Since 1991, Earth Focus Day Camp has created outstanding summer nature programs for children. EFDC helps children ages 5 to 14 develop an understanding of how ecosystems work, nurtures a sense of wonder for nature, and guides children as they explore the habitats, plants, and animals of the Arboretum. Children are empowered to be a positive influence on their world. Our naturalists are enthusiastic and experienced, but the real teacher is our most treasured resource: the land. Join us to learn, grow, and be a part of this special place.
The day camp consists of three programs: Young Explorers, Explorers, and Eco-Trekkers. Camp activities include outdoor discovery hikes and observations, hands-on science exploration, and nature games and activities. Returning campers will find new and exciting experiences every year. Children are encouraged to ask questions, play, and share, create, discover, construct, and cooperate.
Campers must come prepared to spend time outdoors, wearing long pants, socks, closed-toe shoes, a hat, and weather appropriate layers. A snack is provided (both morning and afternoon for full-day campers). Full-day campers must bring their own lunch. T-shirts are provided to all campers if registration is received before June 1. T-shirt availability for late registrants will depend on remaining sizes and quantities.
Registration closes two weeks before a camp begins, but camps may fill before the deadline and early registration is recommended.
Scholarships are available through the Valerie Kerschensteiner Fund. For more information email us or call (608) 265-5872.
Learning Together sessions for preschooler-age children are no longer part of Earth Focus Day Camp but they are being offered as a monthly class. See events calendar for listings.
Note: Due to the evolving nature of COVID-19, we continue to take precautions and follow UW–Madison health guidance and policies. This may include cancellation of youth programs, including this camp.
All 2022 Earth Focus Day Camp sessions are full.
Young Explorers camp is full.
Ages: entering kindergarten & grade 1
Half-day: 8:30 a.m.–12 p.m., $110
Great for first-time campers.
Session 1: Animal Hideaways
Wednesday–Friday, June 15–17
Become a nature detective and search for the secret hiding places of animals living in the Arboretum.
All Explorers camps are full.
Ages: Entering grades 1–5
Half-day: 8:30 a.m.–12 p.m., $175
Full day: 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m., $350
Campers will be grouped according to age.
Select half-day or full day. Full-day campers bring their own lunches. They will have unstructured activity time in the afternoons.
Session 1: Wild about Water
Monday–Friday, June 20–24
Water is everywhere in the Arboretum. Spend the week finding it in air, soil, and plants as we explore the water world around us.
Session 2: Down in the Dirt
Monday–Friday, August 1–5
Investigate rocks, decaying logs, roots, fungus, tiny critters, and underground animals as we explore the wonders of soil.
Session 3: Hiking in Habitats
Monday–Friday, August 15–19
Explore Arboretum habitats and learn about the plants and animals that live in them.
Eco-Trekkers camp is full.
Ages: Entering grades 6–8
Full day: 8:30 a.m.–2 p.m., $250
Campers will delve deeper into topics and participate in citizen science and service learning projects. Campers bring their own lunches.
Session 1: Climate Connections
Monday–Friday, June 27–July 1
Dig into the science of ecosystems, climate, and energy in nature. Participate in habitat investigations, community service, and citizen science activities.