Campers have fun while gaining appreciation for nature by meeting live animals, building forts, and getting their hands dirty.
Read about our seasonal camp offerings.
Spring Break Camps for children in Grades K-4
March – April | Two-day camps | 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Registration opens in March
Spend spring break outdoors. The weather might be unpredictable, but the forecast shows a 100% chance of fun!
Summer Camps for children entering Grades 1-5
See Dodge Nature Preschool for Pre-K
June – August | Four-day camps | 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Registration opens in March
Bring your sense of adventure to camp this summer. New friendships and a sense of independence included in this summer experience!
Fall Break Camps for children in Grades 1-8
MEA Break in October | Single-day camps | 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Registration opens in September
Fall camps are full of energy and seasonal color. Send the kids on over to the nature center during MEA break!
Dodge Nature Center is committed to providing high-quality environmental education while ensuring the health and safety of everyone involved. Camps will be held outdoors, with CDC and MN Department of Health procedures in place. Amid the spread of the Delta variant, we have updated our safety guidelines:
– Face masks are required for all campers and staff while indoors, and any outdoor activities where a physical distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained. We allow exemptions for those who have medical or other health conditions, disabilities or mental health, developmental, or behavioral needs that make it difficult to tolerate wearing a face mask. Please contact us in advance of your camp if this exemption applies to your child. We will create a plan with you that will ensure the safety of other campers and staff while allowing them to participate.
– Physical distancing of at least 6 feet will be incorporated into all activities.
– Whenever possible, activities will be held outdoors, and campers will spread out around the nature center.
– Groups of campers onsite will coordinate to use separate facilities and conduct separate activities.
– Frequent handwashing with soap and water will be required. Hand sanitizer and disinfecting supplies will also be available.
– Bug spray and sunscreen should be applied before camp and will only be reapplied by campers under the supervision of staff.
Registration is done on a first-come, first-served basis. Deadline for registration is one week before the start date for each camp. Full payment of camp fees is due upon registration. Spots are only guaranteed once the Camper Registration Form AND your payment are received. Phone registrations are not accepted. Payment and registration must be done online.
Dodge Nature Center is committed to serving families from all economic backgrounds. Families are encouraged to inquire about assistance in order to make camp affordable. Scholarships are available to those who qualify.
If a camp fills and you would like to be added to the waitlist, please email email@example.com with your child(ren)’s name, grade, and the name of the camp(s) you would like to be added to. If space opens in a camp, campers will be offered a spot in the order waitlist requests were received.
Requests for cancellation must be made at least one week prior to the start of camp to qualify for a refund. All requests for cancellations will be assessed the following fees:
– Summer Camp: $50 processing fee per camp cancelled
– Fall Break Camp: $20 processing fee per camp cancelled
– Spring Break Camp: $20 processing fee per camp cancelled
No refunds will be issued for requests made less than one week to the start of the camp. No substitutions or transfers will be permitted.
Campers will be checked in and out at the location listed for the camp. To ensure the health and safety of campers and their families, the following procedures have been established:
– Drop-off will begin promptly at 8:15 am and end at 8:30. Adults dropping off campers will remain in their vehicle in the drop-off loop. One staff will check in your camper and record their responses to wellness questions as well as persons authorized for pick-up at 3:00 pm.
– Campers who are healthy will be sent to their group leaders.
– Pick-up will begin promptly at 3:00 pm and end at 3:15. Adults picking up campers will remain in their vehicle.
Your camper will be guided by highly trained naturalists and volunteers. All camps will maintain a 2 to 15 ratio of staff to campers. Campers requiring supervision beyond the nature center’s campers-to-staff ratio may need to provide a personal aide at their own expense.
When children are having a hard time controlling themselves, staff will intervene in a manner which is educational, rather than punitive. We will help children see the connection between their behavior and its consequences. Methods of discipline will include clear rules, redirection, planning ahead to prevent problems, encouragement, and the use of logical and natural consequences.
In the rare event that a child’s ongoing disruptive behavior escalates to physical or verbal violence, the Environmental Education Director may remove the child from camp.
Camps will not be cancelled due to inclement weather; activities will be adjusted for the safety of the campers. Always dress campers to be comfortable in forecasted weather conditions.
After camp checkout at 3:15 p.m., there is a $5 charge for every 15 minutes an adult is late picking up a child.