Inspiring exploration, appreciation, and conservation of our natural world.

Summer Camps

REGISTER TODAY!

Scholarships are available. Please complete our  scholarship form if you are interested! Contact Taryn Carew  at tcarew@gtcd.org with more questions.

Summer is a great time to be outside discovering the natural beauty that surrounds us here in Northern Michigan. Summer also presents a perfect opportunity to engage your child in a different kind of learning—the kind that lasts a lifetime and doesn’t require the internet or a text book. Our tried and true curricula of hands-on, outdoor experiences will inspire your child’s innate curiosity, creativity and empathy for the plants, animals and ecosystems that elevate Northern Michigan among the most beautiful places on earth.

Friends & other discounts are available. Discounts can not be combined. All camps are held at the Boardman River Nature Center located at 1450 Cass Road in Traverse City.  Full-day camps include a day with a field trip (see description for location). 

2016 Schedule Released!

Daily Nature Camps

We will be running daily camps at the Boardman River Nature Center! Feel free to come all four days or just one. Each day we’ll meet lots of new friends, engage in physical activity, create, play, explore, and engage with the natural world. REGISTER NOW! 
For ages 4-10; $20/day

Tuesday July 5, 9:00am to 12:00pm – River Rangers

Wednesday, July 6, 9:00am to 12:00pm – Nature Art

Thursday, July 7, 9:00am to 12:00pm- Nature Detectives

Friday, July 8, 9:00am to 12:00pm- Getting Buggie

 Half-Day Summer Camp – Ages 4-6
9am – 12pm – $20/day or $95/week

Register here!

Friends & other Discounts are available. Discounts can not be combined. 

Half Day Summer Camp: Jr. River Rangers – FULL- please complete  Wait list form here
When: Monday-Friday, July 11- 15, 9:00am to 12:00pm
Get set to discover the wonders of nature along the Boardman River!  Learn about the creatures that live in the Boardman River.  We will discover how rivers flow, create our own river, and learn about keeping the river healthy for all! Rangers will complete their week-long mission and make new friends, take a field trip, create, and explore the natural world above and below the surface.
 
Half Day Summer Camp: Bugs, Grubs & Slugs
When: Monday-Friday, July 18 -22, 9:00am to 12:00pm
Get ready to find some new friends! Slimy friends, friends that fly, friends with hundreds of eyes, and of course some new human friends, too! At this week of insect camp, we’ll spend the week on a mini-mission learning about, catching, and identifying all sorts of bugs! We’ll set traps, use nets, play games, and hike all over as we complete hands-on activities around the Natural Education Reserve.

New! Half Day Summer Camp: Mini Magnificent Michigan
When: Monday-Friday, July 25- July 29, 9:00am to 12:00pm
Come explore what makes Michigan so MAGNIFICENT. Get ready to meet new Michigan animal and insect friends, dig in the dirt to find fossils, and discover what food we can find in Michigan! We will have lots of freshwater fun, build forts, meet new friends, paint, play, explore, and engage with the natural world daily.

NEW! Half Day Summer Camp: Jr. Nature Detectives
When: Monday-Friday, August 1-5, 9:00am to 12:00pm
Do you have what it takes to be a Nature Detective? Grab a magnifying glass and other detective tools to explore the mysteries of nature. We will use our detective skills to discover what lies beneath the river, which animals call the Natural Education Reserve home, and so much more!

 
NEW! Half Day Summer Camp: Lil’ Animal Adventures- 
When: Monday-Friday, August 8-12, 9:00am to 12:00pm
Search high and low to discover animals in their habitat and learn how they survive. Get ready to spend the week learning about all the animals we find in nature and why they call Michigan home.

Half Day Summer Camp: Little Woodland Wonders
When: Monday-Friday, August 15-19, 9:00am to 12:00pm
Discover the wonders of the woods at the Boardman River Nature Center!  How can you tell how old a tree is?  Where does maple syrup come from?  Learn to identify different trees by their leaves and their bark, discover who calls the trees their homes, and what insects live there. Explore the Natural Education Reserve as you discover the many ways we use trees and their importance in our lives.  Let’s explore the woods together!

