Welcome to Summer Daycamps at Nearby Nature! We can’t wait to meet you!
May 21th COVID-19 Update — As of May 15th, daycamps are definitely happening this summer! We are working on necessary changes to activities and onsite processes based on information and guidance from local, state, and national health authorities (see FAQs and notes below). We anticipate that additional changes may need to happen throughout spring and summer. Please feel free to register for camps and watch for updates. Thanks for your patience and all the best to your family during this difficult time. (NOTE — Many camps are actually full at this point. Please sign up on our Wait List for camps you would like your child to attend because families have been making changes and spots do open up. Thanks!)
WHAT: Adventure, play, nature, science, art, & gardening! New topic each week!
WHERE: Outdoors in Alton Baker Park and at our Learnscape Garden and Outdoor Classroom (plus one camp at the Cascades Raptor Center and four at Mount Pisgah Arboretum).
WHO: Kids ages 3-13, camps in five age groups, max 10 per camp, taught by experienced nature educators.
WHEN: June 15-August 28, week-long camps, half & full day options.
HOW MUCH: Base cost $120-$280/week — actual cost varies depending on member status, half/full day, and additional special activity/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.
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.
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 sandbox and grassy lawn provide opportunities for free play, creativity, and exercise.
*Note as of 5-21-20 we also have four camps at Mount Pisgah Arboretum and several with different field trip drop-off/pick-up sites.
We cap our enrollment at 10 kids per camp for most camps (revised down from 12 for 2020 to reflect allowable group size) and 8 kids per camp for Minnows and some Dragonfly camps. We love getting to know your kids! Your child will get lots of individual attention.
“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 volunteer, and a teen Outdoor Leader (teens still TBD for 2020). Staff instructors are experienced educators (First Aid/CPR certified and background checked) and volunteers have all participated in our camp training program.
“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 five different age groups. 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
- Owls: ages 11-13 (note Advanced Herons from 9-10 years old are also allowed in these camps this year)
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 Beaver Dam!
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 if it gets really wet. Water and sanitized bathroom facilities are available at the Learnscape.
Off-site camps (at the Cascades Raptor Center-Ridgeline Trail, Mount Pisgah, or on bike trails) have a similar feel but just take place in different environments.
2020 Camp Costs and Important Notes (revised May 12, 2020)
Standard Camp Costs:
Note: As of May 13th, some of our field trips and camp activities with outside presenters had to be modified or cancelled due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns. Our current camp descriptions by age and by week have been modified to reflect these changes. (Note: If you registered prior to May 13th, we will contact you soon to let you know if your camps have been modified.)
- Half day camps — $120/week for members or $140/week for non-members (*camps with special locations/activities cost slightly more)
- Full day camps — $240/week for members or $280/week for non-members (*camps with special locations/activities 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!
NEW Flexible Arrival & Pick Up Options:
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 insure that your children spend time only with their established ten child cohorts, we have converted our prior pre-care, lunch-care, and after-care into “flexible arrival and pick-up” options (see below). Such care must be paid for in advance ($35/week flat rate) 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. (Note: If you registered prior to May 13th, we will contact you soon to let you know how your care choices have been modified.)
- Full Day Camps –– Drop off your child at their camp site any time between 8:30 am and 9 am for supervised pre-camp care. Camp activities start at 9 am. Pick up happens any time between 4 pm and 4:30 pm.
- Morning Only Camps — Drop off your child at their camp site any time between 8:30 am and 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 between 4 pm and 4:30 pm.
- Kids in Both Morning & Afternoon Camps — Drop off your child at their morning camp site between 8:30 am and 9 am for supervised pre-camp care. Camp activities start at 9 am. Lunch care included. Pick up happens at your child’s afternoon camp site any time between 4 pm and 4:30 pm.
- 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. Make sure your membership is current as of the start date of your first camp. Contact us to check your status as needed.
“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!
Click on the following links for more information about our camps.
- FAQs about our summer daycamps
- Instructor Bios
- Information about Volunteering (adults and teens needed!)
- Camps by Week
- Camps by Age Group
- Printable Summary of Camps
- Nearby Nature Illness and Sanitation Policies (coming soon)
- Nearby Nature Communicable Disease Management Plan (coming soon)
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.
- 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, we will revise our policies as needed.
Contact our Daycamps Coordinator, Grace Chollar-Webb, at 541-687-9699, ext. 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.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!