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Daycamps

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

NOTE: Many camps filled super fast this year…but please sign up on the wait list if a camp you are interested in is full. Plans change and spaces often open up as the spring and summer progress. We also may open additional camp sessions on some weeks and will use our wait lists first to fill available spaces.

The Basics:

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

WHERE: All outdoors in Alton Baker Park and our Learnscape Outdoor Classroom (plus several at other local parks and natural areas).

WHO: Kids ages 3-11 in four ages groups, max 10-12 per camp, taught by experienced nature educators.

WHEN: June 20-September 2, week-long camps, half & full day options.

COST: Base cost $125-$305/week (varies depending on membership status, half or full day program, and location). Non-refundable deposit of $35 required per camp. More details and Cancellation Policy below.

SCHOLARSHIPS: Financial aid is available! See full scholarship details below to find out how to apply for a scholarship when you register for camps.

REGISTRATION and PAYMENT: Registration and payment is online. When you enroll a child, you will create an account and your family information will be saved for future programs. You can always find and pay your balance due if you log into your account online. Returning families — please review and update your online information yearly. 

Summer 2022 Update — Over the past two summers we have established COVID Health and Safety, High Heat, and Air Quality policies based on guidance from local, state, and national health agencies. Please understand that these policies occasionally get modified when we receive new guidance from these authorities. We will be making modifications soon for summer 2022 and will keep you posted as the season progresses when we make additional changes. Thanks for your patience during these challenging times. 

The Details:

2022 Weekly Camp Topics

From bugs to bikes, rivers to rocks, wheels to wings — we’ve got something new for your child every week! See Camps by Week for details or Camp Summary in English or en Español for a quick overview.

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 camps in local parks and natural areas. Most camps happen in Alton Baker Park where each has a unique meeting spot in our Learnscape Outdoor Classroom. Off-site camps have a similar feel but take place in different environments.

A typical day at a Learnscape camp includes planned activities and park exploration, as well as time for unstructured play – creative, spontaneous, wonderful! Our Edible Schoolyard and Food Forest help kids make a connection between the earth and what they eat – from berries to broccoli. Leafy tunnels in the Cave of Wonders, stepping stumps in the Squirrel Kitchen, and natural materials in the Nature’s Builder’s Playspace give kids a chance to challenge their bodies and stretch their imaginations. And our Turtle Sandbox, Hazelnut Hollow, and grassy lawn provide opportunities for free play, creativity, and exercise.

Camps are all outdoors, rain or shine, with our Alton Baker Park Discovery Lab, Star Stage, and Yurt (or park shelters at Hendricks and Mount Pisgah) providing cover if it gets really wet or hot. Water and bathroom facilities are available at the Learnscape as well as at our off-site camps.

Small Groups

We cap our enrollment at 10-12 kids per camp so our campers get lots of individual attention. We love getting to know your kids!

Experienced Instructors

“Nearby Nature was the best camp ever! I love the environment and teachers. Thank you!” — Parent, Summer Daycamper

Two-three staffers run each camp — a lead Instructor, a trained Program Assistant, and often a teen Outdoor Leader. Staff instructors are experienced educators, First Aid/CPR certified, and background checked. All assistants and volunteers have participated in our camp training program. All staff and volunteers are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

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

Our camps are divided into the four different age groups below. (See details in Camps by Age Group) If you have a choice of levels, choose the “younger” or “older” level that suits your child best.

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

2022 Camp Costs and Important Notes

Standard Camp Costs

  • Half day camps — $125/week for members or $150/week for non-members
  • Full day camps — $245/week for members or $290/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!
  • *Note: There is no camp on July 4th. Fees for this week are prorated.

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.

Membership Discount Details

  • 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 child’s first camp to receive a discount.
  • If you would like to become a new member or renew your membership, please make this purchase online when you first register for summer programs. If you are renewing a membership, it will be extended from the expiration date of your last membership (which may be in the future).
  • 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 Every Child Outside (ECO) Fund (formerly the Youth Scholarship Fund). To apply, fill out the Scholarship section in our online registration form. When you apply, please use the Coupon Code ECO when you get to online checkout. This will allow you to complete registration without making a payment. We will contact you via email or by phone about your eligibility for aid. Once we have arranged a scholarship, you will need to pay a camp deposit to hold your space.

Optional Flex Care Arrival & Pick Up:

Optional Supervised Flex Care is available for most camps. This 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 your “flexible” arrival and/or pick-up time daily, or only as needed. Drop-in childcare is not available. Details below.

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

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 always many children on our wait lists.

  • Cancellation by 6pm on Monday two weeks before your camp = full refund minus the non-refundable $35 deposit ($15 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.

Questions?

Contact our Garden and Programs Manager, Grace Chollar-Webb, at 541-687-9699 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!