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Summer Camp

A group of children in summer camp play on a big net on a platform in the treetops.
Nature Explorers Camp logo

Summer Camp 2024

Awaken your child’s curiosity and nurture their appreciation for nature by registering them for Morris Arboretum’s Nature Explorers Camp. Led by experienced educators, our goal is to inspire new generations of environmentally aware citizen scientists.   



Three children and a camp counselor kneel with their backs to camera and look at a green plant.
How to Complete Your Registration
  1. Note: registrations are not considered complete until we have received all of your paperwork!
  2. After you pay online through the Morris website, check for and read your confirmation email.
  3. Download the registration forms sent with your confirmation email (also available here).
  4. Use a separate form for each participant.
  5. Email these forms to by May 31 in order to hold your spot. Forms received after June 1 will incur a $25 late fee. If we are missing your forms, your child cannot attend camp and your spot may be forfeited.
Join the Waitlist

Registration opened on January 26 and limited spots remain. Because our registration is so early and plans do change, waitlist spots often become available.

Join Waitlist → 

How do I join the waitlist? 

Click the link above. Scroll down to the weekly descriptions and click "Waitlist Available." Choose your member level or select non-member and hit next. You'll see a message in red "0 tickets available"scroll down and click the button "Add to Waitlist." (If you are not yet logged in, you will be prompted to login or create an account.) Then type in the number of children (participants) you wish to add to the waitlist for that date/age group. Hit "Add to Waitlist" again. Your confirmation will show in the box. There is no fee to join the waitlist.

How do I find out if I am registered for camp or on the correct waitlist?

Please look closely at your confirmation emails to verify camp dates, age groups, and waitlist requests. You can also view this information via your Morris account. Log in to your Morris account (you'll see a login button on the top right of our website). Click “Account” on the right-hand side, and from the drop-down menu select “My Reservations.” Here, you can view all reservations, present reservations, and waitlist entries

A group of young summer campers hold fern fronds.

Dates and Details 

Little Lightning Bugs: Ages 4 to 5 (Adult/Child ratio of 1:6) 

Bloomfield Buddies: Ages 6 to 10 (Adult/Child ratio of 1:8) 

Weekly Camp Sessions: July 1 to August 9, 2024 

Duration: Monday - Friday, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm 

*We are not able to offer before care or aftercare. 

All camp weeks include daily hikes and garden exploration, as well as arts and crafts. There will be a weekly creek walk and water play on hot days.

Counselor In Training Leadership Development Program 

Morris offers a three-week Leadership Development Program for youth ages 12–16. Participants in this program act as Counselors In Training (CITs) who assist our Camp Counselors. CITs will attend a one-day training before camp begins and daily training during camp. The Leadership Development Program runs for three weeks. CITs must commit to one full three-week program. The Leadership Development Program fee is $75 per three-week session for members and $100 for non-members. This fee will be waived for returning CITs. Please refer to the CIT application for the Leadership Development Program for more information about duties and qualifications. 

A group of young summer campers sit in a circle outdoors and raise their hands.

Little Lightning Bugs (Ages 4 – 5)

This summer the Morris is going Mesozoic! Travel back in time and imagine ancient forests, giant insects, and dinosaurs! We’ll play dino games, make fossils and other crafts, and learn a bit of earth science. 

No camp on July 4

How do animals survive and what do they do? Learn about some of the animals at Morris and their adaptations. Find different habitats among our 92 acres and do a variety of survival activities and games..

Journey through the Morris as we discover different types of plants, including some ancient species that have been around since the time of dinosaurs. Learn about ferns and spores, the difference between leaves and needles, and how plants adapt and survive. 

What do modern birds have in common with dinosaurs? Many dinosaurs had feathers, and there is no longer any real doubt among scientists that birds are a type of dinosaur. Learn all about feathers and what made them special to both dinosaurs and birds, look for birds throughout the Morris, and do bird games and crafts.

This summer we are traveling back in time to the Mesozoic. Imagine ancient forests, giant insects, and dinosaurs! We’ll play dino games, make fossils and other crafts, and learn a bit of earth science.

While ancient forests and animals looked a bit different than they do today, the earth also has many repeating cycles. Learn about seasons, weather, and Earth science as we say goodbye to summer and get ready for a new school year. 

