fbpx

Summer Camp Registration Opens on February 1st at 9am

Members Presale Opens: Jan. 31st at 9am for Members at Family-level and above

Camps that connect kids to nature!

Through exploration, experimentation, and experiences outdoors the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History hopes to inspire future scientists during our weekly day camps. Join us to discover a passion for nature, learning, and community. All Nature Explorers camps connect campers to their environment in fun and exciting ways that engage their natural sense of curiosity while supporting academic success.

Times: Drop-off 8:30-9 a.m. | Pick-up 3-3:30 p.m.
Price: $295 | $20 Sibling Discount | $20 Off for Members (family and above)

Jump To:

Ages 5-7 | Ages 8-9 | Ages 10-11

K-2nd Grade – Ages 5-7

Santa Cruz Safari

June 26-30

CAMP FULL

Calling young explorers and scientists curious about nature! This summer, young naturalists join us on a journey to investigate the wildlife of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Coast. Campers spend the week exploring nearby beach, creek, and garden habitats, and learning about the wild world of animals around us. 

Can You Dig It?

July 3-7 (no camp July 4)

CAMP FULL

Are you a fossil forager, a dinosaur discoverer, or a rock wrangler? Join the Museum as we unearth the fossils, rocks, and ancient history of Santa Cruz by exploring the many surprising things you can learn from digging into the ground. Campers entering K-2nd grade will build friendships while investigating artifacts, studying fossils, playing games, and building awesome crafts! 

Wild World of Santa Cruz

July 10-14

CAMP FULL

Have you ever noticed how places in nature around Santa Cruz are different from each other? In this camp young adventurers can join us on a journey to study the many incredible and interesting habitats you can find here. Campers will become more observant of the connections in nature around them and deepen their appreciation for the natural world.

Art and Science in Nature

July 17-21

CAMP FULL

Calling young artists and scientists curious about nature! This summer, young explorers can join us on a journey to investigate symmetries, patterns, and curiosities in the natural world. Spend the week exploring nearby beach, creek, and garden habitats, and making all sorts of art inspired by what we discover.

3rd-4th Grade – Ages 8-9

Magnificent Museum

JUNE 26-30

CAMP FULL

Are you curious about curating? Join the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History this summer to learn about the natural world by studying museum specimens, exploring outdoors, and building a museum collection of your own. Campers will build friendships while investigating nature, playing games, and creating awesome crafts!

Surviving Santa Cruz

July 3-7 (no camp July 4)

CAMP FULL

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be able to live here in Santa Cruz? This summer, young adventurers can join us as we investigate the plants and animals that call Santa Cruz home and learn how they manage to survive and thrive here. Campers will go on walking field trips to explore nearby habitats, build crafts, play games, and make new friends.

Art and Science in Nature

July 24-28

CAMP FULL

Calling budding artists and scientists curious about nature! Join us on a journey to investigate symmetries, patterns, and curiosities in the natural world. Spend the week exploring nearby beach, creek, and garden habitats, and making all sorts of art inspired by what we discover. Observe, explore, and appreciate the wonders of the natural world here in our backyard as well as in the Museum’s collection.

Bodacious Botany

July 31 – aug 4

CAMP FULL

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be able to live here in Santa Cruz? This summer, young adventurers can join us as we investigate the plants and animals that call Santa Cruz home and learn how they manage to survive and thrive here. Campers will go on walking field trips to explore nearby habitats, build crafts, play games, and make new friends.

5th-6th Grade – Ages 10-11

Biomimicry

July 10-14

Biomimicry is an engineering concept that uses ideas from nature to create sustainable solutions. We invite kids to spend the week exploring and drawing inspiration from nature to solve design challenges and engineer their own solutions to help humans live more sustainably on Earth. The week leads up to completing an engineering project and an Open House to showcase all the interesting discoveries made at camp.

Elements of Nature

July 17-21

Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water. These “ancient elements” of nature affect our lives every day and we invite kids entering 5th-6th grade to join the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History for Elements of Nature camp. These forces of nature shape everything in the world around us and kids will participate in a wide variety of projects, science investigations, explorations, and games.

Budding Naturalists

July 24-28

Have you ever wondered how some people know so much about nature? This summer, young adventurers can join us to learn the skills that naturalists use to study all of the facets of nature. Campers will go on walking field trips to explore nearby habitats, learn nature journaling techniques, build crafts, play games, and make new friends.

Experiments in Nature

July 31-Aug 4

CAMP FULL

Are you a future scientist? We invite kids to join the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History for Experiments in Nature camp to perform experiments and studies in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, ocean studies, and climate science. Explore nature while learning more about how scientists study the natural world that surrounds us..

