Play in nature at fun summer camps for kids and teens with DuPage Forest Preserve District

  • Kids can learn about conservation and stewardship through nature play, hiking, fishing, crafts, and outdoor games with the summer camps offered with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.

    Kids can learn about conservation and stewardship through nature play, hiking, fishing, crafts, and outdoor games with the summer camps offered with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. Courtesy of Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

 
Submitted by Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
Updated 2/22/2022 7:20 PM

Summer camps with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County offer kids and teens fun, outdoor opportunities to connect to nature.

Registration is open for DuPage County residents at dupageforest.org/camps, featuring a variety of day camps for youth entering first to eighth grades. Registration for nonresidents begins March 1.

 

"Our summer camps provide exciting opportunities for kids and teens to make meaningful connections with nature, each other and their community," said Anamari Dorgan, director of Community Engagement Services. "Research shows that the earlier children make a close connection with nature, the more likely they are to become stewards of the land and support efforts to preserve and protect natural areas."

The district is again offering supervised lunch breaks and playtime before and after some camps.

Programs with a "B" offer playtime before camps from 8 to 9 a.m. for $45; those with an "L" offer supervised lunch breaks from noon to 12:30 p.m. for $15; and programs with an "A" offer playtime after camps from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

Unless noted, camps are $150 for DuPage residents and $175 for nonresidents. Questions? Call (630) 933-7247.

Entering Grades 1 & 2

• Learn why things are sticky, squishy, stinky, and slimy through fun science experiments in "Grossology (STEM Camp)" from 9 a.m. to noon June 13-17, June 27-July 1, July 18 -22, or Aug. 8 -12 at Fullersburg Woods in Oak Brook. (B, L). 15 campers max per session.

• Search for insects, discover where they live, and investigate what makes them so special in "Insect Investigators (STEM camp)" from 9 a.m. to noon June 20 -24; July 11 -15; July 25 -29; or Aug. 15 -19 at Fullersburg Woods in Oak Brook. (B, L). 15 campers max per session.

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Entering Grades 3 & 4

• Work as a team to set up a campsite, build a campfire, and follow "Leave No Trace" practices in "Camping Adventures" from 9 a.m. to noon June 20 -24; July 11 -15; July 25 -29; or Aug. 15 -19 at Fullersburg Woods in Oak Brook. Try your hand at fishing, hiking, and treasure hunting. (B, L). 15 campers max per session.

• Experience how kids lived in the 1890s with games, crafts, and chores in "Farmhands" from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, starting June 13 or 27; July 11, 18 or 25, at Kline Creek Farm, West Chicago. Make new friends while caring for the animals, playing in the woods, and learning old-fashioned string games. 16 campers max per session. Register for Prairie Kids to make it a full week of camp. (B $30, A $70)

• Learn about conservation and stewardship through nature play, hiking, fishing, crafts, and outdoor games at "Junior Ranger Camp" from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 27-July 1 or July 11-15 at Herrick Lake in Wheaton. (B, A). 20 campers max per session.

• Simulate an earthquake, learn how to build a fire, and watch gravity in action with an egg drop experiment in "Nature's Superpowers (STEM camp)" from 9 a.m. to noon June 13 -17; June 27 -July 1; July 18 -22; or Aug. 8 -12 at Fullersburg Woods, Oak Brook. (B, L). 15 campers max per session.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Learn how kids lived and worked on the early Illinois prairie through chores, games, and crafts in "Prairie Kids" 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, June 14-15; June 28-29; July 12-13; July 19-20; or July 26-27, at St. James Farm in Warrenville. (B $20, A $45). 8 campers max per session. Register for Farmhands to make it a full week of camp. $100 DuPage resident; $150 nonresident

Youth entering fifth or sixth grade can sign up for archery camp from July 11-15 at Camp Blackwell in Warrenville. Participants will learn safety lessons, practice their technique and compete in some friendly competition.
Youth entering fifth or sixth grade can sign up for archery camp from July 11-15 at Camp Blackwell in Warrenville. Participants will learn safety lessons, practice their technique and compete in some friendly competition. - Courtesy of Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
Entering Grades 5 & 6

• Get closer to the bull's-eye by learning about safety, practicing proper shooting techniques, and participating in friendly competitions and games in "Archery Camp" from 9 a.m. to noon July 11-15 at Blackwell, Warrenville. 20 campers max per session.

