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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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Weekly Activities and Daily Rhythm

Summer 2018 will bring a few changes to the daily and weekly rhythm of Nature Day Camp.  Decisions to make changes to our schedule came from camper experiences, parent feedback, staff evaluations, and program management. Having a set schedule for the beginning and end of the day allows us to offer a short break to our staff. Our twenty-four naturalists work almost full time for ten weeks in a highly demanding (and exhausting) role. We believe that allowing them 10-15 minutes each day to step away, recharge, take a walk, or simply have a moment of quiet makes them more patient, more enthusiastic, and more engaging when they return. We believe this change improves our program rather than takes away from it. (Take a close look at the schedule below - those unstructured times are still there...)

A balanced schedule also caters to children who feel more at home showing up to a new place and knowing what's going to happen when they arrive. We've deliberately made the mornings similar each day to accommodate campers who thrive in a routine. Building the unstructured time into the camp day allows children to know what's coming, and when - even though what might transpire in that unstructured time will change depending on the children in the group, the staff leading the group, the nature theme, and the location of the camp. 

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. Depending on the location of camp and how many total campers can register, each week will have anywhere from three to six traveling groups. Our youngest full-day campers are the "Flickers" (ages 4½-6 at Mt Tabor, ages 5-7 at smaller locations) and our next youngest are the "Hawks" (ages 6-8 at Mt Tabor, ages 7-9 at smaller locations).  Our older campers are divided into the "Ospreys" (ages 8-10) and the "Ravens" (ages 10-12). This summer we will also be offering six weeks of True Nature Camps at various locations, which focus on nature connection, bushcraft skills, cooperative games, and stealth movement. Read more about True Nature Summer Camps HERE.

Friends or siblings who want to attend camp together must sign up for the same traveling group. 

Here's what you can expect each week - take note that the all-camp activities will change based on the weekly theme! For more information on the nature themes for 2018, please CLICK HERE! (Note - this schedule does not apply to Rockin Robins Nature Camps or True Nature Summer Camp.)

 

MONDAY
Concept Focus:
Community

TUESDAY
Concept Focus:
Diversity

WEDNESDAY
Concept Focus:
Adaptations

THURSDAY
Concept Focus:
Interdependence

FRIDAY
Concept Focus:
Cycles & Change

8:45

Campers start arriving

9:15

Welcome! (All-camp)

9:30

All-camp: Songs &   Cheers!

All-camp: Songs &   Cheers!

All-camp: Songs &   Cheers!

INTO TRAVELING GROUPS

Bathrooms

Snack

Unstructured Time

 

All-camp: Songs &   Cheers!

10:00

Camp Expectations

Rotations (Theme related)

Extended Adventures –

Campers hear the options and   choose their fave! (Mixed age)

All-camp Activity

10:15

All-camp: Ice-breakers and   “Get to know you” games

Rotations (Theme related)

10:30

10:45

Theme Introduction Skit

Rotations (Theme related)

11:00

INTO TRAVELING GROUPS

Bathrooms

Snack

Unstructured Time

 

INTO TRAVELING GROUPS

Bathrooms

Snack

Unstructured Time

 

INTO TRAVELING GROUPS

Bathrooms

Snack

Unstructured Time

 

11:15

INTO TRAVELING GROUPS

Bathrooms

Snack

Unstructured Time

 

2:00

All-camp: Songs &   Cheers!

2:15

Theme-based Nature Crafts/Skill-building

3:00

Gather at the shelter: Storytelling

3:15

All-camp Closing Circle

3:30

Camper Sign-out