Browsing articles in "Events"

Stay a Day, Weekend or a Week

Dec 10, 2012   //   by McKeever Center   //   Blog, Events  //  No Comments

Did you know that you could rent the McKeever Center? Numerous groups and organizations rent the McKeever Center for their own events, whether they are churches, boy/girl scouts, 4-H, rotary or family reunions. McKeever is an excellent facility for businesses, non-profit organizations, colleges/universities and government agencies for staff retreats, workshops or conferences. The center offers a beautiful natural surrounding that enable groups to feel relaxed and at home.


McKeever Update

Dec 9, 2012   //   by McKeever Center   //   Blog, Events, McKeever Center News, School Programs  //  1 Comment

Research on the SunshipTM Earth Program

Nancy Bires, a 26-year veteran teacher in the Hermitage School District and doctoral candidate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, is conducting a study on the long-term influence of the Earth Education program, SunshipTM Earth on environmental attitudes and actions. The topic for her dissertation is of great interest to her since she did her student teaching at McKeever in 1981, the first year the center offered the Sunship Earth program. Sixth grade students from the Delahunty Middle School in Hermitage began participating in the program in 1981. Read more >>

Summer Camps For Kids

Jun 25, 2012   //   by McKeever Center   //   Blog, Events, School Programs  //  No Comments

McKeever is offering a series of summer camps for children ages 5-14. If you’re looking for a fun yet meaningful summer experience for your children, consider one of the McKeever camps. Each camp is designed to connect children with the natural world through play, adventure and fun. You can find detailed information and registration forms on McKeever’s website at From the home page, click on the summer camps tab at the top of the page.

Nature Day Camps

June 11-15, 2012 (Ages 5-7)

July 16-20, 2012 (Ages 8-9)

Our Nature Day Camps are designed to connect children with the natural world through play, adventure and fun – all of which takes place in the natural world at McKeever, it’s trails, forests, streams and the many plants and animals that live there. Throughout the camp, we instill a sense of wonder while children explore the natural world around them. The weeklong camp runs 9AM – 3PM each day. Cost: $95/camper

Earthkeepers Level II

June 20-22, 2012

Earthkeepers Level II is for those students who have earned all four keys and one bead. During this experience, you will gain knowledge about how the earth works by crawling inside the world’s largest leaf, traveling to the “City of the Future” and becoming a part of the Sun’s Bucket Brigade. Other adventures include finding a new magic spot and learning the secrets of becoming a “Nightwatcher.” Cost: $139/camper, includes two nights lodging, seven meals, instruction and materials.

Earthkeepers Summer Camp

July 11-13, 2012

This overnight experience involves students going through the Earthkeepers program, a three-day experience where children earn a set of keys and become an Earthkeeper. A mysterious, unseen character known as E.M. permeates the Earthkeepers program. As the keeper of the keys, E.M. is everyone’s dream of the wizard of the woods. This summer camp is for children ages 10-11. Cost: $139/camper, includes two nights lodging, seven meals, instruction and materials.

Outdoor Adventure Camp

August 8-10, 2012

This three-day overnight camp is for children ages 12-14. Outdoor skills and adventures await, as participants will have an opportunity to hike, canoe and cycle. While honing these skills, we’ll begin working on developing a personal relationship with the natural world. Mornings include sessions on wildlife, ecology, leave no trace and orienteering. Cost: $139/camper, includes two nights lodging, seven meals, instruction and materials.

Workshops for Teachers and Non-Formal Educators

Jun 25, 2012   //   by McKeever Center   //   Blog, Events, Sustainable Practices  //  No Comments

Sustainability in the Classroom Workshop

June 19-21, 2012

This workshop was made possible through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Education. The workshop has three tracks: Organic Farming/Gardening, Climate Change/Marcellus Shale and a workshop titled “Contemplative Experiences . . . in the service of the earth.”

The participants will spend a half-day (on two days) at local organic farms. Three Sisters Farm has been growing and marketing organic produce since 1989. Here you will find 5-acres of gardens that incorporates the permaculture design principles on their farm. After an in-depth overview of their operation, participants will be assigned tasks and begin their ‘chores’.

