Summer Outdoor Discovery Day Camps

Important Summer Camp Update:

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, MNHC is cancelling all in-person summer camps in 2020. We have consulted medical professionals, epidemiologists, the Missoula City County Health Department, the American Camping Association, and peer organizations. After thoroughly reviewing their recommendations, guidance, and new restrictions MNHC determined that we cannot currently operate camps and maintain the high quality learning experiences that are expected of our programs. 

We understand that cancelling camps can create many difficulties for registered families. For that reason, we have four options for you to choose from to provide you with as much flexibility and support as possible. 

1. Summer Explorer Kits: While we can’t be together in person, our naturalist instructors can still provide enriching experiences for your campers! Transfer $50 of your camp registration to a Summer Explorers Kit to receive activities and supplies for a week of outdoor based learning and exploration, coupled with (optional but fun) online group activities with MNHC’s teaching naturalists. Learn more and sign up. 

2. Deferral: You can defer your registration and secure a guaranteed spot in camp for 2021.

3. Donate to MNHC: Consider donating all or a portion of your registration fee. MNHC is a nonprofit that relies on income from program fees; your donation means a great deal in helping us through this pandemic.

4. Full Refund: We have waived our usual cancellation policy and will gladly issue a full refund. We ask for your patience as we work to process these requests. 

Please fill out this form by July 1st to get the process started and let us know of your preferred option.

If you have questions, feel free to contact MNHC or give us a call at 406.327.0405. Thank you all for being part of the MNHC family. We are eagerly waiting for the time when we can explore the outdoors again together!


Camp Notes

Parents are saying great things about MNHC summer camps!

     “MNHC camps get kids outside with the care and guidance from staff who can model curiosity, enjoyment of the outdoors and a conservation ethic. That’s pretty special!”

     “Your kids come home tired and dirty and totally happy! They learn so much about the outdoors and how to take care of it.”

     “[My daughter now] teaches us about things she sees outdoors and where the birds are going and traveling from.”

     “If you want your child to have a fun, outdoor experience outside with other kids in Montana this is it!”

     “This is what childhood and summer are all about!”

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. 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.

Refunds: Program fee is refundable ONLY if a cancellation is made 30 days before the start of camp, minus a non-refundable administrative fee of 25% the program fee per camp. Withdrawals after this deadline forfeit the full registration fee. Membership fees are non-refundable.

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.

Apply for a Camp Scholarship

The Montana Natural History Center is able to provide a limited number of need-based scholarships for our summer camps. The scholarship application period is February 1-March 1. We strongly encourage those interested in a scholarship to apply before March 1.

To learn more and apply for a scholarship, please click here to access our scholarship application form.