1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
What is Summer Nature Day Camp? Grab your backpack, a lunch, a water bottle, a sweatshirt, and head out into Portland's Natural Areas to learn about ecology, play imaginative games, tell stories, and make memories! Each day of Nature Day Camp starts and ends as one group with all ages together. About half the day is structured with nature-themed games, skits, crafts, scavenger hunts, and science investigations. The other half of the day is spent playing, hiking, and exploring in small traveling groups, divided by age. Our programs cater to children as young as 3½ up to age 12. If you are looking for options for youth 13 and up, check out our Nature Day Camp Volunteer program (ages 13-17) or apply to be on our paid summer staff (ages 16+)!
Year after year we get amazing reviews from parents AND children, but we do cost more than other Portland Parks summer camps.
Here's why: We are an outdoor program and do not have daily access to a facility, so we must have fewer children per paid staff, and all naturalists must attend 45 hours of training. We hire 4-6 support staff that help make each day run smoothly and take care of everything behind the scenes (which is a lot when there are no buildings involved!) During those 45 hours, our staff is trained in CPR and First Aid, risk management, group facilitation, youth development, diversity, equity, the benefits of nature play, and the ecological concepts that drive each week of camp. We boast low staff-to-camper ratios (In many cases, about 1 staff for every 4 campers!) For those who need financial assistance, we offer up to 75% scholarships for those who qualify. Our goal is to GET CHILDREN INTO NATURE - because we believe wholeheartedly that in order to get children to care about nature, we must first allow them to love it.
"[My} kids had a blast. Good socialization. We'll be back next year! Thank you!" ~Parent of a 2017 camper
"A really great camp- the counselors really care about the kids." ~Parent of a 2017 camper
"My son is very picky about summer camps. Nature Day Camp is one of two that he actually LOVES!" ~Parent of a 2017 camper
"My daughter has been attending 1-2 weeks for the last 3 summers and she LOVES it! You all do a wonderful job!" ~Parent of a 2017 camper
"A fun camp that is 100% outdoors where kids learn about nature in a local park!" ~Parent of a 2016 Rockin Robins camper
"[Nature Day Camp] is like an urban outdoor school where they come home each day. We love this camp!" ~Parent of a 2016 camper
"[This camp] is run by a group of very talented and wonderful people who are great with kids and really connect with and care about them." ~Parent of a 2016 camper
"The PP&R Nature Camps are, by far, my son's all-time favorite summer camps, both last year and this year..The counselors do an amazing job of engaging the kids and creating a fun, exciting experience. I can't quite express how much I appreciate the wonderful instruction and experience provided by your counselors. Thank you!" ~ Parent of a 2012 camper
"I'm writing to express my sincere gratitude for the scholarship our family received for our daughters to attend Nature Camp. They were at Forest Park camp and absolutely LOVED it! Every day they came home bursting with stories of their adventures - smudge, treasure hunts, fairy sightings, [pretend] fishing, and hiking 'even farther than the other kids!' I know this will be a highlight of their summer, and it would not have been possible without the scholarship. We feel your program has enormous value and feel so fortunate that our kids have been a part of it. I will continue to rave about it to anyone who will listen!" ~ Parent of 2013 camper
"Great camp, great team!" ~Parent of 2014 camper
"My kids LOVE camp! They look forward to it every year!" ~Parent of 2014 campers
"We have been doing this camp for about 6 years, and our son STILL loves it! Bravo!" ~Parent of 2014 camper