• Experience how kids lived in the 1890s with games, crafts, and chores in "Farmhands" from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, starting June 13 or 27; or July 11, 18 or 25, at Kline Creek Farm, West Chicago. Make new friends while caring for the animals, playing in the woods, and learning old-fashioned string games. (B $30, A $70). 8 campers max per session. Register for Prairie Kids to make it a full week of camp.

• Enjoy hands-on experiences with horses and the daily activities of a working barn as well as lead-line rides on the horses, stable chores, games, crafts and Friday Family Day in "Horse Sense (STEM camp)" from 9 a.m. -3 p.m. May 30-June 3; June 13-17; June 27-July 1; July 18-22; or Aug. 1 -5, at Danada Equestrian Center, Wheaton. (B, A). $250 DuPage resident; $290 nonresident

• Learn what it takes to be a wildlife keeper as you go behind the scenes to help prepare food, clean, and care for Willowbrook's ambassador animals in "Junior Keeper Camp (STEM camp)" from 9 a.m. to noon June 13-17; July 11-15; or Aug. 1-5 at Willowbrook Wildlife Center, Glen Ellyn. 10 campers max per session.

• Learn about safety, gear, paddling strokes, navigation, rescues, and handling a kayak on lakes and rivers in "Kayaking Camp" from 9 a.m. to noon June 27-July 1 at Hidden Lake, Downers Grove. 10 campers max per session.

• Learn how kids lived and worked on the early Illinois prairie through chores, games, and crafts in "Prairie Kids" from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, June 14-15; June 28-29; July 12-13; July 19-20; or July 26-27, at St. James Farm, Warrenville. (B $20, A $45). 8 campers max per session. Register for Farmhands to make it a full week of camp. $100 DuPage resident; $150 nonresident

• Try archery, boating, fishing, and hiking while improving team-building and wilderness-survival skills in "Ranger Adventure Camp" from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 13-17; June 20-24; July 18-22; or July 25-29, at Herrick Lake, Wheaton. (B, A). 20 campers max per session. $250 DuPage resident; $290 nonresident.

Entering Grades 7 & 8

• Learn what it takes to be a wildlife keeper as you go behind the scenes to help prepare food, clean, and care for Willowbrook's ambassador animals in "Junior Keeper Camp (STEM camp)" from 9 a.m. to noon June 20 -24; July 18 -22; or Aug. 8 -12 Willowbrook Wildlife Center, Glen Ellyn. (L). 10 campers max per session. Register for Junior Rehab Keeper Camp to make it a full day.

• Learn what it takes to be a wildlife keeper as you go behind the scenes to help prepare food, clean, and care for wildlife undergoing rehabilitation during the new "Junior Rehab Keeper Camp (STEM camp)" from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. June 20-24; July 18-22; or Aug. 8-12 at Willowbrook Wildlife Center, Glen Ellyn. 10 campers max per session. Register for Junior Keeper Camp to make it a full day.

• Enjoy all the fun of Horse Sense Camp with the wonders and challenges of daily riding lessons with Western tack led by one of the Danada instructors during "Riding Sense (STEM camp)" from 9 a.m. -3 p.m. June 6-10; June 20-24; July 11-15; July 25-29; or Aug. 8-12 at Danada Equestrian Center, Wheaton. (B, A). 12 campers max per session. $400 DuPage resident; $460 nonresident

In accordance with current CDC guidelines, all visitors 2 or older regardless of vaccination status must wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth when inside forest preserve buildings. The CDC also strongly recommends masks in crowded outdoor settings, including Forest Preserve District summer camps. Recommendations may change as the year progresses.

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years.

More than 6.2 million people visit its 60-plus forest preserves, 166 miles of trails, six education centers and scores of programs each year.

For information, call (630) 933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org, where you can also link to the district's e-newsletter, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

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