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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

Nature Day Camp Information

Connect to nature with Environmental Education! (Camps for preschool, elementary, and older youth!) 

Make sure your 2017 summer includes Rockin Robins, Nature Day Camp, or DIY Nature Camp! Children & youth under the age of 13 disappear into the woods and wild spaces of Portland as they learn ecology, explore nature's nooks & crannies, spend hours with our diverse & 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 & 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 & games of Nature Day Camp, child development, small group and large group management, risk management, Leave No Trace principles, nature crafts, ethnobotany, Portland Parks & Natural Areas stewardship, First Aid, and CPR. Our goals are to connect children to nature through experiential ecology, to model curiosity & wonder and to be positive role models toward youth of all ages. 

 Nature Day Camp boys with ivy crowns

Summer Schedule of Camps We have camps for preschoolers (partial-day) and elementary and older youth (full-day). Check out the 2017 Camp Schedule!
 We also have volunteer programs for teens age 13-17. See the Teacher Apprentice page for more information.

2017 Nature Themes Themes for Nature Day Camp 2017!

Morning Drop-off can be anytime between 8:30-9am. Campers head to the bathrooms and leave in their traveling groups for day at 9am. If you arrive late, you may need to text your Site Coordinator (Check your email for the number) or Chrissy Larson, the EE Coordinator at 503-823-1149 to get help finding your child's traveling group. 

Camp Hours are 9am to 3:30pm. Our staff is asked to be IN the shelter, ready for parents to arrive at 3:15pm. If you need to pick up your child earlier than 3:15, please make a plan with the naturalists leading the group or the Site Coordinator. 

After-care is offered from 3:30pm - 5:30pm at the following sites for an additional fee: Hoyt Arboretum, Mt Tabor Park & Sellwood Park - Click here to see more about after-care options

Staff Camp staff have experience with environmental education curricula, wilderness philosophy, and child management techniques. PP&R runs an extensive background check for each individual on a yearly basis. Staff are all certified in CPR and first aid as part of their yearly training.

Groups Groups of campers are led by two qualified staff and one trained assistant with a maximum of 12 campers. Children are divided into groups according to age. 

Behavior All campers must behave in a manner which respects the rights and safety of others. Camp staff reserves the right to dismiss students from the program without a refund if their behavior becomes a problem.

Hours of Camp - Drop off anytime between 8:30-9am - Traveling groups leave the meeting spot at 9am!

  • Rockin Robins (ages 3 3/4 - 6).........................................9am-2pm (M-F)
  • Nature Day Camp (ages 5 - 9)........................................9am-3:30pm (M-F)
  • DIY Nature Camps (ages 10-12).......................................9am-3:30pm (M-F)
  • Drop-off campers anytime between 8:30-9am.
  • After-Care is available at all camps taking place at Hoyt Arboretum, Mt Tabor Park, and Sellwood Park. Read more about After-Care options HERE!

Tuition for a week of camp (unless otherwise noted)

  • Rockin Robins Nature Camp.........................$160 (Resident), $224 (Non-residents)
  • Nature Day Camp..........................................$225 (Resident), $315 (Non-residents)
  • DIY Nature Camps.........................................$220 (Resident) + $10 Materials Fee, $308 (Non-residents) + $10 Materials Fee

Scholarships Available We offer scholarships to help cover the cost of camp. Please check our scholarship page for more information. Complete the scholarship application and mail it to: ATTN: SNDC Scholarships 2909 SW 2nd Ave. Portland, OR 97201. Or email it to

Withdrawal Policy For a full refund, children must be withdrawn at least 7 days before the first day of camp. 

Special Assistance 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.

Any questions about Summer Nature Day Camp should be directed to the Environmental Education office. Call us at 503-823-3601, text questions to 503-823-1149 or email