Kids at Pond

Welcome to Summer Camp at the Kalamazoo Nature Center!

Summers at KNC are full of adventure, excitement, and fun. Campers enjoy weekly themes, take on new adventures, make new friends, and learn to have a positive impact on the natural world. We welcome kids of all abilities and will work closely with you to make sure your child has a great experience.

Financial Assistance  KNC Camp is a place for every child to explore and grow. We believe in making camp accessible to everyone. Our donors make it possible for KNC to minimize financial barriers that would otherwise limit access to KNC Camp. If you would like to apply for financial assistance, please fill out the form during the Camp registration process.

Camp Open House: Saturday, June 10, 10:30am – Noon*

Is this your child’s first time at camp, or maybe they’re in a new age group? Come see what the fun’s all about and learn about what a day at camp is like. Tour the grounds, children get to play group games, and adults have a chance to meet the counselors and ask questions. 

* If your child needs a small crowd, please join the alternative Open House time, Saturday, June 10, 9-10am

Friday Family Fest
Every Friday 1:30–3pm 

Camp is a family affair! Come celebrate your camper’s week at camp on Friday. Catch the highlights of the week as campers show you their favorite spots, and play games and display their artwork. New this year: Camp shirts will be available for purchase at Family Fest, and Monday morning during check-in.

See details on camps by age group:

Junior Naturalists Camp

JUNIOR NATURALISTS CAMP RUNS 9 AM–NOON or NOON-3 PM MONDAY–FRIDAY | SNACK INCLUDED
$175 MEMBER, $215 NON-MEMBER PER SESSION

Session 1: June 12-16 | Survival Olympics
Put animal adaptations to the test with games that have you moving–just like the animals do! Run, crawl, jump and dig to see which animal is the best! Meet a LIVE bird of prey and see if they win a gold medal. 

Session 2: June 19-23 | Paint with All the Colors of the Wind
How many colors can you find looking around you?  Use the stream to create beautiful art with watercolors as you become an artist with your friends at KNC. 

Session 3: June 26-30 | Tree Huggers
Build your love for the outdoors by learning about trees. Listen to a story at the Magic Tree, create your own tree, and use sticks to build a home for animals in the wild. Meet a LIVE animal that uses trees as it’s home. 

Session 4: July 10-14 | Oh, Mr. Golden Sun
Mr. Golden Sun please shine down on me! The sun gives power to us and the plants. Come learn how all things grow with the power from the sun. Let’s chase our shadows, and see who might be up high in the trees. 

Session 5: July 17-21 | Dinosaur Safari
Can you find the family members of ancient dinosaurs? Explore our Gravel Pits to search for fossils with your friends, getting messy in the Mud Pit and meet a LIVE modern day dinosaur. 

Session 6: July 24-28 | It’s A Buggy Bug World
The insect world has a life of its own. Learn about the tiny creatures that are walking around on the ground. How many can you find? Meet a live tarantula and other insects at KNC. 

Session 7: July 31- August 4 | Birds of a Feather
Discover the exciting world of the birds! Learn about birds songs, their favorite foods and, play camouflage where hummingbirds fly. Meet a LIVE bird that might live close to you. 

Session 8: August 7-11 | Wild Water
Explore the waters of Trout Run for the creatures that live under the surface. Get wet like a fish, under the showers of our nature playground, and messy in the muddy waters of the Mud Pit. Meet a LIVE animal that lives in and by the water! 

Junior Naturalists Camp

If nature is your favorite playground, KNC Camp is the place to be! Discover interesting habitats, learn more about animals and plants, and practice outdoor skills. Sing songs, make crafts, and play games with new friends. Each morning is filled with activities planned by our caring counselors. The themes below describe additional activities we will add during that session of camp. Come prepared to play!  

See the camp sessions and themes below and register here >

Junior Naturalists Camp runs 9 am – Noon or Noon – 3 pm Monday-Friday | Snack included
$175 Member, $215 Non-Member Per Session

Session 1: June 12-16 | Survival Olympics
Put animal adaptations to the test with games that have you moving–just like the animals do! Run, crawl, jump and dig to see which animal is the best! Meet a LIVE bird of prey and see if they win a gold medal. 

