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. 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 Registration

Registration will be run on a lottery system.

Complete this form to submit your name for the summer camp lottery. The form will open on January 10, 2022. Please only submit one entry to the camp lottery, multiple children can be entered in one form. This form will close at 11:59pm on Monday, January 31. All entries must be received by January 31 to be included in the camp lottery.

After you complete the lottery form, current ELC members will receive two entries in the lottery. Memberships must be active as of January 31 in order to receive this benefit. Click here to purchase or renew a membership. If you are unsure of your membership status, please email us at elc@csuelc.org to check.

We will draw names for the lottery during the first week of February. Each camp is limited to 24 participants due to COVID-19 restrictions on group size.

Lottery Process

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.

Once 24 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 15 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 is required to hold your spot(s) in camp. The deposit is due no later than March 31 and full camp payment is due no later than May 1.

Ages

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.

Camp Schedule

Camp activities begin at 9:00 AM, children can be dropped off between 8:30 and 9:00 AM. Camp activities wrap up at 4:00 PM all children must be picked up no later than 4:30 PM. 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.

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. After completing the scholarship request form, make sure you complete the lottery form to be entered into the summer camp lottery. 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 is required to hold your spot(s) in camp. The deposit is due on March 31, if it is not received by that date then you will forfeit your spot(s) 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 prior to March 31 will be refunded at 100%. Cancellations made between March 31 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 elc@csuelc.org.

Summer Camp Dates and Descriptions

Growing Up Green

June 6-10, 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 13-17, 8:30am-4:30pm
Ages 7-12

Master the skills you need to rough it in the wild, including fire starting, shelter building and Leave No Trace. 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 11-15 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 20-24, 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 27-July 1, 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 11-15, 8:30am-4:30pm
Ages 7-12

Master the skills you need to rough it in the wild, including fire starting, shelter building and Leave No Trace. 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 13-17 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 18-22, 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 1-5 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 1-5, 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 18-22 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 8-12, 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.