Summer Camps

Summer Outdoor Discovery Day Camps

camp cattail fun

Our week-long camps engage children in the study of the natural world. Camps are packed with hands-on activities, unique learning opportunities, and field trips to local natural areas. Programs are available for children ages 3 years through high school. 

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

Registration for 2017

We are looking forward to an exciting summer packed full of exploration, learning, and fun!  Sign up for our email newsletter to receive updates about all things summer camp!

Camp schedules, descriptions, and scholarship applications are now available, so you can start planning your summer!

MNHC is happy to be able to provide a limited number of scholarships for our summer camps.  Click here to apply for a scholarship, and be pre-approved before registration opens!

Registration for camps will open in early March.

Registrations in camps are on a first come, first served basis.

General Camp Information:

Our Program Goals:
*To provide quality outdoor education experiences to all participants through exploration, guided discovery, and hands-on learning.
*To teach stewardship through daily activities.
*To provide kids with the opportunity to develop a positive, respectful, long-term relationship with nature that will stay with them throughout their lives.

2017 camp prices:

  • Preschool-Kindergarten Camps: $225/$200 with MNHC Membership
  • Grades 1-2 and 2-5 Camps: $200/$180 with MNHC Membership
  • Expedition: Explore! 3-5 Overnight: $225/$200 with MNHC Membership
  • Backyard Biologists (Middle School Overnight): $225/$200 with MNHC Membership

2017 Day Camp Program Hours
Monday – Friday, 9:30am to 3:30pm.
Extended care is available free from 8:30-9:30am and 3:30-5:30pm.

All camps begin and end at the MNHC at 120 Hickory Street in 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-8th grade camps may travel as far as the National Bison Range, Seeley Lake, or Beavertail Pond. All buses are equiped 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.

Age Groups
Students will be divided into camp age groups based on their school grade, and content and activities will be geared towards students in a specific grade range.  This allows our instructors to plan age-appropriate activities.  Our age categories are Preschool-Kindergarten, grades 1-2 and grades 3-5.  Camps are designed for students entering grade levels noted in the fall of 2017.

This year we area also offering a *new* “Backcountry Biologists” camp for 6-8th graders, featuring a 2-night overnight.

Our camps get outside every day. All camps will use our activity buses for field trips. Preschool camps will participate in local field trips within the Missoula area. The 1st-8th grade camps can expect to drive as far as the Bison Range, Seeley Lake, or Beavertail Pond for field trips. Specific field trip and activity information will be provided for you on your first day of camp but you may contact us with questions

Cancellations/Refund Policy
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.

MNHC has limited scholarship funds and does not grant full scholarships for any program. Those interested in a partial scholarship must:

1. Fill out a scholarship request form online.
2. We will review the form and will contact you within 5 business days of receiving the completed form. At this time, if applicable, we will verbally award you a scholarship.
3. If you are awarded a scholarship, are responsible for paying the remainder of the camp fee (minus any scholarship). Your child is not registered until you pay the full remainder of the fee. Please contact MNHC to register with your payment information.

Registrations in camps are on a first come, first served basis.

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