Thomas Berry Summer Program for Children

Thomas Berry Summer Programs for Children

The Sacred Art of Fly Fishing

Ages 11-15

Week One: June 11-13, 2019

Week Two: June 17-20, 2019

8:30 am – 2:00 pm

Timberlake Earth Sanctuary

1501 Rock Creek Dairy Road, Whitsett, NC

Cost: $225 for Week One, $300 for Week Two

Sign up for one or both weeks

Group size: 12


We have a two-step registration process this year:


(1) Please register for the week of your choice by making your online payment below.

(2) After you register, please send the name and age of the child you have registered to Center Director, Peggy Whalen-Levitt, at beholdnature@aol.com.


Once we receive your online payment and your e-mail, we will send you an acknowledgement letter in the mail.




Timberlake Earth Sanctuary is a place of beauty graced with two ponds and encircled by Lake Mackintosh. It is a place devoted to a recovery of the sacred. Please join us for a week of contemplative fly fishing where we will deepen our relationship with the watery worlds of Timberlake. We will learn the art of fly fishing, including the traditional Japanese art of Tenkara fly fishing, and will bring our experiences with the watery world into expression in words and images.


Rods, lines and flies will be provided, as well as journals and art supplies. Plan to dress for the weather and bring sunscreen, a hat, a water bottle and solid water shoes. Please bring a bag lunch each day. Snacks will be provided.


Led by Eric McDuffie, Katie Kovach and Rosemary McCarthy-Mareka.


Eric McDuffie is a PhD student in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England. Eric has been inspired by his childhood experiences of fly fishing with his grandfather and the writings of Thomas Berry to devote himself to the creation of contemplative fly fishing programs for children, young adults, and families that embody a sense of the sacred. Eric earned a BS in biology with a secondary science teaching certification from UNC-Chapel Hill, followed by a master of environmental management degree at Duke University’s Leadership Program within the Nicholas School of the Environment. For over a decade he has taught middle and high school environmental science and has twice received Environmental Educator of the Year honors from the state of North Carolina. Eric graduated from the Center’s Inner Life of the Child in Nature program in 2016.


Katie Kovach is an outdoor educator and naturalist who enjoys bringing people into a sense of being at home in the world. Her work, whether with people, plants, crafts, or her own family, is guided by the natural world and a deep connectedness and gratitude. She earned an MS in Forestry from Virginia Tech in 2009, a BS is Botany from NC State in 2005, and is a NC certified Environmental Educator. Katie’s path meandered through many scientific research labs and environmental programs before she came to the Center. She began Earth Guiding at the Center after graduating from the Center’s Inner Life of the Child in Nature Program in 2016.


Rosemary McCarthy-Mareka completed her MS in Special Education from George Peabody College for Teachers in 1977 and brings her love of teaching and over 30 years of experience to her work at the Center. She has taught children of all ages in a variety of settings. Rosemary’s love of nature began as a child climbing trees, trail riding on horseback and visiting her grandparents farm in southeastern NC. Rosemary completed her certification with the North Carolina Environmental Education Program in 2008 and became a Center Earth Guide after graduating from The Inner Life of the Child in Nature Program in 2014. She has studied with Oasis, an Institute for Mindfulness-Based Professional Education and Innovation at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society with the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Rosemary has a special interest in Native American insights and loves to play the Native American Flute out in nature and with friends.


Please click here for an article about our summer programs for children in the May 2016 issue of Natural Triad Magazine.

“Eric McDuffie on Battenkill by Adriano Mannochia.”