Session 2: June 19-23 | Paint with All the Colors of the Wind
How many colors can you find looking around you?  Use the stream to create beautiful art with watercolors as you become an artist with your friends at KNC. 

Session 3: June 26-30 | Tree Huggers
Build your love for the outdoors by learning about trees. Listen to a story at the Magic Tree, create your own tree, and use sticks to build a home for animals in the wild. Meet a LIVE animal that uses trees as it’s home. 

Session 4: July 10-14 | Oh, Mr. Golden Sun
Mr. Golden Sun please shine down on me! The sun gives power to us and the plants. Come learn how all things grow with the power from the sun. Let’s chase our shadows, and see who might be up high in the trees. 

Session 5: July 17-21 | Dinosaur Safari
Can you find the family members of ancient dinosaurs? Explore our Gravel Pits to search for fossils with your friends, getting messy in the Mud Pit and meet a LIVE modern day dinosaur. 

Session 6: July 24-28 | It’s A Buggy Bug World
The insect world has a life of its own. Learn about the tiny creatures that are walking around on the ground. How many can you find? Meet a live tarantula and other insects at KNC. 

Session 7: July 31- August 4 | Birds of a Feather
Discover the exciting world of the birds! Learn about birds songs, their favorite foods and, play camouflage where hummingbirds fly. Meet a LIVE bird that might live close to you. 

Session 8: August 7-11 | Wild Water
Explore the waters of Trout Run for the creatures that live under the surface. Get wet like a fish, under the showers of our nature playground, and messy in the muddy waters of the Mud Pit. Meet a LIVE animal that lives in and by the water! 

Farm campers

Junior Farmers Camp

Get down on the farm and get an up-close look at the farm animals, tractors, gardens, and more at DeLano Farms. Make art, play games, hear stories, and enjoy nature walks with your friends at KNC Camp. Explore the farm, prairie, pond, forest, and Visitor Center with caring and creative counselors. Have fun and learn with our age-appropriate nature and farm activities. Each session will highlight the changes the farm goes through during the growing season. Grow new friendships and get a taste of life on the farm!

See the camp sessions and themes below and register here >

Junior Farmers Camp runs Noon – 3 pm Monday-Friday at KNC Camp and DeLano Farms, Snack included
$175 Member, $215 Non-Member per session

Session 2: June 19-23 | Junior Farmers- Noon to 3pm

Session 4: July 10-14 | Junior Farmers- Noon to 3pm

Session 7: July 23-27| Junior Farmers- Noon to 3pm

Session 8: August 7-11 | Junior Farmers – 9am-Noon OR Noon-3pm

Register here for all camps >

Neurodiversity Naturalist Camp: Ages 4-6

foxExplore nature through your own lens. This camp is aimed at supporting the needs of our campers with special needs. KNC provides experiences for all young ones to learn, experience, and find joy in nature.Camps are led by a staff with experience and supported by a teacher with a special education certification. Ratios will be 1 adult to every 3 children. All youth are welcome to register for every camp program we offer. We welcome questions if you are wondering if this is a fit for you. Each day will follow the same schedule but have different activities based on the campers’ interests that register for the week.  *If your child needs a small crowd, please join the alternative Open House time, Saturday, June 10, 9-10 am. 

Neurodiversity Naturalist Camp runs 10 am – 1 pm, Monday – Friday
Snack included (Please bring lunch if a snack will not be enough for your child.)
$225 MEMBER, $265 NON-MEMBER 

Session 2: June 19-23 | Uniquely You  

 Find, draw, and identify insects and the plants they depend on to survive, dig into the underground for the grubs, slugs, and other soil loving critters. Campers will have fun with sensory friendly play, nature art, hands on activities, and learning different aspects of our environment and how it works together.

Register here >

Explorers Camp: Grades 1-3

Become a nature Explorer! Spend the day outdoors discovering the wonders of prairies, forests, and wetlands. Play games with new friends, and cool counselors. Get creative in the camp Art Room, explore the Water Tower Sprinkler and more in the Nature Play Area and hiking KNC trails. Explore all the possibilities! The themes below describe additional activities we will add during that session of camp. Come prepared to play!
See the camp sessions and themes below and register here >

Explorers Camp runs 9 am – 3 pm Monday-Friday | Snack included
$265 Member, $305 Non-Member Per Session

Become a nature Explorer! Spend the day outdoors discovering the wonders of prairies, forests, and wetlands. Play games with new friends, and cool counselors. Get creative in the camp Art Room, explore the Water Tower Sprinkler and more in the Nature Play Area and hiking KNC trails. Explore all the possibilities! The themes below describe additional activities we will add during that session of camp. Come prepared to play!  

