Summer nature adventure camps are back in 2021!
Let our academic outdoor camps provide context and hands-on-learning for some of those topics that got brushed over or completely skipped during our 2020-2021 academic year!
Our interdisciplinary, outdoor activities incorporate a range of subjects to help your children integrate knowledge and skills into comprehensive understanding.
Our counselors are mature college students or professionals with an interest in experiential education. We’re outside all day and we keep our camper-to-counselor ratio low (6:1 or less) to ensure your children’s safety during our engaging lessons.
Traditional nature adventure camps
The nature books come alive in these comprehensive 5-day summer day-camps for rising first through eighth graders. Camps take full advantage of the property’s spectacular location at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Campers have plenty of fun while learning about the diversity of plants and animals in the center’s woodlands, grasslands, freshwater streams, and beautiful stretch of the Big Otter River. Free play, supervised hikes and river splashing also help introduce campers to the wonders and beauty of nature in Virginia. And when shelter and shade are called for, the onsite education building and pavilion provide additional spaces for activities designed to entertain young minds.
*We have had to make changes to our anticipated camp structure for 2021. Unfortunately, we do not anticipate providing transportation from University of Lynchburg this year. Although we will also be operating on a slightly shorter camp day, we are offering an option for extended child care, which will allow your children extra hiking and/or project time on-site.
**We occasionally have research or education assistantship opportunities for mature high school students. If interested, email email@example.com.
Nature adventure camps for Sprouts and Cubs
- June 7-11 (sprouts only)
- June 21-25 (sprouts and cubs)
Sprouts – rising 1st – 3rd graders (ages 6-9)
Nature Makes Sense
Campers will spend time outdoors experiencing nature through four of their six senses: sight, hearing, smell, and touch. They will learn descriptive vocabulary, compare and contrast objects they contact, and engage in creative interpretation of what they experience.
Cubs – rising 4th – 6th graders (ages 9-12)
Diversity, Diversity, Diversity
Kids will discover diversity in nature by exploring the woods, ponds, river banks, and fields of Claytor Nature Center. They will see many different critters from grubs to raptors to deer and learn about how all the animals compete with each other for resources and sometimes form beneficial partnerships. They will discover that there are more animals out there than we see at first glance and that we all have a role to play.
Full-Day Schedule for all camps
- 9 a.m. Drop off at picnic pavilion at Claytor Nature Center
- 2 p.m. Pick up at picnic pavilion at Claytor Nature Center
- *3:30 p.m. Pickup at picnic pavilion for those adding extended child care hours
*Extended child care option available for an additional fee.
Camp fees for 2021:
We know it’s been a rough year all around, so we are lowering our prices for 2021. Joining our Otter Romp membership program will make this price even cheaper and give you benefits for the whole family!
|Early Bee (March 14)||Early Bird (April 30)||Base Price (after April 30)||Multiweek or Multichild Discount|
|Member||$190||$200||$215||8% off bill|
|Non-Member||$225||$235||$250||8% off bill|
|Add-ons||Extended afternoon hours
(pickup at 3:30 p.m.)
|Nature camp water bottle||+ $16|
Registration is more limited than usual this year. Reserve your child’s spot by registering and paying the minimum deposit. We will email you the required health form and liability waiver, or you can download those here: health form and liability waiver.
Refund policy: We know that life happens and that sometimes plans must be cancelled. However, due to the planning and expenses required to staff our camps, the minimum payment (50%) required at registration is both your reservation fee and cancellation fee. We can issue full refunds minus this fee up to four weeks prior to the start of camp. For cancellations within four weeks of the start of camps, we can issue a 25% refund of the total payment due, if already paid in full. Alternatively, we can credit your account with Claytor Nature Center for the amount you have paid, which can be applied towards an Otter Romp membership, other camps, or other educational programs. Should a resurgence of COVID-19 cause us to cancel camps, we will remit a full refund, without cancellation fees, unless you prefer for us to credit your account. It may take up to six weeks for refunds to be processed.
