Join the CSU Environmental Learning Center this summer for adventure in the outdoors! Our camps aim to connect youth to our natural world through learner-led inquiry, hands-on and active exploration, and fun in a safe environment. We can’t wait to be part of your summer!
This summer, we will hold nine, week-long summer day camps. While each camp has a theme, our overall focus is getting children outside, comfortable and connected to the natural world.
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Summer Camp Dates and Descriptions
Our camps focus on immersing participants in nature. Though each camp has a theme, all camps will include walking our trails, exploring our ecosystems off trail, playing near and in the river, building forts, and playing games. See below for descriptions of the Summer 2023 camps. Descriptions for Summer 2024 will be available in mid December.
Get ready to Dig In to our flora focused summer camp. There are loads of plants to investigate on our 200+ acre property and in this camp we will start right in the ELC garden. We’ll study everything from tiny seedlings to giant cottonwood trees, the soil that supports them all, and the critters that call them home.
The Art of Nature
Come and embrace your artistic side! We’ll roam the ELC for inspiration while learning about and using a variety of mediums, compositions, and forms. We’ll even paint and sculpt with nature and will make masterpieces to take home and to leave at the ELC to inspire others.
You’ll need all your deductive powers to solve the mysteries of this summer camp. We’ll provide you with the tools (GPS, corers, hydroscopes, and more) and set you loose to solve the mysteries of the ELC. Who knows what you’ll discover when you go sleuthing!
A Day in the Life of…
Ever wonder what a wildlife biologist really does? What about an entomologist? How do people study trees and why would they want to? In this camp we’ll learn about different environmental science career fields and practice some of the field skills they use in their jobs!
Splish Splash Week II
Get ready, get set, get wet! This week is all about our beloved Cache la Poudre River! We’ll wade into learning about aquatic ecosystems, riparian habitat and more. Join us for exploration, experimentation, and general watery fun! (Note: This program is identical to Splish Splash Week I, July 17-21.)
Happy Campers Week I
In this outdoor skills camp, we’ll learn how to prepare for, stay safe, have fun, and take care of our environment on our outdoor adventures. We’ll learn Leave No Trace, how to build a fire and cook in the wild, how to pitch a tent, and more! (Note: This camp is identical to Happy Campers Week II, July 31-Aug 4.)
From the common squirrel to the elusive wind scorpion, the ELC is home to an abundance of wildlife. We’ll spend the week studying Kingdom Animalia through exploration, observation, and
Splish Splash Week I
Get ready, get set, get wet! This week is all about our beloved Cache la Poudre River! We’ll wade into learning about aquatic ecosystems, riparian habitat and more. Join us for exploration, experimentation, and general watery fun! (Note: This program is identical to Splish Splash Week II, August 7-11.)
Happy Campers Week II
July 31-Aug 4
In this outdoor skills camp, we’ll learn how to prepare for, stay safe, have fun, and take care of our environment on our outdoor adventures. We’ll learn Leave No Trace, how to build a fire and cook in the wild, how to pitch a tent, and more! (Note: This camp is identical to Happy Campers Week I, June 12-16.)
2024 Camp Registration
The summer camp lottery will be open from January 10 through January 31. If you enter the lottery, you will receive an email by February 14 informing you if you received a spot in camp or are on the wait list.
The lottery form is available here.
Names are entered and drawn separately for each week of camp. When you complete the lottery form you will indicate which weeks you want to be included in.
When a family’s name is drawn, all children in that family will receive a spot in that week of camp, provided the children meet the age requirements to attend camp and you have requested they be in that camp.
Once 36 spots have been filled in each camp, we will fill the wait list for that week via the lottery system. There is no need to contact us separately to be added to the wait list.
You will receive an email no later than February 14 notifying you if you have received a spot in summer camp or are on the wait list.
Once you are notified that you have received a spot in camp, a $50 non-refundable deposit or full payment is required to hold your spot(s) in camp. This is due no later than March 31 and full camp payment is due no later than May 1.
All camps are open to children ages 7-12. We may accept 6-year-old siblings of older campers by request on a case-by-case basis. Participants will be broken up into age-appropriate groups for most activities, though this will vary based on number of attendees and the age break-down of each camp. You will have the option to request that your child be placed in a group with siblings or friends when completing camp paperwork, but we cannot guarantee we will be able to accommodate your request.
Camp activities begin at 9:00 AM and wrap up at 4:00 PM. Drop off and pick up will always be at our East Drake site.
Prices and Scholarships
Camps are $200 per child, per week for ELC members and $225 per child, per week for non-members.
We do have several need-based scholarships (both full and partial) available. Please complete the scholarship request form no later than January 31 to request a scholarship for summer camp. We reserve some spots in each week of camp for scholarship recipients.
Payment and Refund Policy
The email you receive in February informing you of the results of the summer camp lottery will include instructions on how to pay for camp. You have the option either to pay for summer camps online with a credit card or to mail us a check.
Once you are notified that you have a spot in camp, a $50 non-refundable deposit per child, per camp is required to hold your spot(s) in camp. The deposit is due on March 22; if it is not received by that date then you will forfeit your spot in camp. Once paid, the deposit will be applied to your total summer camp balance due.
Payment for summer camps is due in full by May 1. If payment is not received by May 1, you will forfeit your spot in the camp(s).
Cancellations made on or prior to March 22 will be refunded at 100%. Cancellations made between March 23 and May 1 will forfeit the $50 deposit. Any balance paid beyond the deposit will be refunded in full for cancellations made during this time.
After May 1 and up to two weeks prior to the first day of camp, a 50% refund will be given. After two weeks prior, no refunds will be given. Cancellations must be made in writing and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Camp Payment Portal
If you received an email from us informing you that you have received a spot in summer camp, then you can pay online here. Please only pay for camp if you have received a confirmation email from us. See below for information about summer camp deposit and our cancellation and refund policy.