 Session 1: June 12-16 | Adapting to Survive
Learn how to live in the woods from master survivalists–animals! Discover some special tools animals use to live outside and then practice outside skills like shelter building to see what works best. 

Session 2: June 19-23 | Land of Art
Explore your creative side in nature. Wade in the water with a paint brush in your hand and a canvas at your fingertips, make art on a spinning wheel and use yarn to make color designs on the trees for all of camp to see.    

Session 3: June 26–30 | Gentle Giants
Reach for the sky! We are surrounded by trees and receive so much from them. Come learn from conservationists what it takes to care for trees and the land. Use leaves to make your very own art or animal, then relax under the shade of the trees and listen to the wind blowing through them. Isn’t it sweet? 

Session 4: July 10-14 | You Are My Sunshine
Say goodbye to gray skies and warm up in the light of the sun. Let’s experiment with the light of the sun, tell the time, and learn who needs the sun to grow. Cool off and build dams after a day of play at the Natural Playground. 

Session 5: July 17-21 | Dinosaur Herd
If you were a dinosaur, which one would you be? Join together with your friends to make a Dino herd. Use binoculars to look high in the trees for things Herbivores ate. Track through the mud of the Mud Pit to make dinosaur tracks. Find evidence of these animals by digging through the rocks of the gravel pits. 

Session 6: July 24-28| Insectopia
Bugs can sing with their wings, listen with their legs, and talk with their tails. Let’s look at the world through their eyes, create a home for them, and leave dinner. Explore the tiny world of insects and meet a LIVE tarantula and beetles. 

Session 7: July 31- August 4 | Soaring Heights
Do you know about the many types of birds that soar through the air? Use binoculars to search the trees near and far for our feathered friends. Run fast and hide in the butterfly garden to see if your friends can find you. Pay a visit to birds that live at the Visitor Center and learn about Birds of Prey. Meet a LIVE bird up close. 

Session 8: August 7-11 | Wade Right In
“Water” you waiting for? Explore the adaptations of aquatic life like ducks, study the water, get messy in the Mud Pit, hike to and search for living things in the waters of Trout Run and get wet on the Slip N Slide at full speed.

Wild Child Day Camp: Grades 4-5

What could be better than spending all day exploring the coolest parts of KNC? Check out trails and the awesome places they lead us to. Meet new friends and superb counselors while living out your favorite adventures. Explore the Delano Homestead side of KNC’s property, practice important outdoor skills, create art and have a blast with water fun! The themes below describe additional activities we will add during that session of camp. Come prepared to play!

See the camp sessions and themes below and register here >

Wild Child Day Camp runs 9 am – 3 pm Monday-Friday
$265 Member, $305 Non-Member Per Session

Session 1: June 12-16 | Survivor 

What does it take to survive in the wild? We’ll explore the great outdoors old school style. Learn to use a compass and GPS on the trails of KNC. Be the first to make it to the prize by navigating your way forward. Create your map, hike your way to Source Pond. Complete daily challenges to see who will be the Ultimate Survivor! 

Session 3: June 26-30 | Tree Foragers 

Let’s search high and low for resources we can use from trees in everyday life. Build habitats for animals using gifts that trees have given us on the ground, use yarn to dress the trees in fancy clothes, and relax in a hammock. Test your fire building skills and thank the trees for their generosity. 

Session 5: July 17-21 | Dino World 

Travel back to the times of ancient dinosaurs and discover which one like most. Go on a fossil hunt in the Gravel Pit, create your own dinosaur track, and examine with Western Michigan University’s Geological and Enironmental Sciences. Get your hands dirty and dig up the secrets of the past.   

Session 7: July 31- August 4 | Flock Together 

Come discover all the birds that KNC grounds house. Use binoculars to search high in the trees for nest and friends that are flying. Learn about the hard work it takes for birds to build nests and try your hand at building your own. 

