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Daycamps

Welcome to Summer Daycamps at Nearby Nature! We can’t wait to meet you!

The Basics:

Summer 2021 Update — Daycamps will happen this summer! Last summer, we made a variety of changes to our activities and onsite processes based on COVID-19 guidance from local, state, and national health authorities (see 2021 FAQs and notes below). Also see our Health and Safety, High Heat, and Air Quality Policies. Additional changes may need to happen this summer, but we have not yet received final guidance from the state. We will keep you posted if anything about our plans changes. Thanks for your patience during this challenging time. 

Note: As of mid-March most of our camps are full. Please sign up on wait lists (no deposit required) for camps that you like, however, because there are always cancellations over the summer. Thanks!

WHAT: Adventure, play, nature, science, art, & gardening! New topic each week!

WHERE: All outdoors in Alton Baker Park and at our Learnscape Garden and Outdoor Classroom (plus one camp at the Cascades Raptor Center, two at Hendricks Park, and four at Mount Pisgah Arboretum).

WHO: Kids ages 3-11, camps in four age groups, max 8-12 per camp, taught by experienced nature educators.

WHEN: June 21-September 3, 2021, week-long camps, half & full day options.

HOW MUCH: Base cost $125-$285/week — actual cost varies depending on member status, half/full day, and additional special location fees. Scholarships available! Apply when you register online.* 

REGISTRATION and PAYMENT: When you enroll online, you will create an account and your registration information will be saved for future programs. Be sure to read our cancellation policy on this page below. Returning families — please review and update your online information yearly. 

*If registering online or paying a deposit in advance is not possible for you, or you would prefer to make a deposit to make a camp payment by check or in cash, please contact us to make arrangements.

 

The Details:

2021 Camp Topics

Camp topics change weekly. From bugs to bikes, rivers to rocks, wheels to wings — we’ve got something for everyone! See Camps by Week. If you would like a copy of our printed Camp Brochure, please contact us. See also Summary in English or en Español.

Our Site in Alton Baker Park

“I LOVE the location. It is magical!” — Parent, Summer Daycamper

Children have a myriad of opportunities to connect with nature at our home base for most camps — the “wild side” of Alton Baker Park and our Learnscape Garden and Outdoor Classroom (a certified Nature Explore classroom).

Alton Baker Park: Features hiking trails, bike paths, bug catching meadows, a canoe canal, shady forests, and the riverside. It’s also home to lots of cool natural neighbors — great blue herons, dragonflies, foxes, squirrels, fish, and more!

The Learnscape: Our Edible Schoolyard (veggies and herbs) and Food Forest (apples, pears, plums, and berries) help kids make a connection between the earth and what they eat. Leafy tunnels in the Cave of Wonders, stepping stumps in River Run, room for performing on the Star Stage, and natural materials in the Nature’s Builder’s Playspace give kids a chance to challenge their bodies and stretch their imaginations. And our Star Stage and grassy lawn provide opportunities for free play, creativity, and exercise.

*Note we also have four camps at Mount Pisgah Arboretum, two at Hendricks Park, and one at the Cascades Raptor Center-Ridgeline Trail.

Small Groups

We cap our enrollment at 8-12 kids per camp. We love getting to know your kids! Your child will get lots of individual attention.

Experienced Instructors

“My kids really enjoyed the programs and I felt great about leaving them in your care. The counselors were terrific!” — Parent, Summer Daycamper

Two-three staffers run each camp — one lead staff instructor, a trained adult assistant, and often a teen Outdoor Leader. Staff instructors are experienced educators (First Aid/CPR certified and background checked) and all assistants and volunteers have all participated in our camp training program.

Age Groups

“My son was excited to go to summer camp every morning and he was equally happy when I picked him up.” — Parent, Summer Daycamper

Your kids will be in camp with other children the same age — divided into four different age groups for 2021. If you have a choice of levels, choose the “younger” or “older” level that suits your child best. See Camps by Age Group.

  • *Minnows: ages 3-4 (*Minnows must be potty trained.)
  • Dragonflies: ages 4-5
  • Tree Frogs: ages 6-8
  • Blue Herons: ages 8-11

A Typical Day at Camp

“Great camp – my child came home exhilarated and exhausted every day!” — Parent, Summer Daycamper

Each camp in Alton Baker Park has its home base at a special space in our Learnscape site — Hazelnut Hollow, Squirrel Kitchen, Pollinators Playground, or Frog Haven. Kids love to build in the Nature’s Builder’s playspace, gather green goodies in the Edible Schoolyard, eat berries in the Nest, and get wet at the River Run!

A typical day includes both exploring the park and projects in our Learnscape. Planned activities as well as time for unstructured play (creative, spontaneous, wonderful!) and munching garden goodies are included in each day.

