Summer Camps

Check out out pictures and quotes from 2015 Explorers summer camp-Click here!

At Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center we believe in fostering appreciation and inspiring stewardship of the natural world through quality environmental education, conservation practices, and outdoor experiences for all visitors. Our beautiful setting, interesting exhibits, professional staff and variety of programs are sure to offer everyone an exciting experience.

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Carpenter Nature Center offers a variety of day camps ranging from ‘Single Day Half-day’ to ‘Week-long Full Day.’ These Summer Camps at CNC offer children ages 5 and up a unique experience to laugh, play, and learn in nature. The professional staff and trained interns will guide children through interactive, age appropriate, awe inspiring activities including games, crafts, nature hikes.

Please contact the day camp coordinator via email or call 651-437-4359 for more information.  Payment and a completed 2016 summer camp registration form required for all camp programs. Registrations will be accepted up to 1 week prior to camp, if space is still availableClick here to download a registration form: summer camp reg form 2016

Click Here for a 2016 summer camp brochure.

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Single half day adventures for children ages 6-11

Come to CNC for a half day of fishing fun. Bring your own rod and reel if you have one, or use one provided. The majority of the time will be at the river so please be prepared with a water bottle, sunscreen and appropriate clothing.

Dates :  July 28* & August 10, 2016  (Register for one or both of them!)

Time:  1:00 pm—4:00 pm

Program fee:  $30 per child /$20 per child for “Friends of CNC” per session.

*If your child will be here for Pioneers Day Camp they can bring a bag lunch and stay for Fishing Fun. Pioneers must be registered for Fishing Fun to participate.

Junior Naturalist Camps

Week long day camps for children ages 5-11

Nature Nuts  (Ages 5 & 6) –FULL FOR 2016 – Call  651-437-4359 to be added to the waiting list

We will make crafts, play games, have a snack, and explore CNC’s trails every day as we learn about the many plants and animals that make their home at CNC.  Snacks provided.  Families are invited to a family picnic on Friday at noon.

Dates:      June 27—July 1, 2016

Times:     9:00am – noon

Program Fee: $99 per participant OR $89 for “Friends of CNC”.

Pioneers  (Ages 7 & 8)

We will make crafts, play games, have a snack, and explore CNC’s trails every day as we learn about the many plants and animals that make their home at CNC.  Snacks provided.  Families are invited to a family picnic on Friday at noon.

Dates:  July 25-29, 2016

Times:  9:00am – noon

Program Fee: $99 per participant OR $89 for “Friends of CNC.”

Explorers (Ages 9-11) FULL FOR 2016 – Call  651-437-4359 to be added to the waiting list

Explore nature with us as we hike, make snacks, create projects, meet friends, and visit the beach nearly every day.  Snacks provided but participants should bring their own bag lunches and a water bottle. On Thursday campers will pack up for a canoe adventure at a nearby lake and camp-out at CNC Thursday night through Friday morning. Families are invited to a family picnic on Friday at noon.

Dates:      July 11-15, 2015

Times:     Monday—Wednesday 9:00am – 4:00pm & 9:00am Thursday—noon Friday

Program Fee: $169 per participant OR $159 for “Friends of CNC.”

Eco-Navigators Camps

Specialized camps designed to foster an interest in nature for children ages 12+

Raptor Camp (Ages 12+)

Spend a day at CNC and the Raptor Center at the University of MN learning about amazing birds of prey. On day one learn raptor basics, play predator-prey games, and observe raptors in the wild while you hike at CNC. Spend day two at the Raptor Center meeting their birds, observing raptor care and learning about the process of rehabilitating an injured bird of prey. Transportation to the Raptor Center is provided.

Dates:     August 1-2, 2016

Times:     9:00 am —4:00 pm

Program Fee: $125 per participant OR $115 for “Friends of CNC.”

Canoe Trip (Ages 12 yrs & up)

Build your outdoor confidence.  Join us for a three day/two night canoe trip on the Namekagon and St Croix Rivers.  We’ll canoe about 17 miles and spend 2 nights camping along the shores of these scenic rivers.  Canoeing experience a plus but not required.  We supply canoes, paddles, food, cooking equipment, tents, transportation, PFDs, and our expertise.  This is sure to be a fun and challenging experience.

Dates:     August 3-5, 2016

Times:     9:00 am Wed.—4:30 pm Fri.

Program Fee: $225 per participant OR $215 for “Friends of CNC.”

Pathfinders (Ages 11-15)

Get hands-on experience learning about urban and rural ecosystems using field research and resource management techniques such as bird banding, prairie restoration, sustainable agriculture and wildlife monitoring. Students will take field trips to see bison in the prairie, catch invertebrates in the Kinnickinnic River, visit the Science Museum of MN and urban gardens, and harvest vegetables to make your own pizza. This new summer camp experience is being made possible through a USDA-NIFA funded grant and partnerships with the University of Wisconsin River Falls and the Science Museum of Minnesota and will be based out of our Wisconsin Campus, 300 E. Cove Rd. Hudson, WI.

Dates:     August 8-12, 2016

Times:     9:00 am —4:00 pm

Program Fee: $179 per participant OR $169 for “Friends of CNC.”

CNC camps fill quickly – Register early!

Click here to download a registration form: summer camp reg form 2016

To register, mail registration & payment to:

Carpenter Nature Center

12805 St. Croix Trail S.

Hastings, MN 55033

“Friends of CNC”:  Families and their children are eligible for camp discounts if they are current “Friends of CNC”  at the “Family”  level or above.

Deadline:  Space is limited, register early!  Registrations will be accepted up to 1 week prior to program if space is available.

Staff:  CNC camps are staffed by professional naturalists (First Aid/CPR certified) and CNC interns who strive to include all children in quality hands-on nature oriented activities.

Activities:  All campers will be encouraged to take part in all activities including crafts, games, nature hikes, snacks, etc.  Please inform CNC immediately if your child has any condition or allergies which may prevent them from taking part in all camp activities so we may plan accordingly.

Health & Permission Forms:  Upon receipt of registration and payment, CNC will mail a checklist of items to bring, health forms, and any applicable permission forms (for off-site activities) prior to camp.  Forms are due the first day of camp.

Weather Policy:  A great deal can be learned about nature in a rain shower, so programs will not be cancelled due to rain.  If weather conditions are severe, activities may be altered or postponed if necessary.  Adults will be notified if program changes will arise when your child is in the care of CNC staff.

Cancellation Policy:  Full refund will be given if cancellations are made at least 2 weeks prior to camp. No refund will be given after that date.