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Since 1991, Earth Focus Day Camp has created outstanding summer nature programs for children ages 3–14. EFDC helps children 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 five programs: Learning Together, Young Explorers, Explorers, Eco-Trekkers, and Afternoon Adventures (new for 2018).

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 in the morning and afternoon.

Lunch care will be available from 12 to 12:30 p.m. for Explorers, Eco-Trekkers, and Afternoon Adventures campers. Lunch care cost is per session (sessions are either 3 or 5 days). 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.

Scholarships are available through the Valerie Kerschensteiner Fund. For more information email us or call (608) 265-5872.

2018 Summer Camp

2018 camps are detailed below. Online registration is available this year, please use the link in left sidebar. Or you can download a registration form to mail in. Confirmations will be emailed. Health forms will be sent to you after registration is confirmed.

Read through camp descriptions below and note desired camps before proceeding to online form.

Learning Together

9:30–11:30 a.m. Ages 3 and 4, entering kindergarten, with an adult. $25, 1-day sessions. Children must be accompanied by an adult, limit two age-appropriate children per adult. Only registered children may attend. Children and adults will explore nature topics through crafts, songs, stories, hikes, and games.

  • LT1: Tuesday, June 12. Insects and Their Flower Friends. FULL
  • LT2: Tuesday, June 19. Swooping Swallows. FULL
  • LT3: Tuesday, July 10. Turtles at the Pond. FULL
  • LT4: Tuesday, July 31. Secrets Inside a Tree. FULL

Young Explorers

9 a.m.–12 p.m. Entering kindergarten and grade 1. $110, 3-day sessions. Great for first-time campers.

  • YE1: Wednesday–Friday, June 20–22. FULL
    Where Do I Live?: Discover animals and the homes they make in prairies, forests, and ponds.
  • YE2: Monday–Wednesday, July 23–25. CANCELLED
    Critters in the Garden: Explore the gardens and investigate the creatures living in the branches, leaves, and flowers of plants.

Explorers

8:30 a.m.–12 p.m. Entering grades 1–5. $105, 3-day sessions; $175, 5-day sessions. Campers will be divided into groups according to age.

  • E1: Monday–Friday, Jun 25–29. FULL
    Let’s Be Soil Scientists: Investigate rocks, roots, fungus, decaying logs, and tiny critters that live beneath our feet as we explore the wonders of the soil.
  • E2: Monday–Wednesday, July 16–18, $105
    Fantastic Flyers: Learn about flight and how insects, birds, and bats navigate. Discover habitat secrets as we search for animals in the air.
  • E3: Monday–Friday, Aug 6–10. FULL
    Operation Adaptation: How do spiders survive the cold and prairie plants survive the heat? Learn about plant and animal adaptations and how people coped with harsh conditions while living on the land.

Eco-Trekkers

Entering grades 6–8. 8:30 a.m.–12 p.m. $175, 5-day sessions. Campers will delve deeper into topics and participate in citizen science and service learning projects.

  • ET1: Monday–Friday, Jun 25–29
    Let’s Be Soil Scientists: Investigate rocks, roots, fungus, decaying logs, and tiny critters that live beneath our feet as we explore the wonders of the soil.
  • ET2: Monday–Friday, Aug 6–10
    Operation Adaptation: How do spiders survive the cold and prairie plants survive the heat? Learn about plant and animal adaptations and how people coped with harsh conditions while living on the land.

Lunch

12–12:30 p.m. Open to Explorer, Eco-Trekker, and Afternoon Adventure campers. $15, 3-day sessions; $25, 5-day sessions. Campers must bring their own lunches.

  • L1: M–F June 25–29, $25
  • L2: M–W July 16–18, $15
  • L3: M–F August 6–10, $25

Afternoon Adventures

Entering grade 1–5 or grades 1–8. 12:30–4 p.m. $105, 3-day sessions; $175, 5-day sessions. Campers will be placed in mixed age groups.

  • AA1: Monday–Friday, June 25–29, grades 1–8. FULL
    Animals All Around: Learn about Wisconsin animals and how they compare to animals of the world.
  • AA2: Monday–Wednesday, July 16–18, grades 1–5, $105
    Game It Up with Nature: Board games, races, cooperative activities, competitions—play and create nature-related games.
  • AA3: Monday–Friday, Aug 6–10, grades 1–8. FULL
    Artfully Amazing: Observe your surroundings, look for patterns and details, and create art from what you see.