New! Half Day Summer Camp: Nature Ninjas! – 
When: Monday-Friday, August 22-26, 9:00am to 12:00pm
Go wild as a defender of wildlife at the Boardman River Nature Center! How do animals glide through nature barely being noticed or seen? Camouflage, sneaking, and shadowing are just some of the ways. Become a nature ninja and discover how animals stay hidden in plain sight!

 

Full Day Summer Camp – Ages 7-10
9am – 3pm EXCEPT Aug. 22-25 – $40/day or $180/week

Register Here!

Each week includes a field trip or visit from a special guest.
Friends & other Discounts are available. Discounts can not be combined. 

Full Day Summer Camp: River Rangers- FULL- please complete  Wait list form here
When: Monday-Friday, July 11- 15, 9:00am to 3:00pm
Get set to discover the wonders of nature along the Boardman River!  Learn about the flow of water in rivers and collect samples of water, fish, sediments, and woody debris from the Boardman.  Look at macroinvertebrates under a microscope and learn about keeping the river healthy for all! Rangers will complete their week-long mission and make new friends, create, and explore the natural world above and below the surface. We will be taking a field trip to our secret fishin’ hole.

Full Day Summer Camp: Insect Investigators
When: Monday-Friday, July 18-22, 9:00 am to 3:00pm
Discover the wonderful world of tiny critters – worms, pill bugs, insects, and more!  We’ll investigate the forest floor, a rotting log, and the underwater habitat of Jack’s Creek. Find out about these little invertebrates by exploring what they eat, where they live, and why they are important.  Maybe you’ll find they’re not all that creepy after all!   We will be touring the Grand Traverse Butterfly House and Bug Zoo and having our lunch with the bugs.

 
Full Day Summer Camp: Magnificent Michigan
When: Monday-Friday, July 25-29, 9:00am to 3:00pm
Come explore what makes Michigan so MAGNIFICENT.  We’re going to spend the week discovering Michigan animals, plants, fossils, and so much more!  We will have lots of freshwater fun, build forts, meet lots of new friends, paint, explore, and engage with the natural world daily.

NEW! Full Summer Camp: Nature Detectives
When: Monday-Friday, August 1-5, 9:00am  to 3:00pm
Do you have what it takes to be a Nature Detective? Grab a magnifying glass and other detective tools to explore the mysteries of nature. Each day will hold a new mystery to solve! We will perfect our detective skills to discover what lies beneath the river, which animals call the Natural Education Reserve home, and so much more!

NEW! Full Day Summer Camp: Animal Adventures
When: Monday-Friday, August 8-12, 9:00am  to 3:00pm
Search high and low to discover animals in their habitat and learn how they survive. Get ready to spend the week in the Boardman River and on the trails as we learn about all the animals that call Michigan home!

Full Day Summer Camp: Wilderness Explorer
When: Monday-Friday, August 15-19, 9:00am to 3:00pm
Get off the beaten path and join us for this wilderness adventure! Hit the trails and explore all that the woods and river have to offer.  Become an amateur naturalist, a wilderness survival expert, and river whiz!  Participate in teambuilding challenges, learn how to explore natural areas responsibly, and prepare to share these adventures with your family and friends.

New! Full Day Summer Camp: Nature Ninjas!  
When: Monday-Friday, August 22 -26, 9:00am to 12:00pm
Go wild as a defender of wildlife at the Boardman River Nature Center! How do animals glide through nature barely being noticed or seen? Camouflage, sneaking, and shadowing are just some of the ways. Become a nature ninja and discover how animals stay hidden in plain sight!

All Nature Day Camp sessions include indoor activities and outdoor physical activities, and provide a unique combination of content-rich programming and complementary games and crafts. All programs are designed to encourage the curiosity of the natural world, allow exploration of natural areas, and promote a sense of stewardship in the next generation.

NOTES: Payment is due within two weeks of registration. If you are registering for a program that is less than two weeks away, payment will be due at the time of registration. Please inquire about camp scholarships.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Please note that in order to receive a refund, cancellations must be made more than seven (7) calendar days prior to the camp start date.