Camps are all outdoors, rain or shine, with our covered Discovery Lab and Star Stage or Yurt providing shelter for breaks at our Alton Baker Park camps if it gets really wet. Water and sanitized bathroom facilities are available at the Learnscape as well as our off-site camps.

Off-site camps (at the Cascades Raptor Center-Ridgeline Trail, Hendricks Park, Mount Pisgah, or on bike trails) have a similar feel but just take place in different environments.

2021 Camp Costs and Important Notes

Standard Camp Costs:

  • Half day camps — $125/week for members or $145/week for non-members
  • Full day camps — $245/week for members or $285/week for non-members (*camps with special locations cost slightly more)
  • A minimum non-refundable deposit of $35 is required to hold your camp space.
  • Full payment is due a week in advance. Payments can be made by credit card online or in person/by mail with check or cash.
  • Each child who enrolls in our camps gets a FREE t-shirt!

Optional Flex Care Arrival & Pick Up:

Due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns, children from different camps will not be allowed to mingle before camp, at lunchtime, or after camp. To ensure that your children spend time only with their established cohorts, we have converted our prior pre-care, lunch-care, and after-care into “Optional Flex Care” (see specifics below). Such care must be paid for in advance ($35/week at Alton Baker Park and $25/week at other sites) and is good for the whole week. You may choose to use “flexible” arrival and pick-up time daily, or only as needed. Drop-in childcare is not available. 

  • Full Day CampsDrop off your child at their camp site any time from 8:30-9 am for supervised pre-camp care. Camp activities start at 9 am. Pick up happens any time from 4-4:30 pm. (*Note for camps at Hendricks Park, the Cascades Raptor Center, and Mount Pisgah, only morning Flex Care is available. All pick-ups happen at 4 pm.)
  • Morning Only Camps — Drop off your child at their camp site any time from 8:30-9 am for supervised pre-camp care. Camp activities start at 9 am. Pick up happens between noon and 12:30 pm. Please send a snack or lunch if your child is staying after noon.
  • Afternoon Only Camps — Drop off your child at their camp site any time between 12:30 and 1 pm for supervised pre-camp care. Either send a lunch or have your child eat before arriving. Camp activities start at 1 pm. Pick up happens any time from 4-4:30 pm.
  • Combo of Both Morning & Afternoon Camp — Drop off your child at their morning camp site any time from 8:30-9 am for supervised pre-camp care. Camp activities start at 9 am. Lunch care between camps (kids bring their own lunches) included. Pick up happens at your child’s afternoon camp site any time from 4-4:30 pm.

Membership Discount

  • Membership costs $55/year and provides camp discounts and free admission to Nature Quests, Green Start Play Days, Citizen Science Saturdays, and the Haunted Hike. Your membership must be current as of the start date of your first camp to receive a discount. You can purchase a new or renew an existing membership online when you register for camps. Remember you only need to buy one membership per year per family to qualify for membership discounts for all members of your family. Contact us to check your status as needed.

Scholarships

“Thanks for the scholarship. So many kids would miss out on such memorable and rewarding experiences without financial help.” — Parent, Summer Daycamper

Nearby Nature believes all children should have affordable access to outdoor adventures in nature nearby. Scholarship assistance is available through our Youth Scholarship Fund. To apply, fill out the Scholarship section in our online registration form. (Note — If you decide to decline our scholarship offer, all but $10 of your deposit will be refunded.) Donations to the Scholarship Fund are also welcome!

Additional Information

Click on the following links for more information about our camps.

Cancellation Policy

All Nearby Nature camp registrations include a $35 non-refundable deposit. This deposit holds your space and helps cover the cost of enrolling your child and preparing for camps.

Nearby Nature hopes your summer goes as planned and you will not need to withdraw your child from any camps. We do understand, however, that sometimes cancellations are unavoidable. If you need to cancel a registration, please do so as far in advance as possible. There are many children on our wait lists already as of this spring.

  • Cancellation by 6pm on Monday two weeks before your camp = full refund minus the non-refundable $35 deposit ($10 for scholarship recipients).
  • Cancellation by 6pm on Monday one week before your camp = 50% refund of camp tuition.
  • No refunds for cancellations after 6pm on Monday one week before your camp.

Cancellation by us may happen if there is insufficient enrollment seven days prior to a camp. You will be notified promptly and your full payment refunded.

Note: In case of a local, state, or nationally mandated COVID-19 cancellation of all camp activities, a prorated refund or program credit will be offered if closure is unavoidable and permanent.

Questions?

Contact our Daycamps Coordinator, Grace Chollar-Webb, at 541-687-9699, ext. 101 or email programs@nearbynature.org if you have any questions or problems with registration. Please leave a phone number with your voicemail or email if you are having registration problems so that we can solve these as quickly as possible. Thanks!