Summer Camps

Join us to explore nature this summer!

MNHC offers full-day, week-long, nature-themed day camps all summer long for preschool (ages 4 and up) through 5th grade. Keep reading for more information about all the adventures we have planned for 2018!

Registration for 2018 camps opens on March 15th. 

–NEW– The 2018 scholarship application is now available, and the scholarship pre-approval period for 2018 lasts through March 7th. MNHC has a limited number of partial scholarships available for families in need. Click here to learn more and apply for a scholarship. 

If you apply for a scholarship before March 7th, you will be notified of your award before camp registration opens on March 15th. (After 3/7 we will continue to accept applications, but cannot guarantee you will be notified before registration starts.)  (Please note–this is NOT the registration form for camps. Registration opens March 15th.)

Click here for the top 10 reasons to come to camp at the Montana Natural History Center!

2018 Summer Camp Descriptions

Nature’s Engineers (June 11th-15th)
Join us for a week of hands-on building and invention! We’ll discover and investigate the creatures that shape the world around us. We will build models and structures based on nature and our imaginations, solve engineering problems, and visit local natural areas to see nature’s engineers in action!

Animal Olympics (June 18th-22nd)
Do you love to leap like a frog, slither like a snake, slink like a snail, or sprint an antelope? Join us for an energizing week learning about the natural world through games and play. In a non-competitive environment, we’ll get active, explore the outdoors, and gain a new appreciation for animals and all the things they do!

Outstanding Outdoor Skills (June 25th-29th)
If you’re looking for an action-packed week of learning outdoor survival and wilderness skills, this camp is for you! Have a blast while exploring the outdoors and learning survival skills, such as tracking, orienteering, fire safety, map-making, and more.

Fantastic Fish and Where to Find Them (July 9th-13th)
Summer is a great time to fish Montana’s rivers and ponds. Reel in adventure this week as we explore stream ecology, learn about fish and their ecosystem, practice our fishing techniques, and try to catch the big one!  Thanks to a generous gift from Hellgate Hunters and Anglers, all campers this week will take home their own spinning rod!

Super Scientists (July 16th-20th)
Join us as we get outside and discover the science of nature!  We’ll visit field sites, help gather data, meet with professional biologists and scientists, learn about their research and design our own experiments.

Extraordinary Explorers (July 23rd-27th)
This week is all about exploring as naturalists! Spend each day on grand adventures to local natural areas, looking for animal signs, searching for insects, investigating wildflowers, and using our curiosity and naturalist tools to discover the world around us!

The Art of Nature (July 30th-August 3rd)
This camp will get creative and artistic (and probably a little messy!) as we explore art in nature. We’ll explore local natural areas, visit with artists, and tour nature-based art exhibits to inspire our own art. Join us as we paint, draw, sculpt, sing songs, create skits, and celebrate our amazing Montana environment!

EcoHeroes (August 6th-10th)
Get involved, make a difference, and be an EcoHero! This week we’ll explore the outdoors and learn about how we can give back to our community. We’ll meet some of the Montanans working to care for our natural areas, and we’ll also help design and participate in fun stewardship projects so that we can be EcoHeroes ourselves!

Rockin’ Rocks and Fabulous Fossils (August 13th-17th)
Calling all rock-hounds and fossil lovers! We’ll spend this week creating a rock collection, learning about how fossils are made, discovering the rock cycle, and more as we explore local areas, investigating the amazing geology of Montana!

Age Ranges: 

Camps are offered each week for children age 4 through 5th grade.  Campers are grouped by grade, which allows us to design age-appropriate activities. Our age categories are preschool-K, grades 1-2 and 3-5. Camps are designed for students entering the grade levels noted in the fall of 2018. Preschool campers must be potty-trained.

2018 Camp Prices: 

Preschool-Kindergarten Camps: $235/$210 with MNHC Membership

Grades 1-2 and 3-5 Camps: $210/$190 with MNHC Membership

Times and location:

Camps take place every weekday, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; FREE before and after-care is available 8:30-9:30 a.m. and 3:30-5:30 p.m. Camps begin and end at the Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory Street, Missoula.

Field Trips and Activities: 

Our summer camps participate in a wide range of nature-based activities. Your child can expect to be outside every day. We take time to explore natural areas from the perspective of a naturalist: a scientist, artist, and writer. Each camp will also include games and time for play in the outdoors which research shows is important for children too. Kids can expect to learn a lot while having fun!

All summer camp groups will take field trips using our activity buses. Preschool camps can expect to stay in town for field trips but 1st-5th grade camps may travel as far as the National Bison Range, Seeley Lake, or Beavertail Pond. All buses are equipped with safety belts, and staff are trained, have passed required certification tests, and are evaluated for safe driving. Parents may provide a booster seat for their child though they are not required. One of our buses has a lift to accommodate wheelchair users.

Specific field trip and activity information will be provided for you on your first day of camp but you may contact us with questions.

A parent or guardian will be asked to sign a release form and provide emergency contact information before camp starts. Participants are responsible for following camp safety rules and procedures.

Montana Natural History Center trips are permitted on the Lolo National Forest (Clause VII.B).
Montana Natural History Center is an equal opportunity service provider.


Program fee is refundable ONLY if a cancellation is made 30 days before the start of camp, minus a $50 non-refundable administrative fee per camp. Withdrawals after this deadline forfeit the full registration fee. Membership fees are non-refundable.


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