Join us to explore nature this summer!

young boy looking at a frog he's holding in his hands

MNHC offers full-day, week-long, nature-themed day camps all summer long for preschool (age 4 and up) through 5th grade.

We are planning for great adventures in 2020–including *new* opportunities for more campers!

Check back in early 2020 for information on next summer’s camps! You can also add your name to our email list to receive updates about camps.

Dates for 2020 Camp Registration:

February 1-March 1: Scholarship pre-approval period

March 1: Scholarship applications due

March 12: Camp registration opens

2019 Summer Camp Descriptions

Here’s a snapshot of what our campers explored last summer!

*New for 2019*: To make our camps more accessible to everyone this summer, we are offering each of our most popular camp programs twice. Both of these offerings will be very similar. For instance, Rockin’ Rocks I and Rockin’ Rocks II will include almost the same activities and field trips. Because experiences will be repeated, we do not recommend signing up your camper for both sessions of the same camp.

Outstanding Outdoor Skills
If you’re looking for an action-packed week of trying out new outdoor skills, this camp is for you! Have a blast while also learning some tips and tricks that will help you stay safe and have more fun out in nature. We will explore natural areas around Missoula, learn about fire safety, read maps and compasses, build shelters, discover helpful plants, get to know local wildlife, and more.

Amazing Anglers
Summer is a great time to fish Montana’s rivers and ponds. Wade right in this week and reel in adventure as we explore stream ecology, learn about fish and their ecosystems, discover how fish grow and survive, practice our fishing techniques, and try to catch the big one!

Nature Detectives
Nature is full of discoveries waiting to be unearthed, and mysteries waiting to be solved! This week, we’ll follow our curiosity as we investigate local nature–from plants to insects to birds to unidentified objects. We’ll use naturalist tool like binoculars, microscopes, nets, field guides, and our own creativity to ask questions, find clues, collect evidence, and solve mysteries about the world around us.

Rockin’ Rocks
Calling all rock-hounds and fossil lovers: join us for a rockin’ good week of camp! Experience the rock cycle, investigate the different types of rocks and fossils, start a rock collection, create rock art, and explore the geography of local natural areas as we dig in and discover the geology of Montana.

Camp Notes:

Age Ranges: Camps are offered each week for children age 4 through 5th grade. While all campers will explore the same camp theme each week, participants are grouped by the grade they are entering in the fall, 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 2019. All campers must be potty-trained.

2019 Camp Prices: 

  • Preschool-Kindergarten Camps: $235/$210 with MNHC Membership
  • Grades 1-2 and 3-5 Camps: $215/$190 with MNHC Membership

Become a member and save! MNHC members (family and grandparent) receive a $25 discount per camp! Click here to purchase your 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. 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.