Kalamazoo Nature Center is Excited to Get Kids Back to Nature for an Amazing Week (or 2!) of Summer Camp

Kalamazoo Nature Center kids playing in creek

Go Wild at Kalamazoo Nature Center

Located five miles north of Kalamazoo and recognized by its peers as one of the top nature centers in the country, the Kalamazoo Nature Center (KNC) includes 1,200 acres of wooded, rolling countryside.

There is always something new to do at KNC with featured programs every month for kids and adults. Over 14 miles of hiking trails wind through some of the most special habitats in Michigan.

This summer, KNC wants to get kids off their screen, out of the house, and back to nature for a great week (or more!) at summer camp. 

What You Can Expect at Kalamazoo Nature Center Summer Camp

Nestled deep within the 1,200 acres that make up Kalamazoo Nature Center’s main campus, preschool through 8th grade campers will feel like they are a world away just five minutes from downtown. 

They’ll explore the many different habitats that make KNC so unique. From prairie, wetland, and forest to river and farm, there is much to experience. 

Camps offer a broad range of activities and special themes to suit every interest. There is always time to enjoy splashing around in Nature’s Playground, explore the gravel pits, and make new friends. 

Kids can have fun being themselves while developing a strong sense of social and environmental responsibility, and a deep connection to nature. 

Older campers will explore team-building courses, onsite adventures, and campouts! KNC welcomes kids of all abilities and will work closely with you to make sure your child has a great experience.   

Kalamazoo Nature Center Summer Camp Session Details

Each summer camp at Kalamazoo Nature Center is sure to be a fun time. Campers will sing songs, make art and crafts, play games with new friends, hike the trails and so much more — all while exploring nature. Each week of camp has a different theme so kids can attend multiple sessions and get a different experience each time. 


Nature’s Way Preschool Summer Camp: Ages 4-5 + Alumni Camp (K-4)
Nature’s Way Camps are located at Nature’s Way Preschool, 4442 Oakland Dr, Kalamazoo.  Led by our talented preschool teachers, each camp includes hiking, nature play, and hands on learning activities.

June 14-18:  Nature Stories, the work of Eric Carle. 
June 21-25:  Nature Stories, the work of Lois Ehlert. 
July 19-23:  Alumni Camp: Open to campers who attended Nature’s Way Preschool as students and are entering kindergarten through fourth grade. 

Schedule: Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM.
Junior Naturalists Camp: Ages 4-5
Discover interesting habitats, learn more about animals and plants, and practice outdoor skills. 

Themes Include: Furry Friends, Tree Huggers and Dinosaur Safari. 

Schedule: Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Snack included.

Elementary School (Grades 1 – 5)

Grades 1 – 3
Explorers Camp (Full or Half Day)
Spend the day outdoors discovering the wonders of prairies, forests, and wetlands.

Themes Include: Gentle Giants, Soaring Heights and Wade Right In. 

Choose either full or half-day sessions. Half-day sessions: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM with snack included.
Grades 4 – 5
Wild Child Day Camp (Full Day)
Explore the Delano Homestead side of KNC’s property. (Full days)

Wild Child Campout (Full Day + Overnight)
Stay with KNC overnight! Use your Wild Child skills during the day, then on Thursday learn to set up tents, cook over fires, and take a night hike – a KNC specialty! 

Young Farmers (Full Day)
A farm is a great place to experience nature while exploring and playing outdoors. Each session will highlight the changes the farm goes through during the growing season.

Middle School (Grades 6 – 8)

Grades 6 – 8
Adventure Camp (Full Day)
Each of our middle school camps includes a Thursday night, backcountry camp out onsite at KNC. Each week we’ll focus on building special, outdoor experiences and skills. Gain leadership and teamwork experience on the Low Ropes Challenge Course.

Note: Participants should be able to carry a 30lb pack, walk two miles a day, and learn and use backcountry bathroom techniques where there are no facilities available. 

Young Farmers (Full Day)
A farm is a great place to experience nature while exploring the outdoors. Learn about soil making, seeding, planting, tending, harvesting, and giving back to the land that provides our food.
Kalamazoo Nature Center kids throwing pottery

COVID-19 Safety Precautions

Keeping your children as safe and healthy is the number one priority at Kalamazoo Nature Center. 

KNC has made a number of procedural changes in 2021, based upon both CDC and ACA guidance. For more information, consult the Guardian Handbook.

New KNC Health and Safety Changes
Reorganized drop off and pick up procedures
Modified daily activities
Added staff members

Additional Safety Measures
– Staff health screenings
– Mask wearing
– Physical distancing
– Hand washing
– Cohort use (small groups)

Financial Aid is Available

Summer camp is a place for every child to explore and grow and the Kalamazoo Nature Center believes in making camp accessible to everyone. Thanks to generous donors, they have the ability to help make camp more affordable for families.  

During registration, you will be able to fill out a request for financial aid. Those who end up qualifying for a 100% financial assistance award will be refunded their deposit.

Kalamazoo Nature Center Summer Camp Registration FAQ’s

Ages: Preschool camp is for kids ages 4 and 5. Other camp sessions are for grades 1 – 8.

Times: Grades 1 – 8 full-day sessions are Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Preschool & kindergarten half-day sessions run from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM.

Half-day camps for grades 1 – 3 run from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM. 

Overnight Campout: Campout sessions are Thursday 9:00 AM – Friday 3:00 PM. Tent and three meals are provided. Tents are not shared. Please bring your own if you prefer.  

Transportation:  Due to safety restrictions, KNC will not provide bus transportation this summer. 

Friday Family Fest:  No Friday Family Fest this summer due to COVID –19 safety concerns. 

After Care: After Care is available from 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM at $15 per week. Note: After Care is not available for Junior Naturalists Camps.

Refund and Cancellation Policy: No refunds or cancellations within one week (5 business days) from the camp’s start date. A $50 processing fee will be charged for any cancellation prior to one week before a camp’s start date.

There is no fee for switching to another available camp of the same price. If prices differ, payment or refund of the difference will be made. If a camp is canceled, you will be notified by the Tuesday before the camp’s start date and be issued a full refund.  

Partner Info

7000 N Westnedge Avenue

Kalamazoo, MI 49009

FACEBOOK | (269) 381-1574