The Haw River Learning Celebration

Thanks to everyone that made the 2017 Learning Celebration a Success! Over 1,200 children experienced the Haw River and learned about their watershed this year! 

2018 Learning Celebration dates coming soon….

Join the Haw River 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.*

Want to be notified when volunteer registration opens for 2018? Email Erin Jobe at

Donate to our 2017 Crowdfunder! 

We reached our 2017 Goal of raising $5,000 to keep the Haw River Learning Celebration flowing, but we accepted donations all year long!  Keeping the costs of the Learning Celebration as low as possible allows us to ensure that no children or schools are turned down for lack of funds. We apply for grants, ask for donations from businesses, and work to save on costs in every way possible, but the expenses of hosting over 1,000 children and 100 volunteers over three weeks add up! You can help us ensure the success and sustainability of the Learning Celebration for decades to come by offering a monetary contribution of any size.

Click here for more info on our crowdfunder and to donate.

Introducing our new Learning Celebration coordinator, Erin Jobe. Erin was a former manager of the Carrboro Farmers Market and is a great outdoor enthusiast!  We welcome her to the Haw River Assembly. Our previous coordinator Alex White is off  to new adventures with a wonderful job at NC State – we wish her all the best.  Lawrence Peterson will again be joining us as the Safety and Logistics Coordinator for the Learning Celebratioin this fall. We have a great team – hope you’ll join us!

About the Learning Celebration

The Learning Celebration is a 3 week  long environmental education program held in 3 counties. We’ll spend a week each at sites along the river. September 23-29 in Bynum at the Lower Haw River State Natural Area, October 1-6 in Saxapahaw, and October 8-13 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 43,000 students and 2,500 volunteers have participated in the Learning Celebration. The Learning Celebration  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 especially by donations from our members and supporters.


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

Resources for Volunteers

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!

For Teachers

The Haw River Learning Celebration school registration is now closed. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list please contact Erin Jobe at

Schedule and Station Descriptions

Teacher’s Checklist

Classroom Activities

Parent’s Letter

Haw River Learning Celebration Online Teacher Evaluation Form