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

Summer Camp Schedule


Camp runs June 2020-August 2020 available for ages 4-13

NEW! Tot Explorers- a one-week three-year-old day camp 

If your child is ready for an independent adventure, he or she will love this camp! We will explore woods, fields, and ponds using our senses to make discoveries in every new place. As we play
outdoors, we will do age-appropriate crafts, play games, enjoy a healthy snack and have fun making new friends. Children attending must be able to use the bathroom independently.
When? June 29-July 2 Diggin’ in the dirt- 9:00 am-12:00 pm – $85
Come get muddy with us as we dig in and investigate the soil (“dirt”) beneath our feet! Whether we’re jumping into mud puddles or building castles out of clay, we’ll investigate and experiment with soil as we discover how it’s made and why it’s important.

Weekly Camp Options
Half-day Week Long Camp $105

Half-day week-long camps run as follows: AM Session 9:00am-12:00pm OR PM Session 1:00pm-4:00pm.
Half-day camps available to all ages

Full-day Week Long Camp $230

Full-day week-long camps run from 9:00 am-4:00 pm. Lunch must be brought from home.
Full-day camps available to all ages

Daily Camp Option
If a whole week of camp is not something you are interested in, you may sign up for two or more days of camp, three or more weeks of the summer. The daily camp rate is not eligible for discounts.
Half-Day  Daily Rate- $22/day for AM or PM session
Full-Day Daily Rate-$48/day

2020 Nature Day Camp Schedule 

June 2020

June 15-19 Insect Investigators 
The Natural Education Reserve is crawling with insects just waiting to be discovered! We’ll spend our days searching for bugs in all different habitats, no streambed, rotting log, or stone will be left unturned. Explore the unusual life cycles of bugs, what they eat, and how they survive in such a big world.

June 22-26 Amazing Animals 
Are you ready for a week of learning all things animals? Every day will bring a new theme from Mammals to Amphibians! We’ll explore well-known habitats, compare the difference between different species, and learn how we can protect them! Get ready to transform into your favorite animal and discover why you call Michigan home!

*NEW* June 29-July 2 Diggin’ in the dirt- No camp July 3rd
Come get muddy with us as we dig in and investigate the soil (“dirt”) beneath our feet! Whether we’re jumping into mud puddles or building castles out of clay, we’ll investigate and experiment with soil as we discover how it’s made and why it’s important.-

July 2020

July 6-10 Outdoor Explorer 
Do YOU have what it takes to be a true adventurer in the wild? Plants and animals utilize some of the most creative approaches to get ahead in the game of life. Campers draw inspiration from these wild strategies as they learn and practice wilderness survival techniques of their own, including fire and shelter building, water purification, basic navigation skills, knot tying, and more. Campers also tackle challenges to “outwit, outplay, and outlast”.

*NEW* July 13-17 Ancient Adventurers 
Do you love dinosaurs? Have you ever wondered what life was like thousands of years ago? Grab your passport! This week we will take an adventure back in time to the ancient world. Channel your inner paleontologist while searching for dinosaur bones, learn ancient games that those before us used to play for fun or become an archaeologist, searching for a lost temple. You won’t want to miss this week!

July 20-24 Nature Rocks
Who doesn’t love ROCKS! The week we will transform into a Jr. Michigan Geologist. We will get wet in Jack’s Creek panning for pebbles, go on a real fossil dig, collect and identify rocks for our own collections, learn about Michigan during the age of the Petoskey, make our own fossils, study soil, and more!

*NEW* July 27-31 Mission Camp-Possible
We’ll explore the Boardman River Nature Center’s many habitats and trails to uncover the secret lives of animals and unravel the mysteries of the natural world. Learn to move like a stealthy animal and play sneaky games that will help you discover how animals survive in the wild outdoors. How can the things animals leave behind (nests, bones, scat, and trails) tell us about the secret lives they lead? Are there creatures hiding right in front of our eyes? Grab a magnifying glass to help solve the mystery.

August 2020

August 3- 7 Wild Thangs
Michigan is a wild place; come explore the protected wilderness of the Natural Education Reserve with us and learn about the wild things that call Michigan home! Learn all about the beasts that lurk in the night and the day, experience what it would be like to live in a nest or burrow underground, take a closer look at life under the forest floor, discover the different habitats Michigan has to offer and build your own ecosystem!

*NEW* August 10- 14 Stirring up Science
Captivate your child’s creativity this summer with a summer camp full of science surprises! Children will experience hands-on amazing science projects that incorporate STEM educational practices. They will learn the secret formulas to mixtures like slime, putty, moon sand, and more.

August 17- 21 Choose your own Adventure
This week the power is with the campers! Each day we will provide a menu of activities for the Day and the campers take charge of mapping out the day for us. Activities will hold outdoor adventure, water time, and whatever else the campers can come up with!

*NEW* August 24-28 Creek Quest 
 Immerse yourself in the watery worlds around the Boardman River Nature Center. Come see all the magic that the creeks of the Boardman River have to offer. Peer under the surface of the waters and discover tadpoles, frogs, and turtles. Come prepared to get muddy, wet and have fun as we play in and learn about what makes our aquatic areas so special.

All Nature Day Camp sessions include indoor activities and outdoor physical activities and provide a unique combination of content-rich programming and complimentary 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.

For this reason; 
campers maybe be placed in our Junior naturalist camp (ages 4-6) or our Naturalist camp (ages 7-11) based on age. Special requests for camp placement MAY BE able to be accommodated.  

The Boardman River Nature Center and Nature Day Camps are a State of Michigan Licensed Day Camp Facility and Program

There is a $10 non-refundable registration fee added at checkout

Friends & other discounts are available. Discounts cannot be combined. All camps are held at the Boardman River Nature Center located at 1450 Cass Road in Traverse City.