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Summer Science Camps

First and Second Grade Summer Science Camps

This summer, unlock your child’s imagination with interactive outdoor adventures among 1,700 acres of trees.

Content Detail

Explore summer science camps for children entering first or second grade that offer opportunities to play, paint, explore, and learn. Designed by Arboretum experts, these camps provide a foundation for the next generation of young conservation and environmental scientists, artists, and outdoor enthusiasts.

Week-long camps run Monday, June 5, through Friday, August 11.

Summer Science Camp registration opens on Monday, January 2 for donors including Thornhill Society level memberships and Morton 6 memberships. On Sunday, January 15, registration opens for members including Morton 4 to Morton 1 memberships. On Sunday, February 5, registration opens to the public.

Learn more about each camp below and find availability for each session:

For questions about registration, call 630-719-2468 Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For parents requiring additional schedule flexibility, after selecting the camp/s your child will attend, be sure to select the option “add more to your cart” to review additional supervised play options that extend pick-up and drop-off times as needed. Already registered for summer camp and need to add Supervised Play? Register here for Supervised Play, or if you need help read the Supervised Play Registration Helpful Hints document.

Once your child is registered, you will be emailed a Welcome Letter, Registration Form, and Medical Authorization Form if applicable, to send back before camp begins.

Waitlist

Due to an increase in demand, many of this year’s Summer Science Camps have already sold out. Please add your name to the Summer Science Camp waitlist to be contacted for the camp sections you are interested in, should additional seats or additional sections become available.

Accessibility

The Arboretum strives to provide accessible experiences for all children. Contact the camp and scout supervisor at 630-719-4890 or kphelps@mortonarb.org to discuss your child’s needs prior to registration.

Sponsors

Summer Science Camps are generously supported by:

New! Animal Engineers: full day two week camp

From intricate bird nests to astounding beaver dams, animals are engineering all around us. Take a closer look at the construction techniques used in the animal kingdom and take on wild STEM building challenges.

  • Section A: June 12 to June 16 and June 19 to June 23, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

See camp availability >

Awesome Art: full day camp

Become a nature artist! Use nature as your inspiration to explore texture, color, and dimension. Learn about different artists’ techniques and create your own nature-related artwork to take home.

  • Section A: June 5 to June 9, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Section B: July 10 to July 14, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Section C: August 7 to August 11, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

See camp availability >

Camping Out: full day camp

Gear up for a daytime camping excursion. Learn how to pitch a tent, fish, and make s’mores. Enjoy nature games, hikes, and songs.

  • Section A: June 5 to June 9, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Section B: June 26 to June 30, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Section C: July 24 to July 28, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

See camp availability >

Chirp, Click, Buzz: full day camp

Birds sing, crickets chirp, and frogs chorus out in the woods. Experiment with the science of sound and build your own nature-based instruments to play.

  • Section A: June 19 to June 23, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Section B: July 24 to July 28, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

See camp availability >

New! Eco-Investigators: full day, two-week camp

Put your detective skills to the test!  Explore the habitats of the Arboretum, conduct nature experiments, and learn what it takes to be a nature sleuth.

  • Section A: July 10 to July 14 and July 17 to July 21, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

See camp availability >

Fantastic Fish: half day camp

From fins to scales fish are fascinating creatures! Discover more about fish and the habitat they live in while you enjoy fish stories, games, and cast a net to find out what fish live at the Arboretum.

  • Section A: June 19 to June 23, 9:00 a.m. to noon
  • Section B: July 10 to July 14, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Section C: July 31 to August 4, 9:00 a.m. to noon

See camp availability >

Forest Fairy Friends: half day camp

Are fairies hidden in the forest? Discover woodland plants and animals, create your own fairy, and work together to build a fairy village.

  • Section A: June 12 to June 16, 9:00 a.m. to noon
  • Section B: June 26 to June 30, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Section C: July 24 to July 28, 9:00 a.m. to noon

See camp availability >

Nature’s Lab: full day camp

Explore nature through the eyes of a scientist. Catapult seeds, make sun prints, and experiment with leaves as you use the outdoors as your laboratory.

