Connect to nature with Environmental Education
Ecology-based day camps for preschool, elementary, older youth, and teen volunteer helpers
Children and youth under the age of 13 disappear into the woods and wild spaces of Portland as they learn ecology, explore nature's nooks and crannies, spend hours with our diverse and adventurous staff and help make our parks a better place. Weekly nature themes drive the ecology focus of the camp, and are used as a catalyst for children to learn and experience the world around them. As the week goes on and children become more familiar with the staff and the park, the activities shift into child-directed play and learning with the hope of creating a meaningful individual experience for each child and the group as a whole.
We hire staff who have an affinity to both ecology and play, and our summer staff members are trained in the traditional crafts and games of Nature Day Camp, child development, small group and large group management, risk management, Leave No Trace principles, nature crafts, ethnobotany, Portland Parks and Natural Areas stewardship, first aid, and CPR. Our goals are to connect children to nature through experiential ecology, to model curiosity and wonder and to be positive role models toward youth of all ages.
Summer Schedule of Camps
We are currently programming for Summer 2018! Stay tuned! All information will be online in early January 2018.
Camp Days and Hours
All camps run Monday through Friday (except for the week of July 4 - No Camps on July 4)
Drop-off time for ALL camps in any time between 8:45-9:00am. Campers under the ages of 13 MUST be signed in by an adult each morning. On Monday morning, if you arrive and have not already filled out the Camper Intake Form & Medical Waiver, hard copies will be available for you to fill out. CAMPER INTAKE FORMS, MEDICATION FORMS, AND ANY AFTER-CARE FORMS MUST BE COMPLETED BEFORE GETTING IN LINE TO CHECK YOUR CHILD IN FOR CAMP! No exceptions! This helps keep the line moving at an acceptable pace. Thanks for understanding.
Opening activities begin each day at 9:00am. In fairness to our staff and to your child, please be on time so your child does not miss out!
Camper pick-up times are listed below:
Rockin Robins Nature Camp (ages 3 1/2 - 6) | 1:30pm (Sorry, after-care is not available for this program.)
Nature Day Camp (ages 4 - 10) | 3:30pm
True Nature Summer Camps (ages 10-12) | 3:30pm
After-Care is available for campers at Nature Day Camp and True Nature Summer Camp from 3:30-5:30pm at all locations for an additional fee. If you are picking up your child earlier than 5:30, we must know this information ahead of time. Read more about after-care options.
Supervised after-care is offered from 3:30-5:30pm at all 2018 locations for an additional fee. After-care is set up in our Flexible Registration system, meaning you can choose any days during your week of camp, and if you are doing multiple weeks during the summer, you can sign up all at once!
Weekly Cost for Camps (unless otherwise noted)
Rockin Robins Nature Camp | $150 (Resident), $210 (Non-residents)
Nature Day Camp | $230 (Resident), $322 (Non-residents)
True Nature Camps | $230 (Resident), $322 (Non-residents)
We offer scholarships to help cover the cost of camp. Complete the scholarship application found on the Portland Parks & Recreation Main Page. Completed applications can be returned by fax, postal mail, or in-person.
To Mail or Drop off in person:
Portland Parks & Recreation
Attn: Nature Day Camp
2909 SW 2nd Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97201
Fax Number: 503-865-3251
Children of all abilities and interests are welcome to participate in our programs. If your child requires special assistance to participate, please contact the Environmental Education Office at 503-823-3601, and we will help connect you to our Adaptive & Inclusive Recreation program.
To receive a full refund, a participant must be withdrawn at least seven days before the class or camp begins. NEW! Withdraw or Transfer from activities using your online account. Go to "My Account", then the "My Account Details" page. Need help? Call our office at (503) 823-3601.