Summer Day Camps

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 eight, week-long summer day camps. Please scroll to the bottom of this page for dates and descriptions of each camp. While each camp has a theme, our overall focus is getting children outside, comfortable and connected to the natural world.

Click here for general summer camp FAQs.

Health and Safety

The safety of our campers and staff is our highest priority. We successfully ran six weeks of summer camp in 2020 without any cases of coronavirus in campers or staff. We are confident that we can successfully run summer camps in 2021 based on this experience.

Leading up to the start of camp we will create summer camp protocols that carefully follow the most recent public health guidelines. All our protocols are subject to approval by Colorado State University, which works closely with county and state public health officials to ensure that university policies are in compliance.

Because of the dynamic nature of the pandemic, we will release our specific COVID-19 protocols to parents one week prior to the start of summer camp.

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Child tries to catch insects in the river with a net
Child and adult search for insects in a tub of water

Camp Enrollment

All our Summer Day Camps are now full. If you would like to be added to the wait list, please email us at elc@csuelc.org.

 

Ages

All camps are open to children ages 7-12. We may accept 6-year-old siblings of older campers 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.

Camp Schedule

Drop off for camp takes place at 8:30-9:00 AM and pick at 4:00-4:30 PM each day. Drop off and pick up will always be at our East Drake site.

 

Prices and Scholarships

Camps are $180 per child, per week for ELC members and $205 per child, per week for non-members. Our prices are increasing slightly this year to help off-set increased costs due to the pandemic.

 

Payment and Refund Policy

Payment for summer camps is due in full by May 1. If payment is not received by May 1, you will forgo your spot in the camp(s). Pay for summer camps online.

Cancellations made prior to May 1 will be refunded at 100%. 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 elc@csuelc.org.

If we cancel summer camps due to pandemic restrictions, everyone will receive a full refund, regardless of when the decision to cancel is made.

Summer Camp Dates and Descriptions

Growing Up Green

June 7-11, 8:30am-4:30pm
Ages 7-12

How does your garden grow? We’ll find out in this week that’s all about plants, soil and all things green. We’ll do some planting in the garden as well as exploring the plants and trees that grow all over the ELC property. Get ready to investigate the parts of a plant, what makes soil so special and the insects and animals that depend on these green things.

Skills and Thrills

June 14-18, 8:30am-4:30pm
Ages 7-12

Master the skills you need to rough it in the wild, including fire starting, shelter building and using compass/GPS. Join us this week to learn outdoor skills and test your knowledge of the natural world. Please note that the programming for this week and the week of July 12-16 will be identical. Due to reduced enrollment, this year we will only accept campers into one of these weeks of camp, not both. You may request to be entered into the lottery for both of these weeks, and if you are selected to participate in one week you will automatically be removed from the lottery for the other week.

Creative Curiosity

June 21-25, 8:30am-4:30pm
Ages 7-12

Bring your creativity to this week of camp as we uncover the beauty of the natural world. We’ll use all forms of artful expression from painting to drawing to sculpture, gathering our inspiration from the land around us. Plus, we’ll use natural materials to make works of art and get dramatic with nature skits.

Wild About Wildlife

June 28-July 2, 8:30am-4:30pm
Ages 7-12

The ELC is filled with fascinating wildlife, and we’ll try to spot as many of them as we can in this camp. We’ll explore the adaptations that make each creature unique and discover how they each fit into their habitats and ecosystems. Furry or scaly, flying or swimming, see how many different animals you can spot in the wild this week.

Skills and Thrills

July 12-16, 8:30am-4:30pm
Ages 7-12

Master the skills you need to rough it in the wild, including fire starting, shelter building and using compass/GPS. Join us this week to learn outdoor skills and test your knowledge of the natural world. Please note that the programming for this week and the week of June 14-18 will be identical. Due to reduced enrollment, this year we will only accept campers into one of these weeks of camp, not both. You may request to be entered into the lottery for both of these weeks, and if you are selected to participate in one week you will automatically be removed from the lottery for the other week.

River Rovers

July 19-23, 8:30am-4:30pm
Ages 7-12

We love the Poudre River and it wouldn’t be a proper ELC summer if we didn’t spend some time roving around in it. We will spend nearly every day at the river, catching crawdads, looking for toads and exploring this amazing river ecosystem. Please note that the programming for this week and the week of August 2-6 will be identical. Due to reduced enrollment, this year we will only accept campers into one of these weeks of camp, not both. You may request to be entered into the lottery for both of these weeks, and if you are selected to participate in one week you will automatically be removed from the lottery for the other week.

River Rovers

August 2-6, 8:30am-4:30pm
Ages 7-12

We love the Poudre River and it wouldn’t be a proper ELC summer if we didn’t spend some time roving around in it. We will spend nearly every day at the river, catching crawdads, looking for toads and exploring this amazing river ecosystem. Please note that the programming for this week and the week of July 19-23 will be identical. Due to reduced enrollment, this year we will only accept campers into one of these weeks of camp, not both. You may request to be entered into the lottery for both of these weeks, and if you are selected to participate in one week you will automatically be removed from the lottery for the other week.

Team E.S.I. (Environmental Science Investigators)

August 9-13, 8:30am-4:30pm
Ages 7-12

Put on your science caps and get ready to investigate nature this week. You’ll ask questions about nature and set out to find the answer for yourself through observation and exploration. We’ll use scientific tools like soil corers and microscopes to discover how nature works.