  • Section A: June 26 to June 30, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Section B: July 31 to August 4, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

See camp availability >

Nature’s Super Heroes: half day camp

How strong is a spider’s web?  How do bats hunt?  How fast is a hummingbird? Use your knowledge of nature’s super powers to create your own superhero, play games, and look at real animal “powers” close up.

  • Section A: June 5 to June 9, 9:00 a.m. to noon
  • Section B: June 19 to June 23, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Section C: July 17 to July 21, 9:00 a.m. to noon
  • Section D: July 31 to August 4, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

See camp availability >

New! Pirates and Pines: half day camp

Ahoy matey! Start your voyage around the Arboretum to explore different trees and look for buried treasure.

  • Section A:June 12 to June 16, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Section B: July 10 to July 14, 9:00 a.m. to noon
  • Section C: July 24 to July 28, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

See camp availability >

New! STEM: Branching Out: full day camp

What can you build with branches? Challenge yourself to work as a team to tackle engineering and art activities. Celebrate art and engineering as we explore how natural materials can be used to create sculptures, or solve problems.

  • Section A: June 12 to June 16, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Section B: July 17 to July 21, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Section C: July 31 to August 4, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

See camp availability >

Young Impressionists: half day camp

Become a mini Monet! Explore the Arboretum for artistic inspiration and use impressionist techniques to create a masterpiece.

  • Section A: June 5 to June 9, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Section B: June 26 to June 30, 9:00 a.m. to noon
  • Section C: July 17 to July 21, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Section D: August 7 to August 11, 9:00 a.m. to noon

See camp availability >

Registration, Cancelation, Transfer, Late Pickup, and Refund Policies

Registration

Space is limited. Preregistration is required and payment is due in full at the time of registration. Camp registration closes at 4:00 p.m. the Monday prior to the next camp’s week. All camp forms, including Medication Authorization Forms with doctors’ signatures, must be in before the start of camp.

Refunds

We are unable to give refunds for camp within three weeks of the start date of the camp. A $15 nonrefundable processing fee is included in each camp registration fee. If your child is unable to attend camp due to medical reasons, you may receive a refund prior to the start of camp with a doctor’s note. We are unable to refund for missed days of camp.

Cancelations

The Morton Arboretum reserves the right to cancel a camp due to low enrollment. Camp participants will be refunded in full for cancelations.

Transfers

We are unable to do transfers within three weeks of the start of the registered camp. Transfers will only be applicable from a camp of equivalent pricing. A $10 transfer fee will be assessed at the time of transfer.

Late Pickup

If a child is picked up late, parents/guardians will be assessed a $15 late fee per child for pickup 15 minutes late and $1 per minute thereafter.

Pricing

Early Bird Pricing through March 5

Fill your summer calendar early and take advantage of early bird pricing for summer camps. Prices are discounted until March 5. Early bird Pricing offers discounts to both members and nonmembers.

  • Full-Day Camps (until March 5) $355 (nonmembers $395)
  • Two-Week Full-Day Camps (until March 5) $690 (nonmembers $770)
  • Half-Day Camps (until March 5) $205 (nonmembers $235)
  • Full-Day Camps (after March 5) $365 (nonmembers $410)
  • Two-Week Full-Day Camps (after March 5) $720 (nonmembers $810)
  • Half-Day Camps (after March 5) $210 (nonmembers $245)
  • Morning Supervised Play (8:00 to 9:00 a.m.)
    $60 (nonmembers $70)
  • Midday Supervised Play (noon to 12:30 p.m.)
    $15 (nonmembers $20)
    Free with purchase of two half-day camps
  • 30-Minute Afternoon Supervised Play (3:00 to 3:30 p.m.)
    $15 (nonmembers $20)
  • Afternoon Supervised Play (3:00 to 5:30 p.m.)
    $90 (nonmembers $106)

For parents requiring additional schedule flexibility, after selecting the camp/s your child will attend, be sure to select the option “add more to your cart” to review additional supervised play options that extend pick-up and drop-off times as needed. If your child is already registered for summer camp and need to add Supervised Play, follow the links below.

Register here for Supervised Play, or if you need help, read the Supervised Play Registration Helpful Hints document.

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