Youth Community Groups

Youth Community Programs are designed for groups of children outside of school activities, such as church youth groups, child care programs, etc. The naturalists at CNC recognize that children learn best when they are having fun. These fun, hands-on programs were created from commonly requested topics, and are both educational and recreational. Groups are invited to enjoy the hiking trails, explore the Interpretive Center, or use the picnic tables before or after their scheduled programs.

General Youth Groups

Programs Available

Some of our programs can only be offered during certain times of the year. Please look closely at the program you wish to schedule and that it is available during the season of your visit. In some cases programs can be modified. Call 651-437-4359 for more information.

Learners Ages 5-10 Years Old

  • Animal Charisma– Discover what makes each family of animals so special. Meet some live animals.
  • Animal Signs– Look for clues of animal visitors. Meet some live animals.
  • Apple Orchard (Fall only)- Visit the orchard habitat, sample some ripe apples & taste freshly pressed juice.
  • Bees, Butterflies, & Bouquets– Observe bees & butterflies in action and delight in the sweet smell of flowers! Enjoy a snack at the end.
  • Chow Time– Observe the special ways animals catch & eat their food, then watch them dine.
  • Endangered Animals– Educate yourself about the terms “Special Concern,” “Threatened,” and “Endangered.” Meet a live animal of special concern.
  • Maple Syruping (March only)- Examine the magic that takes place in a Maple tree as we learn how to tap and gather sap to make syrup! Taste the syrup at the end!
  • Migration Mania– Learn the mysteries & dangers of bird migration. Meet a live bird.
  • Nature Scavenger Hunt– Unearth the treasures of nature as you compete to find objects in a scavenger hunt.
  • River Life (Fall, Spring, Summer)- Get your feet wet while exploring the life of the St. Croix River. Please wear shoes and clothes that can get wet.
  • Summerfest– Join us for a summer party! We’ll play games and much more to celebrate summer.
  • Untouchables– Identify poisonous plants and animals. Meet a few of the “undesirable” animals.
  • Wetland Bingo– Explore the wetland by tromping through the mud & the muck & playing bingo. Please wear shoes and clothes that can get wet.
  • Wildlife Walk– Investigate habitats of common wildlife in MN and WI. Meet live animals.

Learners 10 Years and Older

  • Forestry– Find out what makes a forest & why they are so important.
  • Lumberjack Games– Test your skill, strength, and ability with some fun lumberjack games. Please wear shoes and clothes that can get wet.
  • Maple Syruping (Fall only)- Examine the magic that takes place in a Maple tree as we learn how to tap and gather sap to make syrup! Taste the syrup at the end!
  • Map Reading Mystery– Students learn basic map reading skills to find symbols which lead to a treasure.
  • Orienteering Basics– Master the art of map & compass to complete an orienteering course.
  • Snowshoeing (Winter only)- Unveil winter’s mysteries with this ancient sport and learn about winter ecology on a guided snowshoe hike. Snow conditions need to be 6-8inches.
  • Wildlife Walk– Investigate habitats of common wildlife and meet live animals.
  • Wilderness Survival– Build a fire, shelter, and keep a smile as you put your survival skills to the test

$5.00 per child/ 50 child max

Certified teachers and Student Aids are FREE

$5.00 per additional adult chaperone

$50.00 program minimum

Group Size
Group sizes should be at least 10 participants. Please call to discuss options for larger groups. Given enough time in advance, we can arrange classes for larger groups.

Mobility Limitations
CNC welcomes all participants regardless of abilities. Please inform us if there will be a participant with limited mobility when scheduling so that we may make appropriate accommodations.

Medical Emergencies
CNC staff is First Aid & CPR certified and trained to respond to emergencies. However, participants must bring their own medication if necessary.

CNC staff is prepared to deal with most discipline situations. A naturalist may ask for the teacher’s assistance if problems arise.

Accommodations for the Weather
The majority of programs take place outside. It is essential that leaders properly prepare participants to dress for the weather and the chance of getting dirty. CNC staff is prepared to go out in any weather. Leaders are responsible for canceling or rescheduling if participants aren’t prepared for the field trip.

Scheduling Dates
Reservations for each season will be taken after the following dates:

School Year – June 1

Summer – January 1