Bloomfield Buddies (Ages 6 – 11)

Millions of years ago, dinosaurs and other ancient creatures roamed the earth. At camp we’ll be using our imaginations to bring them back! During this action-packed week, we’ll play dino games, make fossils and other crafts, and learn some geology.

No camp on July 4.

We have 92 acres to explore, so travel with us on an arboretum adventure. Discover what lives and grows here at Morris by looking for animals tracks and signs, learning some plant ID, and finding edible plants. We’ll also practice some outdoor skills like using a compass and knot tying. 

Join us as we travel back in time to the Mesozoic era! This is a time dominated by dinosaurs, giant insects, and an abundance of plants. Learn about the importance of plants to all life on earth and discover plants at the Morris that are very similar to their ancestors from millions of years ago.

We have real dinosaurs that are currently living at Morris! That’s right, birds are actual living dinosaurs from the same theropod group that includes T. rex. Campers will learn about both birds and dinosaurs, discover different kinds of feathers, go birding, and do bird crafts and games.

Millions of years ago, dinosaurs and other ancient creatures roamed the earth. At camp we’ll be using our imaginations to bring them back! During this action-packed week, we’ll play dino games, make fossils and other crafts, and learn some geology.

Some of the plants and animals of prehistoric times looked a bit different than today, but other things on Earth have stayed about the same. Various cycles repeat themselves, and we can find evidence of prehistoric times when we look at our world today. Learn about the water cycle, rock cycle, and discover some of the natural processes and geology that help to shape our planet.

A group of children in summer camp walk in a line through a lush green fernery.


Members*: $310 (weekly) / Non-members: $330 

* To receive the member pricing for camp, you must be a current member at the Family level or above. If you purchase a membership online at the same time as your camp purchase, you will get the discount for camp. If you purchase a membership a few weeks before camp registration opens, please check with membership prior to January 25 and make sure that your member account has been updated in our ticketing system (sometimes this can take a few weeks). 

Financial Aid

Limited financial aid is available on a first-come basis to those with demonstrated financial need. Email for more information.

A group of young summer campers draw with markers on paper plates.

 Additional Information

Attending Nature Explorers Camp with a Same-Age Friend or Sibling 

We only have one group for Little Lightning bugs, so all 4-5 year old campers will be in the same group. Bloomfield Buddies will be divided into two groups by age. Groups will be preassigned, and children will be told their groups each Monday. If your child has a friend or relative registered in Bloomfield Buddies and you wish to place them in the same group, please email at least TWO WEEKS PRIOR to the start of camp. 

Is a nature camp right for your child? 

It is our hope to inspire a love of the outdoors in all participants.  We spend the majority of our day outside in nature—not in air conditioning. Our campers hike and navigate uneven terrains throughout the Arboretum. We also play games and use natural materials for our arts and crafts. Safety is our number one priority; however, injuries can still occur. Children encounter bees, biting insects, slippery terrain, and tree roots, which all can pose a hazard. Together, we enjoy fun, physical activities under careful supervision of Arboretum education staff. With the guidance of educators, campers must listen to directions, stay with the group, adhere to camp rules, and take accountability for their own safety. Please see the Parent Handbook for more information about our camp and rules.  

Download the Parent Handbook →
Weather Policy 

Camp is held rain or shine. In the case of lightning, activities will be modified and moved indoors. Please dress your child in clothes that can get wet or dirty! If temperatures exceed 90 degrees, activities are modified, and participants will not be doing anything strenuous. In addition to morning creek walks about once a week, we will do water play (sprinklers, wading pools, etc.) whenever there is a heat advisory. 

Two young children build a small house out of sticks and leaves.

2024 Registration/Cancellation Policy 

Planning ahead can be challenging for everyone, but please be mindful when making your camp registrations. We often cannot accommodate requests to change scheduled weeks since we fill up quickly.  

Cancellations made any time up to May 31: a $50 fee will be deducted from refund for each week cancelled.

Beginning June 1: Refunds will ONLY be issued for extenuating circumstances and are at the discretion of the Camp Director. If a replacement is found from the waiting list, a refund may be granted minus a $75 cancellation fee.