Wetlands & Woodlands summer camps are fun, hands-on learning adventures for children ages 4 to 11. We encourage campers to develop a greater understanding, appreciation of, and respect for God’s amazing creation. Our camps provide a comfortable and safe learning environment where campers become immersed in the outdoors.

Camps themes and dates are are usually announced in February with registration opening on March 1st. All registration is completed online. You are welcome to join our e-mail list to receive a registration reminder; please subscribe at the bottom of our homepage.

For 4, 5 and 6 year olds (entering pre-K and kindergarten)

Developed for shorter attention spans, our camps will keep the busiest of 4, 5 & 6 year olds engaged. Campers will explore the theme of the week through outdoor exploration, puppet shows, storybooks, music and movement activities, critter devotions, helping hands service learning activities and nature art projects specifically designed for this age group. Children must be 4 years old by the start of camp, ready to attend independently, and must be toilet trained. The session fee covers healthy snacks, nature art project materials, lots of individual attention, discovery take home sheets, family night activities, and loads of fun. Family Nights are on Thursday evening.

For 6, 7 and 8 year olds (entering grades 1-3)

This camp is designed to introduce very young scientists to Michigan’s flora and fauna using science inquiry methods. Using our theme of the week, campers will learn about the animals and plants that live in our forests, meadows, and wetlands in a hands-on, feet-in way! With activities appropriate for this curious and excitable age, campers will discover more about their world and their Creator as they spend time exploring the Ecosystem Preserve. Nature art projects, short experiments, critter devotions, helping hands service learning projects and other activities balance outdoor exploration and games. The session fee covers healthy snacks, nature art project materials, lots of individual attention, take home discovery sheets, family night activities, and loads of fun. Family Nights are on Thursday evening.

Past Camp Themes for 4 to 8 Year Olds

Aquatic Adventures: Dive into Michigan's Wetlands. Explore the lives of aquatic animals and learn more about how to help these amazing creatures.
Blooms and Bugs: Sunflowers, Bees, & Honey. Discover Michigan's summer flowers, their pollinators, and products that both plants and their pollinators provide us with.
Creepy Crawlies: Salamanders, Spiders, Slugs & More. Learn more about Michigan animals that creep, slither, and wiggle in a safe and fun way.
Enchanted Forest: Explore Michigan's Beech Maple Forest. From the forest floor to the canopy, learn more about the plants and animals that make their homes in our forests.
The Giving Tree: Explore a Tree and the Animals that Call it Home. Trees provide us with oxygen, shelter, food and a multitude of other products and services. Campers will learn more about these “giving trees” and discover some of the animals that call them home.
Web of Life: Explore a Food Chain. Discover that everything in life is connected as we see how energy flows through a food chain. From grass to the top predator, God provides all of Creation with their basic needs.
Winged Wonders: Michigan's Butterflies, Birds, Bees, Bats and More. Find out if Flying Squirrels really fly and learn more about our winged creatures that live here in West Michigan.
Wildlife Detectives. Use your detective skills as we search for and identify "clues" that animals leave behind.

Jr. Naturalist Club for 9, 10 and 11 Year Olds (Entering Grades 4-6)

This camp is designed to engage campers with a strong interest in learning more about a variety of different science fields such as entomology (insects), botany (plants), mammalogy (mammals), ornithology (birds), limnology (ponds and lakes), and herpetology (reptiles and amphibians). Campers will spend time doing various activities related to each field of science, including: explore the preserve, conduct small experiments, journal and sketch, participate in preserve research and service learning activities, create nature art projects, and meet scientists and conservation professionals who work in the different fields (when applicable). Different fields of study are offered on a three year rotation, so returning campers will find the curriculum engaging. One day during camp, campers will take an off-site field trip to explore either Flat Iron Lake Preserve or one of our beautiful state parks. The session fee covers materials for activities and experiments, healthy snacks, nature art project materials, transportation cost for field trips, lots of individual attention, and loads of fun.

Other Summer Camps at Calvin University

Various departments at Calvin offer a variety of other summer camps for students ages 4-18 years old. Visit Camps at Calvin to find out more.

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