Fish and Explore

Five one-week sessions
Options available for rising 3rd through rising 10th graders

*All sessions have been canceled*

Each day, campers will meet at Landon, travel together on a Fish and Explore van to their locations, and then return to campus. The van will leave campus each day at 8:30 a.m. so your prompt arrival is very important.

A waiver is required for all participants.

Native Animal Explorers
June 8–12
August 17–21
8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Boys and girls, rising 3rd through rising 6th graders

What to bring: Sneakers or river shoes (no Crocs or flip-flops), snacks, lunch with drink, sunscreen, hat, water bottle, towel, change of clothes. A detailed list of what to bring will be emailed prior to each week.
Arrival/dismissal zone: Green

Nothing gets children more interested in the outdoors than encountering the animals that call it home. Explorers will be equipped with nets and containers as they embark on their journey to a different trail, park or body of water each day. We will hike trails, wade streams, and walk pond and lakeshores to find native wildlife. Campers will observe, catch, photograph and release frogs, toads, tadpoles, salamanders, lizards, turtles, crayfish, minnows, and many more small critters. Fish and Explore makes it easy for kids to understand how to use equipment along with safe capture and handling techniques that result in a better understanding and appreciation of small animals. We incorporate principles of appreciation and understanding so that campers learn to enjoy the wild animals as part of our ecosystem, not as pets.

Big Fish
August 3–7
8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Boys and girls, rising 6th through rising 9th graders

Young Anglers
August 10–14
8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Boys and girls, rising 3rd through rising 5th graders

What to bring: Sneakers or river shoes (no Crocs or flip-flops), snacks, lunch with drink, sunscreen, hat, water bottle, towel, change of clothes. A detailed list of what to bring will be emailed prior to each week.
Arrival/dismissal zone: Green

Fishing is about enjoying the outdoors, having fun and catching fish! We will start out the week by learning the basics about fishing gear and tackle. As the week progresses, we will learn about water safety, nature awareness, and how to understand different types of water to increase awareness of how to play safely in and around all bodies of water. An introduction to river navigation and moving water safety helps prepare campers to fish independently. Each day, campers will explore new fishing environments such as ponds, lakes, reservoirs, rivers, streams, creeks, and the Chesapeake Bay. Our highly trained fishing instructors will provide an extensive amount of individualized attention to each camper as they learn about casting, rigging, knot tying, how to select tackle and lures and identifying fish. More experienced campers will learn to target specific species of fish, read the water to locate fish and identify fish species they catch. Ultimately, campers will use all the above training to locate and catch fish! We practice Wildlife CPR (Catch, Photograph, and Release). Scouts may also earn their fishing merit badge through this camp.

Nature Photography & Hiking
June 15–19
8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Boys and girls, rising 7th through rising 10th graders

What to bring: Digital camera, sneakers or hiking shoes, snacks, lunch with drink, sunscreen, hat, and water bottle.
Arrival/dismissal zone: Green

Fish and Explore combines nature and technology and aims to inspire a love of both in our campers. We transport campers to different locations every day to explore and photograph the outdoors. Learn techniques to become a better photographer as you capture landscapes, flora and fauna while on extended hikes with our professional photography instructor. Camp covers camera functions, lighting, and composition as well as lessons that include in-depth techniques to enhance and edit images through lab sessions.

Also check out our Calleva: Outdoor Adventures camps!

Rain Policy:
Campers will participate in outdoor activities even while it’s raining, unless the weather is deemed unsafe by Fish and Explore. In case of lightning or thunder, we will seek shelter either indoors or in our vehicle. The campers will remain sheltered for the duration of the inclement weather and for fifteen minutes after the last visual lightning or audible thunder.

Guide Bios:

John Lipetz has been an ambassador for the great outdoors his entire life and playing in the outdoors has always been a passion for him.  Fish and Explore has been in the making for years, as a gleam in his eye as a child and then a reality as he introduced his son and daughter to what he enjoys most – fishing and exploring.  His life has been dedicated to teaching others how to safely appreciate animals, nature, and the environment.  

Matt Helfinstein is the Camp Director of Fish and Explore. He has been interested in nature and animals his entire life, especially insects, spiders and snakes. He grew up in Austin, Texas and moved to Virginia to attend George Mason University. While there he earned B.S. in biology and had the opportunity to collect data on streams and lakes all over Northern Virginia.  When Matt is not teaching and guiding at FAE, he is teaching Fairfax County students about aquatic bugs and the ways humans affect the environment. He loves to spend his free time outdoors hiking, swimming and exploring.

William “Billy” Wilken is the kayak and paddle sports leader at Fish and Explore. He has over 30 years of experience as a trip leader, environmental educator, soccer coach and mentor. He is currently certified as a Wilderness First Responder and has a Red Cross Bundle 5 Waterfront certification. He was born and raised in Northern Virginia, exploring many of the tributaries feeding the Potomac River. He spent 10 years as a Whitewater Kayak instructor in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.  Billy is passionate about teaching people how to be outdoors safely.   

Company bio: Fish and Explore just completed its 10th summer as a premier summer camp and fishing and nature guide service. Our mission is to advance appreciation, stewardship, exploration and investigation of nature. We are dedicated to developing programs that are structured around elements that naturally excite children – animals, water, and a little dirt! We practice Wildlife CPR (Catch, Photograph, and Release) with all our outdoor encounters. Our programs are designed to excite children about nature while teaching them self-confidence, respect for others, and how to sustain the great outdoors for their future appreciation. Visit for more information.

Fish On!


Landon Summer at Landon School inspires boys and girls to build their confidence and explore their passions in a vibrant, nurturing camp environment that emphasizes community, discovery, independence, and fun.
6101 Wilson Lane  /  
Bethesda, MD 20817
 /  301-320-1044  /  
Contact Us / ©2016 Landon School

Established in 1935, Landon Summer at Landon School offers traditional day camps and specialized programs for boys and girls, ages 3 1/2 - 17.


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