Viles Arboretum offers a variety of educational youth programs designed to engage children with nature. Our fun, interactive hands-on programs take full advantage of our 224 acre preserve. Whether you are looking for a low-cost educational activity to do with your child on the weekend, searching for school trip opportunities or exploring an outdoor summer camp opportunity, Viles Arboretum has options for families and educators alike.
The summer camp programs at Viles Arboretum offer engaging and educational opportunities for children ages 7-12. At this unique day camp, campers can explore nature, learn about ecology, and participate in outdoor activities such as hiking, gardening, and bird-watching. With experienced counselors and a beautiful natural setting, Viles Arboretum's summer camp program is the perfect way for kids to learn, grow, and have fun during the summer months. Whether attending one, or all five, of our week-long summer sessions, campers will come away with new knowledge, skills, and memories to last a lifetime.
Built on prior years of summer camp's at Viles Arboretum, this summer enrichment experience will give children the chance to become scientists for the week. Children will collect samples, use tools like microscopes, learn real-life survey techniques and more. Coupled with summer camp classics like group games, arts and crafts, and time to just explore the woods, this week is a celebration of the great outdoors. This program follows a “student-led” model, encouraging youth to explore and within their interests and establish their own boundaries. Our model offers a unique opportunity for children to play and learn in a safe environment that is more lightly structured and not overly restrictive. There is a good balance between structured and choice-based program opportunities available throughout each day of camp.
In addition to in-depth exploration, children will also have the opportunity to tackle their own service project as environmental stewards, helping to take care of and celebrate the rich Arboretum resource.
This program will provide new, age-appropriate opportunities for campers that have aged out of our original Young Steward Camp by taking the same fun, exploration-based model and adding new activities and challenges for the older age group. This program follows a “Counselor in Training” model, offering participants the chance to learn real leadership skills through assisting councilors with daily activities associated with the Young Stewards Program. Members of the Environmental Leaders program will also have opportunities to participate in new interest-focused activities that allow them to develop their skill sets and interests. This program provides opportunities for youth to develop the skills they need to to become the future Environmental Leaders of our communities and beyond. Participation in the CIT program helps students gain the skills necessary to become a member of the summer camp staff team in subsequent years.
Get ready to get your hands dirty this April Break! Our April Break mini camp provides families a more engaging opportunity for child care during April break. This camp will offer many similar activities and opportunities as our summer program, but in a condensed time frame with a “spring twist”. This early season program will offer some unique opportunities that are not available during the summer such as garden preparation, vernal pool explorations and tree planting.
The price of camp is calculated using a sliding scale income-based model. What you pay for camp is adjusted based on household income. This price is calculated in the cart when you answer the "what is your household income" question. The price breakdown is as follows:
- Less than $10,000 - Contact us!
- $10,001 - $30,000 - $107
- $30,001 - $60,000 - $155
- $60,001 - $90,000 - $225
- $90,001 - $120,000 - $273
- $120,001 and above - $316