The next day we’ll travel to Ellen Benek’s farm outside of Sandy Lake. In addition to an impressive organic garden, the Benek’s produce their own milk, yogurt and cheese from their goats. Once again, depending on what needs done at this time of the year will determine our chores for the morning.

Dr. Randall Wiesenmayer, professor of science education at West Virginia University will begin with the basics of the greenhouse effect and the presentation of evidence that the Earth’s climate is warming. But what mechanisms are causing these changes? Is this just a natural cycle like those that have occurred during the past millions of years, or are human activities the cause?

The last part of the workshop will be Steve Van Matre’s Contemplative Experience workshop. This workshop begins Wednesday evening from 6:30 – 9:30 PM and continues Thursday 9 AM – 5 PM. Steve will conduct this powerful workshop, as participants will have the opportunity to examine their personal relationship with the natural world.

Cost: $110, includes two nights lodging, lunch and dinner on Tuesday, breakfast, lunch and dinner on Wednesday and breakfast and lunch on Thursday, instruction, books and materials.


Contemplative Experience. . .in the service of the Earth.

June 20-21, 2012

In these busy times it is easy to get so involved in our daily activities that we lost sight of where we are going in our lives. This workshop is designed to help us consider our personal relationship with the natural world and our role in the movement to sustain it. This is a time to ponder why we do what we do, and refine our own personal quest to be of service to both the planet’s natural systems and communities and its human passengers.

The environmental movement is the largest movement in human history, cutting across all geographic, political and spiritual boundaries. So where do we fit into that movement personally? What is the abstraction we champion, and how can we share it with others?

Cost: $145/person – includes workshop, Wednesday night lodging, dinner on Wednesday and breakfast and lunch on Thursday. The workshop is from 6:30 – 9:30 PM on Wednesday and 9 AM – 5 PM on Thursday. Once we receive your registration and payment, confirmation will be sent to you with detailed information about the workshop.


Interpretive Design & the dance of experience Workshop

June 22-23, 2012

Join us for a special workshop with Steve Van Matre.

Interpretation is the craft of enriching the experience of leisure visitors in places established for the public good. The world’s parks and preserves, gardens and galleries, museums and monuments are the jewels of our societies, set aside because they represent the natural and cultural treasures we want to celebrate today and share with others tomorrow. As a result, they are mission-driven places which also need to justify and garner support for what they are protecting. An interpreter translates the natural and cultural language of such places for its visitors, while immersing them in the essence of its purpose.

Interpretive designers create the leisure journeys that interpreters implement. Just as we have designers today for the buildings, signs, grounds, exhibits, and other components of our mission-driven public places, we need “interpretive designers” who focus on the most important component, the actual experience of the visitors who come. This is a new profession which works with the whole experience that other designers only facilitate in part. Interpretive designers help sites mold their interpretive facilities around the outcomes they intend rather than the structures they inherit. These designers create the interrelated experiential vehicles of interpretive service.

Interpretive Design is for all those who assist visitors in getting to know their public jewels – leisure sites from Aquaria to Zoos – and who aim to enrich those visitors’ experiences in meaningful and memorable ways.

Cost: $225/person – includes workshop, Friday night lodging, lunch and supper on Friday and breakfast and lunch on Saturday. Workshop is from 9 AM – 5 PM on both Friday and Saturday. Once we receive your registration and payment, confirmation will be sent to you with detailed information about the workshop.


Hardwood Lumber Grading Short Course

July 23-26, 2012

The value of ‘rules conscious’ employees is a more carefully manufactured product, a more profitable yield from the log, and a better sense of the value of the lumber being handled. This four-day course will include a thorough study and explanation of the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) Rules Book, emphasizing the basics of hardwood lumber inspection.

This popular course gives yardmen, sawyers, edgermen, sales and office staff, and management level personnel an introduction to lumber inspection. Our instructor is Barry Kibbey, inspector and instructor from the NHLA.

The cost of the course is $349 and includes ten meals, lunch on Monday through lunch on Thursday, three nights lodging, instruction and materials. You can register by downloading a registration flyer from McKeever’s website. From the home page, click the calendar tab, and then click on Hardwood Lumber Grading Short Course. You can also contact the center for more information.

