The Haw River Learning Celebration

The 2017 Learning Celebration will take place from Tuesday, September 26- Friday, October 13. Fill out our volunteer registration form to help out, or the school registration form to bring your 4th grade class. You can contact us at for more information!


About the Program

The Learning Celebration is a 3 week  long environmental education program held in 3 counties. We’ll spend September 25-29 in Bynum at the Lower Haw River State Natural Area, October 2-6 in Saxapahaw, and October 9-13 at Camp Guilrock in Reidsville. Volunteers lead 4th graders through hands-on exploration of the river environment. Learning Stations include nature art, stream ecology, watershed cultural history, and animals. All meet NCSCOS Competency Goals for 4th grade; there’s also a puppet show and concert! All activities inspire students to think about how human actions affect the river and its watershed communities.
The first Haw River Learning Celebration took place in 1990 and earned a NC Take Pride in America award. In 1992, Festival founder Louise Kessel won the Women of Environmental Action award for North Carolina. Since 1990, more than 40,000 students and 2,500 volunteers have participated in the Learning Celebration. The Learning Celebration was awarded a three year grant from EPA in 2008 to continue the program with new innovations, and has also been supported over the years by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Mary Norris Preyer Foundation, EPA, Triangle Community Foundation, R.E.I, and donations from our members and supporters.


The Learning Celebration / Haw River Assembly from Mark Barroso on Vimeo.

Join the Learning Celebration Volunteer Crew

This unique three-week riverside educational program gets kids outside into nature and inspires them to be the next generation of conservationists. Our volunteer guides use nature as the classroom – for many children, this is their first experience hiking through a forest and along a river. We provide on-site training and orientation. Volunteers guide small groups  of 4th graders through activities that explore the woods and river through hands-on experiences. Haw River Assembly brings the infrastructure to create a campsite for volunteers and activities for the students who come for day-long field trips. Free time for volunteers can be spent taking kayak trips on the river, hiking in the forest, and enjoying shared community time outdoors. This exceptional program has earned much acclaim since its beginning in 1990 and is thought of by many students and teachers to be the BEST FIELD TRIP EVER.*

2017 Volunteer Registration Form

2017-Haw River Learning Celebration Volunteer Manual – “The Handy Dandy Guide”

2017 Learning Celebration Volunteer Medical Information Form

2017 Adult Volunteer Waiver Form

2017 Minor Volunteer Waiver Form

2017 Unaccompanied Minor Volunteer Waiver Form

2017 Haw River Assembly Canoe Waiver

2017 Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. Canoe Waiver NOTE: All minors MUST have a signed waiver with parents or legal guardian’s signature. Sponsors are no longer allowed to sign this form. Thank you!

Register Your School

To register your 4th grade class for the Learning Celebration, please fill out our school registration form. Due to high demand, we’ll need your completed registration form and program contribution of $3 per student to hold your spot. Please mail checks to P.O. Box 187, Bynum, NC 27228. Feel free to contact us at with any questions.

School registration form

Schedule and Station Descriptions

Teacher’s Checklist

Classroom Activities

Parent’s Letter

Haw River Learning Celebration Online Teacher Evaluation Form