 

Wild Child Campout: Grades 4-5

Can’t get enough of camp? Stay with us overnight! Use your Wild Child skills during the day, and work up to a campout on Thursday! We’ll set up tents, cook over fires, and take a night hike – a KNC specialty! It’s a great time with counselors and KNC friends. Pack your bags, it’s time to camp! The themes below describe additional activities we will add during that session of camp. Come prepared to play!

See the camp sessions and themes below and register here >

Wild Child Day Camp runs 9 am – 3 pm Monday-Friday. Overnight Campout is 9 am Thursday – Noon Friday. Tents and 3 meals are provided. Tents are not shared. Please bring your own if you prefer.
$315 Member, $355 Non-Member Per Session

Session 2: June 19-23 | Art is Life
Let inspiration flow from the world around you. Become a photographer and take pictures of your favorite places at camp, or make them come to life with your paintbrush. Let’s see how colorful you can make the world around you. Get inspired by art in Glen Vista Gallery and let your creativity fly at in the Butterfly Garden as you draw what you see. 

Session 4: July 10-14 | Solar Power
Days are hot and bright so let’s put it to good use. Learn about Solar Power energy. Use the sun to make images on paper. Become a scientist and do experiments using the sun’s light and heat. Get closer to the sun with a hike to Raptor Ridge, cool off by getting wet on the big Slip N Slide, and rest under the trees at night. 

Session 6: July 24-28 | Insect Impossible
I spy with my little eye, insects! Play games that mimic bugs’ super skills and go on a mission to find their “hideouts.”  Get up close with live bugs and learn why insects would make the best secret agents on Earth. Create a bug hotel and test your skills by completing insect challenges. Are you bug enough? 

Session 8: August 7-11 | H20 Overflow
Make waves! It’s time to stir up some fun during water week. Check out our streams, rivers and ponds then play water games and make water art. Go fishing at Source Pond and count how many snapping turtles you can find! 

Wild Child Farm Camp: Grades 4-5

A farm is a great place to experience nature while exploring and playing outdoors. Do you know what it takes to be a farmer? We’ll dig in to all the facets involved in soil making, seeding, planting, tending, harvesting, and giving back to the land that provides our food. Each session will highlight the changes the farm goes through during the growing season. Plus, there will be plenty of time for all the activities you’ve grown to love at camp, like a hike to Source Pond, hammocking with friends, and team-building activities. The themes below describe additional activities we will add during that session of camp.

See the camp sessions and theme below and register here >

“WILD CHILD FARM CAMP” RUNS 9 AM–3 PM, MONDAY–FRIDAY  $315 MEMBER, $355 NON-MEMBER 

Session 4: July 10-14 | Fungus Among Us and Plants That Talk  
Send your fun-sters to the farm to learn all about fungus among us and plants that talk. Dig in to soil making, seeding, planting, tending, harvesting, and giving back to the land. Grow your own harvest to make a meal. 

Neurodiversity Naturalist Camp: Ages 7-9

chickadeeExplore nature through your own lens. This camp is aimed at supporting the needs of our campers with special needs. KNC provides experiences for all young ones to learn, experience, and find joy in nature.Camps are led by a staff with experience and supported by a teacher with a special education certification. Ratios will be 1 adult to every 3 children. All youth are welcome to register for every camp program we offer. We welcome questions if you are wondering if this is a fit for you. Each day will follow the same schedule but have different activities based on the campers’ interests that register for the week.  *If your child needs a small crowd, please join the alternative Open House time, Saturday, June 10, 9-10 am. 

Neurodiversity Naturalist Camp runs 10 am – 1 pm, Monday – Friday
Snack included (Please bring lunch if a snack will not be enough for your child.)
$225 MEMBER, $265 NON-MEMBER 

Session 4: July 10-14 | Uniquely You  Each day will be a follow the same schedule but have different activities based on the camper’s interest that register for the week. 

Hunt for water creatures. Find, draw, and identify insects and the plants they depend on to survive, dig into the underground for the grubs, slugs, and other soil loving critters. Campers will have fun with sensory friendly play, nature art, hands on activities, and learning different aspects of our environment and how it works together.

