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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 and the opportunity 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 selected (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.

“He loved exploring the nature trails around the museum; we heard about anything to do with bugs and animals.” – 2017 Camp Parent

“[The Orientation] Packet was extremely user friendly, well organized, and easy to understand. The social story was WONDERFUL!” – 2017 Camp Parent

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

Jump To: Camp Staff & Enrollment Details | Four Year Old Camps | Five & Six Year Old Camps | Seven & Eight Year Old Camps | Nine, Ten & Eleven Year Old Camps | Registration

Camp Staff & Enrollment Details

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 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
6/25 - 7/6* 

   $447 - members
   $510 - non-members  

$559.50 - members
$627 - non-members

7/9 - 7/20 

   $496 - members
   $566 - non-members   

$621 - members
$696 - non-members

   $646 - members
   $721 - non-members 

7/23 - 8/3 

 $621 - members
  $696 - non-members

   $646 - members
   $721 - non-members   

   $646 - members
   $721 - non-members   

8/6 - 8/17 

$621 - members
   $696 - non-members   

   $646 - members
   $721 - non-members

   $646 - members
   $721 - non-members

*There will be no camp on Wednesday, July 4, 2018 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! 

Four Year Old Camps:

Four Year Old Campers

Four year old campers will nurture their natural curiosities awe 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: 9am-1pm
Aftercare available from 1-3pm for an additional $105 per week
Camp Staff to Camper Ratio: 1:5

Camp Sessions:

Nature Explorers 
June 25 – July 6*, Monday to Friday
*(No Camp on Wednesday, July 4)
$447 - members  | $510 - non-members

Windy City Wonderers 
July 9 – July 20, Monday to Friday
$496 - members | $566 - non-members
Please Note: This session is currently 60% full.


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: 9am-3pm
Camp Staff to Camper Ratio: 1:7

Camp Sessions: 

Nature's Neighbors
June 25 – July 6*, Monday to Friday
*(No Camp on Wednesday, July 4) 
$559.50 - members | $627 - non-members

Animals in Action
July 9 – July 20, Monday to Friday
$621 - members | $696 - non-members

Habitat Explorers
July 23 – August 3, Monday to Friday
$621 - members | $696 - non-members

City Critters
August 6 – August 17, Monday to Friday
$621 - members | $696 - non-members

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 session of seven and eight year old camp will also take a session-specific field trip.

Camp Time: 9am-3pm
Camp Staff to Camper Ratio: 1:7

Camp Sessions:

Water Adventurers
July 9 – July 20, Monday to Friday
$646 - members | $721 - non-members
Off-site canoe field trip location to be determined.

Prairie Pathfinders
July 23 – August 3, Monday to Friday
$646 - members | $721 - non-members
Off-site field trip location to be determined.

Eco Adventurers
August 6 – August 17, Monday to Friday
$646 - members | $721 - non-members
Off-site field trip location to be determined.

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. 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 as additional session-specific field trips. 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 sustainability experiences, engineering challenges, wildlife monitoring, hands-on experiments and restoration projects.

Camp Time: 9am-3pm
Camp Staff to Camper Ratio: 1:7

Camp Sessions:

Conservation Creators
July 23 – August 3, Monday to Friday
$646 - members | $721 - non-members
Off-site field trip location to be determined.

Sustainable Scientists
August 6 – August 17, Monday to Friday
$646 - members | $721 - non-members
Off-site field trip location to be determined.

Registration

Registration for Summer Camp 2018 is now open! Click the button below to begin the registration process. Based on feedback from our camp families, we have some changes to our online registration. In 2018, Nature Museum Camps will be partnering with CampDoc.com. Once your forms and registration are completed online, you will receive an email from register@campdoc.com.

Registration Form   Summer Camp Social Narrative*     CampDoc.com FAQs

The CampDoc.com site is secure, encrypted, and password protected. Only Nature Museum camp staff will have access to camper health information. To read more about their security policies click here: https://www.docnetwork.org/security/.

*Designed for children on the Autism Spectrum and with sensory processing disorders, the Social Narrative is an appropriate resource for all children curious about what to expect from a typical camp day. Please read and discuss the Summer Camp Social Narrative with your child before their first day.


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

 
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