nature adventure once a month.
  2. Campfire Storytelling. With help from our local speech and debate teams from the high schools. All ages
  3. Nature Storytime. Ha! We already have this. It’s the Fort Festival Mondays 9:30-10:15am and Tuesdays 1:30-2:15pm.

 For Mature-ittles (not sure an age, more of just who is interested)

  1. Primitive skills: Tracking, food foraging, bow and arrow creating, rescue shelter constructing- All ages. But offered in evenings or weekends so adults could take part (for safety and for knowledge)
  2. Learning the skills of beekeepers (and taking part in the care of a hive and production of honey and wax when we get to that time)
  3. What is required to become a falconer? How to become an apprentice and meet our master falconer who rehabilitates injured eagles, hawks, and falcons.–All ages, but 12 is the minimum age of becoming a falconer as per Virginia wildlife law.

And then a few clubs that we could generate a local chapter for:

  1. Northern Virginia Astronomical Society
  2. Birding groups
  3. Monthly hiking pack of nature nuts who like sore feet
  4. Reading group (but of course our meetings will be by a campfire and our books will have at least some loose theme to nature. Like Vampires in the Lemon Groveand then we’ll buy a lemon tree for the nature center).

I’m easy to contact. Looking forward to hearing which of these you want at your nature center.

…and see you at the Fall Farm Festival on October 3rd in the Nature Center’s Backyard 10am-12.

Nature Programs & Events

ANS_Tree_LogoBroadlands HOA offers nature programs for the community. Visit us often for programs added throughout the year! You can now like the Broadlands Nature Center on Facebook. Programs will be held at the Nature Center located at 21907 Claiborne Parkway, Broadlands, VA 20148 unless otherwise noted. Sign up for the Naturalist Newsletter by sending an email to so you don’t miss out on up-coming Nature Center Events and Programs. Please contact our Naturalist, Erin Fairlight, with questions at  703-729-9726. Before your visit, please read the NATURE CENTER RULES


UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, ALL NATURE PROGRAM & EVENTS ARE HELD AT THE NATURE CENTER AND ANY PURCHASES TO PARTICIPATE ARE FINAL (Emergency situations will be treated on a case-by-case basis where a credit may be applied to a future program.)

For other HOA events, click HERE>>

  • 2019 Potions Class Series, details>>
  • ONGOING: Come Walk with Me,  details>>
  • ONGOING: Untamed Reads – This year we’re going to have a wild books collective. We’ll gather every final Thursday of the month from 5:30-6:30pm at the fireplace (until it is warm enough to start having outdoor firepits and s’mores). details>>


Click to apply: Youth Naturalist Packet

For youth 8-18 (but we’ll make exceptions) who love the outdoors and are ready for more
adventures and a treasure hunt or two Becoming a Youth Naturalist Adventurer means learning animal care, rehabilitation of injured or lost animals, getting your hands dirty planting gardens for bees and butterflies, and creating classes that you can teach here at the Nature Center. Things you love like emergency shelter building, stars and planets, and anything else that is outside. For more information please contact the Naturalist at


Scouting and Birthday Reservation Form – PDF

Custom environmental education programming to meet your needs

The Naturalist facilitates Nature Birthday Parties, badge focused Scout Programs and Homeschool Programs at both the Broadlands Nature Center. Contact Erin Fairlight at or 703-729-9726 for more information on scheduling a program here at the nature center.

Select Party Costs

Where is Your Food Grown? CSA Opportunity Right Here in Broadlands!

If you want the answer to be “right down the road”, then we have the connection to farmers for you. Every week from May through October the Nature Center has food deliveries from three local farms. We stay open extra late Tuesdays and Wednesdays so you can just come and pick up your bags of local and fresh food. Deliveries include veggies, fruit, poultry, meat, eggs, milk, herbs, flowers, and fresh baked goods. We call it a whole diet community sponsored agriculture (or CSA). All you have to do is choose which farm(s) you want to use. It’s a unique service to our many residents looking for farm fresh, local, organic, and non-GMO food. So take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and select from the following farms to choose your weekly share deliveries:

little library

Free Little Library Available Now at the Nature Center: What is a Free Little Library? It is a small model of a building that looks similar to a fancy mailbox or bird house that is used for people in a community to share books with one another. Anyone can take a book, and anyone can leave a book. You do not need to officially check out the book or even to return the same book or the same number of books that you take. Because we are a Nature Center, our library will feature nature themed books and will be a Free Little Nature Library. Broadlands residents and other Broadlands Nature Center visitors will be able to stop by to donate nature themed books to the library or borrow books and return them or to keep them or pass them on. They will also be able to sign the library guest book.  If you have any extra field guides or nature books you would like to donate to help us keep it stocked, you can leave them in the box outside the naturalist’s office (next to Sunny the corn snake) in the Nature Center. You can learn more about the Little Free Library movement at Please click on the following link for the Waiver and Registration forms to complete and return to the Nature Center with your payment:  Program Forms 2015 – Waiver & Reg Forms.  


“Erin, We wanted to thank you for hosting last night’s camp out at the Nature Center.  It was an amazing night and our daughter’s favorite night of summer.  My husband and I were just thrilled that our community provides this fun family night.  From the kids “night-time games” to the s’mores to the bedtime stories- it was such a  great experience!  And your children were wonderful ambassadors and just adorable. Thanks for the great experience!  We plan to be back!”

sold out page