Register here >

Adventure Skills Camp: Grades 6-8

Each of our middle school camps includes a Thursday night, camp out onsite at KNC or offsite. Even sessions are onsite and odd sessions will be offsite. Each campout includes food preparation, applying Leave No Trace Principles, and proper gear use. Each week we’ll focus on building special, outdoor experiences and skills. Gain leadership and teamwork experience on the “low ropes” challenges and KNC service projects. The themes below describe additional activities we will add during that session of camp. Note: Participants should be able to carry a 30lb pack, walk two miles a day, and learn and use backcountry bathroom techniques where there are no facilities available, in case these skills are needed.

See the camp sessions and themes below and register here >

Adventure Skills Camp runs 9 am – 3 pm Monday-Friday. Overnight campout is 9 am Thursday – Noon Friday. Tents and 3 meals are provided. Tents are not shared; please bring your own if you prefer.
$335 Member, $375 Non-Member Per Session

Session 1: June 12-16 | Survival Master
You may know a little something about surviving in the woods but are you ready to take it to the next step. Find out how to build the best fires in the worst situations, navigate yourself to be un-lost and what to do when you forget your water bottle at home. Join counselors in the fun of mastering the woods! Camp offsite Thursday night. 

Session 2: June 19- 23 | Nature is Calling the Artist in You
Seek out the art, song hiding in the world around you, create the rhythm of a poem. Take a closer look at the beauty of nature in the Glen Vista Gallery. Compose a symphony of natural sound, mold clay and make wearable and classic art as you delve into the natural world of creativity. Camp onsite Thursday night. 

Session 3: June 26-30 | Poet-Tree
Do you hear that whisper? It’s the voice of the trees. Learn about the different types of trees around KNC and clear the land of invasive plants so the trees can thrive. Get inspiration form their song and try a new skill by writing poems or short stories. Camp offsite Thursday night. 

Session 4: July 10-14 | Sun and Moon
Come learn about Solar Power by day and the power of the Moon by night. Lay under the stars, track the sun, moon journal during the night. Learn to use a telescope and search the galaxy with The Kalamazoo Astronomical Society. Find your constellation and go for a night hike. Camp onsite Thursday night. 

Session 5: July 17-21 | Prehistoric
Do you know which prehistoric creatures once roamed Michigan? The Earth can tell us much about history and the creatures that walked before us. Let’s discover its secrets together. Examine with Western Michigan University’s Geological and Enironmental Sciences and visit The Schmaltz Geology Museum and Dinosaur Park. Hike the Grave Pits to search deep within for fossils. Camp offsite Thursday night. 

Session 6: July 24-28 | What’s Bugging You?
Learn about different insects in Michigan and how they help create a sustainable environment at KNC. Help clear our ecosystems of invasive species so these creatures can thrive. Search KNC for caterpillars and Monarch butterflies for a community science project.  At night go on a hike and listen for the songs the insects sing. Camp onsite Thursday night. 

Session 7: July 31 – August 4 | Birds of a Feather Flock Together
Become the best flock by leading your team to victory in daily challenges. Learn from Animal Care staff what it takes to care for our Birds of Prey. Connect with them by designing enrichment toys for them. Build your flocks leadership skills by working together, coaching, and encouraging each other as you put your skills to the test. Practice your aim at the archery range to become the best. Camp offsite Thursday night. 

Session 8: August 7-11 | Pirate Expedition
Avast me hearties! “X” marks the spot on a modern-day treasure hunt. Practice your pirate navigation skills. Hoist your pirate flag and swashbuckle your way to adventure with a water war. Find the treasures that the Source Pond water hold. Walk the Plank down the Slip N Slide to cool off. Camp onsite Thursday night. 

 

Adventure Trek Camp: Grades 6-8

Are you ready for the ultimate camp experience? Camp out off-site- 4 nights and 5 days and get to know what is around Kalamazoo. Learn camping skills like trip planning, food preparation, Leave No Trace Principles and proper gear use. Gain leadership and teamwork experience on the low ropes challenges. Note: Please bring a lunch for Monday. Participants should be able to carry 30lb packs, walk two miles a day, and relieve themselves in areas where there are no facilities available, in case these skills are needed.