McKeever Offers Bluebird Program, March 17

Mar 5, 2012   //   by McKeever Center   //   Events, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Did you know that bluebirds were once a rare species in Pennsylvania? But today, these birds are able to thrive due to the help of mindful homeowners and educated individuals.

McKeever Environmental Learning Center and the Bluebird Society of Pennsylvania invite you and your family to learn more about our state’s most-beloved songbird. This workshop held on Saturday, March 17 from 10 AM to Noon will discuss the natural history of the bluebird as well as provide tips on how to attract this unique bird to your own backyard. Speaker for the event, Harry Shmeider, will also address issues associated with the bluebird population, while providing suggestions on how you can become a bluebird steward.

This is a public event and is free to attend, for more information please contact McKeever Center at 724-376-1000 or visit our website at

New McKeever Food Service Menus

Jan 25, 2012   //   by McKeever Center   //   Blog, Events, McKeever Center News  //  No Comments

Food Services


The McKeever Culinary staff is pleased to welcome you to McKeever Environmental Learning Center. We have provided exciting and varied menu options for you to choose from. In addition to the listed selections, we will work with you to accommodate any special requests.


Whether you are planning to attend one of our reputable educational programs, renting the center for weekend use, or celebrating a special event, food selection will be an important part of your decision making process. McKeever Environmental Learning Center has a variety of menus designed to meet the needs of all our users.



School Menu

Rentals, Conferences and Retreats Menu 

Breaks, Boxed Lunches, and Backyard Buffet Menu



Please contact us if you have any questions.

Artist Bios For 9th Annual Nature Art Show This Weekend!

Sep 20, 2011   //   by McKeever Center   //   Blog, Events  //  No Comments

9th Annual Nature Art ShowChandler Beatty

The striking combination of shadow and light, combined with beautiful color, best describes the artwork of Chandler Beatty. A realistic painter, whose favorite mediums are watercolor and acrylic, he loves to create detailed still lifes of common everyday objects with interesting compositions.

An avid sportsman who loves to hunt and fish, Beatty also enjoys painting scenes of nature and wildlife. Chandler has studied art at Youngstown State University, but basically is self taught. He has won numerous awards with his paintings.


Jocelyn Beatty

Colorful wildlife, rolling farmland and vivid flowers are common to Pennsylvania and the art of lifetime resident, Jocelyn Beatty. She focuses her love of nature, with luminous color, sharp details and strong compositions. Using a rich saturated palette, together with a strong primary light source, she produces beautiful high contrast paintings in watercolor and acrylic.

Jocelyn’s distinguished pieces have been exhibited in juried shows, invitational exhibits, and solo-shows, winning her numerous awards. “Wings n’ Water Festival, Stone Harbor, New Jersey, the “Nature Art Festival”, Jamestown, New York, “Southeastern Wildlife Exposition”, Charleston, South Carolina and “Easton Waterfowl Festival”, Easton, Maryland are some of the shows she had exhibited. She won the 2003 Pennsylvania Duck Stamp Competition. For 2005, her waterfowl art has been chosen for the Pennsylvania Ducks Unlimited Sponsor Print and the Governor’s Edition Print.


Larry Beckstein

Larry grew up in wildlife-rich northwestern Pennsylvania, where his on-going love of the outdoors underlies and motivates his work. His interest in capturing wildlife images on canvas and sketch pads had its beginning during his preteen years. He later refined his talent at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Larry is also a contributing artist to Ducks Unlimited, Waterfowl USA, National Wild Turkey Federation, The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Whitetails Unlimited, and other similar organizations.

Larry has released over 50 limited edition prints from original paintings and sketches. Valued by outdoorsmen and collectors, these prints are part of both public and private collections in North America.

Larry is currently being published through Wild Wings and marketed through Cabela’s and Wild Wings dealers throughout the United States.


Jim Bortz

Nationally recognized painter Jim Bortz utilizes an inherent interest in nature and a passion for drawing as artistic motivation. A sportsman at heart, Jim’s paintings reflect the many days he spends afield. His love of the outdoors and the natural world feeds his thirst for knowledge about the subjects he paints. Lifelong pursuits such as wilderness camping, birding, fishing and hunting have provided a wealth of experience upon which the artist draws inspiration.  While earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Slippery Rock University, Bortz built the foundation for his understanding of ecology and natural history. This intimate knowledge and awareness is reflected in his unique artistic interpretations.