Spring Break Camp: Ages 5-7

April 3 – 7, 2023 – CAMP FULL

Please email education@santacruzmuseum.org if you would like to be added to the waitlist

Times: Drop-off 8:30-9 a.m. | Pick-up 3-3:30 p.m.
Grades:
K through 2nd grade (ages 5-7)
Price: $275 | $20 Sibling Discount | $20 Off for Members (family and above)

Description:
Are you a super sleuth when it comes to nature? Join the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History this Spring Break for Nature Detectives camp to solve puzzles and mysteries of the natural world. Campers will investigate phenomena and collect evidence to draw conclusions about the natural world around us while playing fun games and making great crafts and friends.

Our experienced staff will promote meaningful experiences in nature and positive social interactions as we set out on our expeditions. Each day will involve outdoor nature exploration, hands-on learning, and related games and crafts. We will investigate insects and animals, study plants and flowers, and observe our many Museum specimens. The week will lead up to an Open House to showcase all the interesting discoveries made at camp. Join us to build connections to nature and stewardship for our future!

Kids who participate in the Nature Detectives camp will leave with a sense of wonder and excitement for nature. They will be proud protectors of Santa Cruz’s natural treasures, ready to share their discoveries with their friends and family. Each of the five days will focus on a different theme that will guide a variety of art projects, science investigations, explorations, and games. “Leave no trace” ethics and safety in nature will be emphasized throughout the week so that campers will leave equipped with a better understanding of how to responsibly interact with the natural world.

Camp Details

Camp Scholarships

The Scholarship Fund is made possible by generous donations by members of the community. We hope to reduce barriers to enriching experiences such as our science camps for families in our community who would otherwise not be able to afford such opportunities. CLICK HERE to apply for a camp scholarship.

If you would like to donate to the camp scholarship fund, CLICK HERE to donate.

Discounts

To receive your Member Discount (Family-level and above) when registering, please sign in to the ticketing site. Use the discount code Sib2023 when registering a sibling to receive $20 off.

Special Precautions

The health and safety of our campers and staff is of utmost importance. If your child is experiencing symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19, please keep them home. You will be refunded a pro-rated amount for any days of camp missed.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations will incur a $15 processing fee. Cancellations within 2 weeks of camp are non-refundable. If your child is unable to attend because they or someone that they have come into contact with has tested positive for COVID-19, you will be refunded a pro-rated amount. We do not want financial considerations to interfere with making healthy decisions for your family.  

If the Museum cancels camp before it begins, you will receive a full refund. If camp must be cancelled after beginning, you will receive a pro-rated refund.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What should my camper bring every day? Please send your camper with: LUNCH AND SNACKS, layers, clothes that can get dirty during exploration, sturdy closed-toe shoes (no flip flops!), water bottle, hat/sun protection, medicine (see below). Please label your camper’s belongings so we can help them keep track of their things.
  2. Does the Museum provide lunch? The Museum DOES NOT provide lunch. Please provide your own snacks–there will be a mid-morning and mid-afternoon break every day. Ensure that you pack enough food to fuel a fun and very active day.
  3. Should my camper bring medicine? If your camper needs to take medication during the day, please make sure that they have it with them including instructions that they can follow. Alert staff that your child has these. The Museum does not provide or administer medication of any kind.
  4. What if my camper has allergies? Please indicate your camper’s allergies and their severity (touch, inhalation, ingestion) upon registration. Include in your child’s daily pack any emergency medication as needed (anti-histamine, epi-pen, etc.) with clear instructions detailing symptoms and your preferred plan of action and doctor’s contact information. We may ask that all campers and staff restrict what they bring to camp if we find that we are unable to otherwise provide a safe environment according to the severity of a camper’s allergy.
  5. How will campers get to the field trip sites? All field trips are within walking distance. 
  6. Who are the camp staff? This camp has been developed by the Museum’s education team. The lead instructor is an experienced educator, camp leader, and environmental scientist. He is accompanied by other education staff and volunteers. All staff and volunteers have passed background checks. Staff are all CPR and First Aid certified.
  7. Is there a Scholarship Fund? Yes! We welcome donations to support the scholarship fund. We offer full and partial scholarships to support families with demonstrated financial need. CLICK HERE to apply for a scholarship
  8. How can I learn more details about the camp schedule? You will receive your “Camp Handbook” two weeks in advance of camp with more detailed information about field trips, daily themes, and what to bring.

Your feedback about the website, registration system, and camp are greatly appreciated. The Museum’s education staff has years of experience in environmental education, outdoor learning, and running camps at various outfits across the state and are eager to share their passion for the environment with your family. Feel free to share your thoughts, concerns, or questions with education@santacruzmuseum.org.

Creative Commons License The artwork on this page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.