See the camp sessions and themes below and register here >

Adventure Trek Camp runs 9 am – 3 pm Monday-Friday. Overnight campout are Monday – Thursday nights. The week is spent offsite. Tents and 3 meals are provided. Tents are not shared; please bring your own if you prefer.
$470 Member, $510 Non-Member Per Session

Session 3: June 26-30 | Water Adventures
Experience a charter fishing trip on Lake Michigan. Test for water quality of KNC’s water bodies with experiments and search for macroinvertebrates. Hike the dunes and don’t forget the water games!

Session 6: July 24-28 | Rock This World
Learn about knots, gear, and hand hold tricks. Climb, boulder, and build resilience and leadership skills through the low ropes. Climb the walls, rappel, and test your team work on the high ropes course at Pretty Lake Camp’s Adventure Center. Adventures are more exciting when you are climbing high!

 

Young Farmers Camp

Adventure Farm Camp: Grades 6-8

A farm is a great place to experience nature while exploring the outdoors. Do you know what it takes to be a farmer? We’ll dig in to all the facets involved in soil making, seeding, planting, tending, harvesting, and giving back to the land that provides our food. Each session will highlight the changes the farm goes through during the growing season. Plus, there will be plenty of time for all the activities you’ve grown to love at camp, like a hike to Source Pond, hammocking with friends, and team-building activities.

See the camp session and theme below and register here >

Adventure Farm Camp runs 9 am – 3 pm Monday-Friday.
$315 Member, $355 Non-Member Per Session

Session 5: July 17-21 | Onions and Greens 
Don’t worry, this camp won’t make you cry. You will get to peel back the many layers of onion and greens to learn how plants work together. Discover perfect plant pairings for pest reduction. Learn about food and food justice while trying your hand at soil making, seeding, planting, tending, harvesting, and giving back to the land. You’ll grow your own harvest and make a meal. 

Neurodiversity Naturalist Camp: Ages 7-9

Explore nature through your own lens. This camp is aimed at supporting the needs of our campers with special needs. KNC provides experiences for all young ones to learn, experience, and find joy in nature.Camps are led by a staff with experience and supported by a teacher with a special education certification. Ratios will be 1 adult to every 3 children. All youth are welcome to register for every camp program we offer. We welcome questions if you are wondering if this is a fit for you. Each day will follow the same schedule but have different activities based on the campers’ interests that register for the week.  *If your child needs a small crowd, please join the alternative Open House time, Saturday, June 10, 9-10 am. 

Neurodiversity Naturalist Camp runs 10 am – 1 pm, Monday – Friday
Snack included (Please bring lunch if a snack will not be enough for your child.)
$225 MEMBER, $265 NON-MEMBER 

Session 7: July 31- August 4 | Uniquely You  Each day will follow the same schedule but have different activities based on the camper’s interest that register for the week. 

Learn to navigate through the wilderness with compass and mapping skills, read history in the rocks, explore the solar system and learn why we have seasons.

Register here >

Outdoor Leaders: Grades 9– 12

It’s back! Get a head start on your leadership skills with our Outdoor Leaders (formerly Counselor in Training) program! This two-week program will give you the essential job skills and employment training experience. The first week learn how to work as a team, discover your leadership skills, and practice being a positive role model for youth. Expand your nature knowledge, learn to use games and songs to help kids grow. The second week you will be assigned camper groups to lead activities for; working directly with younger campers and counselors. Note: Each teen interested must apply and be interviewed to participate. 

Session 1: June 12-16 & Session 2: June 19-23 

Session 5: July-17-21 & Session 6: July 24-28 

“OUTDOOR LEADERS” RUNS 9 AM – 3 PM MONDAY-FRIDAY.  $395 MEMBER, $435 NON-MEMBER 

Register here >

Be sure to check out these new and returning favorites to Camp this year!

Outdoor Leaders Camp

Teens can get a head start on your leadership skills with our Outdoor Leaders (formerly Counselor in Training) program! Learn more >

Neurodiversity Naturalists Camps

These camps are aimed at supporting the needs of our campers with unique learning needs, with camps for ages 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Learn more >

painting a log
Nature’s Way Preschool Camp

Return to Nature’s Way Preschool during these special camp sessions for preschool alumni! Visit your favorite hiking spots and participate in your favorite NWP activities. Learn more >

Mark your calendars for year-round camp fun during Spring and Winter Camps at KNC!

Spring Camp

Painting at stream

Winter Camp

Winter Camper