NEW! Pre-College Career Exploration Expedition for High School Women
Overview:The University of Lynchburg Pre-College Career Exploration Expedition is a collaboration between the University of Lynchburg Faculty, Claytor Nature Center, and the Outdoor Leadership Program. This one-week program is open to young women who have just completed Grade 9, 10, or 11 and are looking for meaningful ways to engage with the environment and explore careers in the outdoors. The expedition will travel from Eagle Rock to Snowdon on the James River. We will teach you everything you need to know to have a great time on and off the water. All participants will learn skills associated with wilderness travel, Leave No Trace, swiftwater rescue, and whitewater paddling. We will also have the opportunity to engage in a citizen science project during the week. Each day we will meet professionals from different careers and get a taste for some of the things those professionals do. We will finish the week at the University of Lynchburg, where we will put your new found leadership skills to the test on the high ropes course. We will also explore the campus and use the laboratory facilities at the university. Our expedition will culminate with a creative presentation on the Dell for the families and friends of the students hosted by the students themselves.
Begins: June 27, 2021, 4:00 p.m. at Claytor Nature Center EcoLodge
Ends: July 3, 2021, 12:00 p.m. at University of Lynchburg Dell
July 3, 10:00 a.m – 11:30 a.m. culminating presentations on the Dell
Registration Fee: $500*
*Registration fee is not eligible for a discount through CNC’s Otter Romp program, but some need- based scholarships are available. Scholarship recipients will be involved with an additional community outreach project related to what they learned. Please inquire with firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Included in registration:
- All necessary gear*
- All meals and transportation
- Leave No Trace Certification
- Paddling training
*All necessary camping and paddling gear will be provided, but students are welcome to bring their own camping and fishing gear if they choose.
Application and acceptance process: Expedition applicants must apply through our online form. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, beginning March 29. If accepted, participants will have three weeks from the date of acceptance to pay a nonrefundable $250 deposit to reserve their spot for camp. Health forms will be emailed with the acceptance letter and can also be found on the summer camp webpage and here: health form and waiver form. Health forms and the remainder of the camp fee will be due by June 6.
When applying through our pre-registration form, high school applicants will be requested to provide the following application information:
- Name your favorite subject in school and describe what you like about it.
- What kinds of careers have you considered for yourself?
- Have you previously considered that you could find a career working outside?
- Have you ever previously participated in an overnight paddling trip?
- Have you ever previously participated in any citizen science projects?
- Write in your words why you would like to be part of this expedition.
- What do you hope to get out of your involvement in the program?
- What are your concerns about being in the program?
- What three facts would you like your counselors to know about you?
COVID-19 concessions: Participants will be asked to wear masks when indoors or in close company with others. We will monitor the health conditions of all individuals daily.
Email email@example.com with questions.
Hiring for Summer Camps
Interested in employment, internship credits, or a new training experience? Each year, we hire multiple camp teachers for our summer camps.
Candidates must have graduated with or be pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree, although equivalent content area or teaching experience will be considered in lieu of a degree. Ability to relate to children from diverse backgrounds is required. Experience teaching groups of children in either a classroom or outdoor setting is preferred, as is knowledge of curriculum development and classroom management. Applicants should be physically fit and be able to walk around outdoors for the entire day, while also encouraging children to enjoy conditions that may be uncomfortable at times. Applicant screening for the 2021 camp season will begin January 11, 2021, and will continue on a rolling basis until positions are filled.
The application begins with an initial screening application via Google Forms. The first round of reviews will begin January 11, 2021. For those selected, a second round of face-to-face or phone interviews will follow. If selected with intent to hire, your position will be contingent upon formal application as a University of Lynchburg employee and successful passage of a background check.
To apply, please fill out an initial screening application online via the hyperlink: CNC Teacher/Counselor Application 2021, and email a pdf version of your cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please thoughtfully complete all questions for the application in their entirety. The online application form cannot be saved, per se, but may be edited at a later time using the emailed link that is generated after you hit the “submit” button. Please be sure to provide a valid email address in your application.
*Note for Noyce scholars: If you are currently a Noyce scholar or are considering the Noyce Scholarship for STEM Teachers program, please contact your program liaison about applying or visit the University’s webpages for more information.
Donate to Camps
Each year we are able to welcome financially needy children to our summer camps, thanks to generous donations from private individuals and local non-profits like the Bedford Outdoor Sportsman Association and Garden Thyme Club of Forest, VA. If you would like to donate a summer scholarship or other funding to our education programs, please contact Danielle Racke, email@example.com.