Summer 2017

July 24 Through July 28

9:30 - 2:30 


About The Program

Are you ready to discover the world beneath your feet? Campers aged 8-14 are invited to join Kids Dig NY for a week of geology and archaeology as we explore the ancient rock layers, fossils, and artifacts of the Ashokan Center. Campers will learn excavation techniques, local history, and orienteering skills to guide them as they hike and canoe in search of unique landforms and hints of the past. An authentic field experience, taught by educator Dr. Susan Paynter and archaeologist David Paynter, is customized for the interests of children. The dig concludes as the artifacts and geological finds are curated for the student museum. 

AS seen in the Daily Freeman.

About The Excavation Leaders

Dr. Susan Paynter has taught students from Kindergarten to Graduate School and was honored by NJ Governor Kean as a Teacher of the Year. She has published a book on innovative schools as well as articles in Gifted Child Today. Susan has directed the gifted program for K-12 gifted and talented students at Montclair University, and served as an Assistant Superintendent for curriculum and instruction. She is currently the owner of Gifted Matters 4 Kids, providing enrichment, assessment, and social skills training for gifted and twice exceptional kids ages 6-18. She will serve as the Interim Head of School for High Meadow School beginning in June. 

David Paynter gained field experience as part of an archaeological team in Jordan where he took part in the 6 week excavation of a Roman-Byzantine necropolis. He was an archaeology major at Hampshire College with a focus in physical anthropology, the study of bones. He has extensive laboratory experience studying the physical remains of the Black Mesa Anasazi of the American South West.  He has led archaeological excavations for children for the past four years.


Nestled in the beautiful Catskill Mountains and neighboring the nearby Ashokan reservoir, The Ashokan Center, with its beautiful 374 pristine acres and state of the art facilities, is the perfect place for exploring our local history.

Dig Site

There are several dig site options, ranging from Paleo-Indian through Dutch Colonial.  Since 1955 artifacts have been frequently discovered on the Ashokan grounds. There have been two University sponsored excavations done at this location. 

One example of a potential dig site is the Bear Trap Spring Rockshelter which  is a Multi-Component Pre-Contact Site. Occupations found in the rockshelter range from the Middle Archaic Neville Phase to those of the Late Woodland/Contact Period Esopus Indians. Comparisons with 8 other nearby rockshelters in the Ashokan Catskills, as well as 14 rockshelters within a 50 km radius, point to consistent peaks in occupation during the Late Archaic and the Late Woodland. 


Rates For Camp 2017

1 WEEK - $350.00

$300 If $100 deposit is paid prior to April 20th 2017

Additional materials Fee of $65 per camper includes archaeology/geology kit* that your campers may take home at the end of their session.

Please email for your registration form!

*Kit includes - trowel, picks, brushes, jewelers loop, hammer, log book, mineral samples, Topo maps, compass, pencils and canvas carrying bag !