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Thank you for inquiring about Nature Museum Summer Camp! Registration is now open.


The Nature Museum Summer Camp offers children ages four to eleven exciting and enriching nature-based learning experiences to explore our local urban habitats. Campers will spend their day outside building, climbing, digging, and inventing with natural and recycled materials as they enhance their imaginations and problem-solving skills while cultivating a love for nature and learning. We encourage campers to take the lead during activities, and provide them the space to explore the nature of Chicago at their own pace with tools chosen (or built!) by them. Campers will use the indoor and outdoor grounds of the Museum as their classroom to foster critical thinking, social-emotional skills and science practices through hands-on experiences with museum collections, exhibits and live animal critter connections.

“I feel like you all have taught my kids how to be kids again. They are no longer asking for TV and video games. They come home from camp and stay in the backyard sifting dirt and looking at insects. When they do come inside, they ask for cardboard and other found objects and glue to build with. They are happy and full of life.” – 2016 Camp Parent

Camp Staff:
Each Summer Camp session is supervised by Camp Co-Directors and the Assistant Camp Director. College level Head Counselors, and high school and college level Counselors lead the activities and supervise the campers in every camp throughout the day. The Summer Camp staff is always excited to play along, get dirty and guide campers to make discoveries while they explore the world around them. All Summer Camp staff members are certified in CPR and First Aid, trained to recognize the signs of a severe allergic reaction, and trained in the administration of EpiPens.

Camp Ratios:
All camps have a high staff to camper ratio. In our 4 year old camps, we have one staff member for every five campers (1:5). For our 5-6, 7-8, and 9-11 year old camps, we have one staff member for every seven campers (1:7).

Daily Parent Page:
Parents will receive an email after each day of camp with photos, a summary of the day's accomplishments, and questions to spark encourage meaningful conversation at the dinner table.

“LOVED the Parent Page! It really helped foster a connection with my child. I looked forward to it every day.” – 2016 Camp Parent

Camp Enrollment Fees:
Fees include one camp t-shirt per session and healthy snacks every day for all camp sessions. Extra camp t-shirts can be purchased for $10 each. To order the best size, measure a shirt that fits your child well then click here for the Summer Camp T-Shirt Sizing Guide. One off-site field trip experience is included in enrollment fees for each 7-8 and 9-11 camp session.

Camp discounts are available for Nature Museum members. Click here to become a Museum member or renew your membership!

Session4 Year Olds 5 - 6 Year Olds7 - 8 Year Olds9 - 11 Year Olds
7/3 - 7/14*

   $441 - members
   $504 - non-members  

$553.50 - members
$621 - non-members

7/17 - 7/28

   $490 - members
   $560 - non-members   

$615 - members
$690 - non-members

   $640 - members
   $715 - non-members

7/31 - 8/11

 $615 - members
  $690 - non-members

   $640 - members
   $715 - non-members   

   $640 - members
   $715 - non-members   

8/14 - 8/25

$615 - members
   $690 - non-members   

   $640 - members
   $715 - non-members

   $640 - members
   $715 - non-members

*There will be no camp on Tuesday, July 4, 2017 and the price is prorated one day.

 

Camp Orientation and Family Open House Sessions:
Families will share in the camp experience through an orientation and open house. All registered families can expect an email in early June with more details! 

Please email the Camp Director at camps@naturemuseum.org with further questions.


Scroll down to read our camp descriptions, or use the following Quick Links to navigate directly to a specific section:
Four Year Old Camps; Five & Six Year Old Camps; Seven & Eight Year Old Camps; Nine, Ten & Eleven Year Old Camps; Frequently Asked Questions; Registration


2017 Camp Descriptions

Four Year Old Camps:

Four Year Old Campers

Four year old campers will nurture their natural curiosities and wonderings as they observe, explore and play each day at camp. Campers will be encouraged to cultivate foundational science skills through unstructured play, hands-on sensory activities, animal encounters, art, and outdoor adventures. Our trained counselors help these young campers navigate student-driven explorations and develop new friendships while building social and science skills. The indoor exhibits and outdoor wetland, woodland and prairie habitats in the Museum's backyard will serve as campers' classroom of curiosity!

Camp Time: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Aftercare available from 1-3 p.m. for an additional $105 per week

Camp Staff:Camper Ratio:
1:5

Camp Sessions:


Nature Explorers 
July 3 – July 17*, Monday to Friday
*(No Camp on Tuesday, July 4)
$441 - members  | $504 - non-members

Wiggly Wonderers 
July 17 – July 28, Monday to Friday
$490 - members | $560 - non-members
Please note: Wiggly Wonderers is now 100% full. If you wish to be added to the Wait List, please continue to the registration form and fill it out accordingly.