Jim’s paintings have been included multiple times in the prestigious Birds In Art exhibit along with their exclusive National Museum Tour. In 2010, he was awarded the Pennsylvania Game Commission Working Together For Wildlife conservation print. His work also appears regularly on the cover of Musky Hunter Magazine.


Tom Darby

Tom Darby is a native of Mercer County, PA. For Tom photography has become a natural extension of his everyday duties as an environmental steward of the region’s water resources. Capturing images on an almost daily basis has made him keenly aware of the effects that man has on the natural things we take for granted.

Tom is a member of the North American Nature Photographers Association and has exhibited his work on a local basis for the past 4 years. His work has been published commercially in the United States as well as in Europe. He is a member and co-founder of the Chilmark Pond Photographic Society and a founding board member of the Hermitage Historical Society. He specializes in natural landscape photography and employs digital art into his work occasionally using the latest computer technology.


Jake Dingel

Jacob Dingel is a native of Butler County and got his first DSLR camera in 2004.  His photos have won or placed in numerous contests held throughout Pennsylvania. Jake’s work has been published in magazines, catalogs, calendars, greeting cards, and used by numerous organizations on their websites and other publications. He enjoys photographing wildlife of northwestern Pennsylvania, and for the last several years has made annual trips to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.


Tom Leech

A native to northwestern PA, Tom has been passionate about photography for many years. Since the age of 8 when he got his first camera, an old Kodak Brownie acquired at a garage sale for 25 cents, he has been wondering, “What do I photograph next?” Many cameras later and a transition into the digital era of photography, the question remains the same.

The world of digital cameras and editing software has opened new opportunities to take ordinary snap shots and turn them into something much more interesting. Although he continues to enjoy taking and printing photographs with a traditional style, a number of his works are products of this new approach. Much experimentation has occurred and the wandering continues in an effort to find new ways to make unique and pleasing compositions


Jeff McClearn

Jeff McClearn is a local Stoneboro artist working primarily in pencils and charcoal. Most of Jeff’s pieces are winter related because that is when he has time to draw, and also because, when you start with a fresh paper, the snow part is already done. Jeff has an art degree from Carnegie Mellon University.


Jack Paluh

Artist Jack Paluh resides in Northwestern Pennsylvania in the small borough of Waterford with his wife Marian and their three children. Jack was a “constant doodler” from the time he was old enough to hold a pencil. His teachers recognized Jack’s talents early and encouraged him to continue developing his art skills following high school.

“I often sketch or paint outdoors first to capture color and setting,” states Paluh, “then move indoors to refine the painting. Color and lighting are important aspects in my work. My goal is to have the viewer’s eyes flow comfortably through a piece and to draw them into the canvas. I want the person to feel as if they have visited the place I’m painting.”

Jack Paluh has received many honors in his career as a nature artist, but none more significant to him than meeting and talking with the people who have enjoyed and purchased his artwork. Whether at an art show or during a chance meeting in passing, Jack is never too busy to answer questions about his paintings or swap a few hunting stories.

9th Annual Nature Art Show

Sep 13, 2011   //   by McKeever Center   //   Blog, Events  //  4 Comments

September 23 – 25, 2011

Nature Artists will display and sell their artwork during McKeever’s annual fall event. Each gallery will be filled with an artist’s work that reflects the wonders and beauty of nature. Enjoy the day, as you walk between galleries on a tree-lined paved walkway. Hours of the show are:

9th Annual Nature Art ShowFriday: 6 – 9 PM
Saturday: 10 AM – 6 PM
Sunday: Noon – 4 PM

On Friday from 6 – 9 PM, Guitarist, Julie Harris will perform in the dining hall. Julie will be playing a mixture of classical, standard, and soft pop. Food and beverages will be served throughout the weekend and include cappuccino, latte, desserts, sandwiches, and wraps.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Artists include:
Chandler Beatty
Jocelyn Beatty
Larry Beckstein
Jim Bortz
Tom Darby
Jacob Dingel
Tom Leech
Jeff McClearn
Jack Paluh

Click here for directions to the McKeever Center.

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