Five & Six Year Old Camps:

Five and Six Year Old Campers

Five and six year old campers will enhance their natural ability to explore, investigate, and question the world around them. Campers will conduct investigations to find out more about animal architecture, behaviors, bodies, and adaptations. As campers explore our outdoor wetland, woodland, and prairie habitats, they will act as detectives to solve their own nature questions, decipher how different plants and animals survive, and discover the many interactions that occur in nature. Our trained counselors are excited to play, get dirty, and help guide campers to make discoveries in their adventures.

Camp Time: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Camp Staff:Camper Ratio: 1:7

Camp Sessions: 

Soaring Scientists
July 3 – July 17*, Monday to Friday
*(No Camp on Tuesday, July 4)
$553.50 - members | $621 - non-members
Please note: Soaring Scientists is currently 65% full.

City Critters
July 17 – July 28, Monday to Friday
$615 - members | $690 - non-members
Please note: City Critters is now 100% full. If you wish to be added to the Wait List, please continue to the registration form and fill it out accordingly.

Nature’s Neighbors
July 31 – August 11, Monday to Friday
$615 - members | $690 - non-members
Please note: Nature's Neighbors is currently 81% full.

Mud Masters
August 14 – August 25, Monday to Friday
$615 - members | $690 - non-members
Please note: Mud Masters is currently 100% full. If you wish to be added to the Wait List, please continue to the registration form and fill it out accordingly.

Seven & Eight Year Old Camps:

Seven and Eight Year Old Campers

Seven and eight year old campers will develop their science skills as they collect, compare, and classify all sorts of living and non-living specimens in and around the Nature Museum. Each camp session will focus on observing interactions in the prairie, wetland, or woodland ecosystems teeming with life in the Museum's backyard. Campers will enjoy recording field notes and illustrations as they take a deep-dive in a study of their favorite insects, plants, and animals that live in the ecosystem. Each camp session will take a field trip to explore and investigate other local ecosystems.

Camp Time: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Camp Staff:Camper Ratio: 1:7

Camp Sessions:

Root Reclaimers
July 17 – July 28, Monday to Friday
(Field trip to North Park Village Nature Center to hike through an oak savanna ecosystem)
$640 - members | $715 - non-members
Please note: Root Reclaimers is currently 100% full. If you wish to be added to the Wait List, please continue to the registration form and fill it out accordingly.

Animal Artifacts
July 31 – August 11, Monday to Friday
(Field trip to Little Red School House to meet birds of prey)
$640 - members | $715 - non-members
Please note: Animal Artifacts is currently 71% full.

Eco Adventurers
August 14 – August 25, Monday to Friday
(Field trip to Garfield Park Conservatory to learn about plants and their adaptations)
$640 - members | $715 - non-members
Please note: Eco Adventurers is currently 82% full.

Nine, Ten & Eleven Year Old Camps:

Nine, Ten and Eleven Year Old Campers

Nine through eleven year old campers will sharpen their problem-solving and STEM skills as they construct and design solutions to real-world problems. New This Year: Each session will take multiple offsite field trips to see conservation and sustainability practices in action including walking field trips to Green City Market and the lakefront as well the field trip listed below by session. Conservation and sustainability concepts are at the core of their everyday activities, and students will get the opportunity to collect evidence and share their ideas around local topics. Some activities may include farm to table experiences, active transportation, wildlife monitoring, habitat restoration and exploring aquaponics systems.

Camp Time: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Camp Staff:Camper Ratio: 1:7

Camp Sessions:

Urban Survivors
July 31 – August 11, Monday to Friday
(Field trip to The Plant to learn about aquaponics)
$640 - members | $715 - non-members
Please note: Urban Survivors is currently 68% full.

Conservation Creators
August 14 – August 25, Monday to Friday
(Field trip to Crabtree Nature Center to help restore a native prairie ecosystem)
$640 - members | $715 - non-members

Frequently Asked Questions


Summer Camp FAQ Sheet 

Registration

Registration is now open. Please click the Registration button below to begin your child's registration. To add additional Pick-up People, please click the Pick-up button below.
Summer Camp Registration Form     Additional Pick-up Person Form

Click through the gallery below to see some of our favorite Summer Camp moments!

 
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