National Wildlife Refuge System
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Campers in the Tualatin Riverkeepers Summer Day Camp enjoy a canoe trip on the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in 2009
Campers in the Tualatin Riverkeepers Summer Day Camp enjoy a canoe trip on the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in 2009.
Credit: Tualatin Riverkeepers

Last Chance for Refuge Camp

Many National Wildlife Refuges around the country will host summer camps and environmental education programs for children and teens this summer. Some camps may still have openings, so act quickly. The programs immerses campers in hands-on environmental activities such as studying wetlands, identifying insects or learning nature photography to inspire a love of nature in kids. Please contact the refuges to confirm capacity availability.

Crane Camp
Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge, Gautier, Mississippi
Camp dates: Three-day program, June 16, 17, 18, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 (noon) p.m.
Ages: 9 to 11
Cost: $5
For more information, call Emily Neidigh at 228-497-6322 or e-mail emily_neidigh@fws.gov.
For more information on the refuge, visit http://www.fws.gov/mississippisandhillcrane/ or call 228-497-6322

Environmental Summer Camp
Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge, Hobe Sound, Florida
Camp dates: One-week sessions from June 14 to July 23, 9:00 a.m. — 12:00 (noon) p.m.
Ages: 6 to 12
Cost: $80; siblings $75
Program focus: Live native wildlife presentations, nature crafts and games, netting and more.
For more information, visit http://www.hobesoundnaturecenter.com/ or call 772-546-2067.
For more information on the refuge, visit http://www.fws.gov/hobesound/ or call 772-546-6141

Tualatin Riverkeepers Nature Day Camp
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood, Oregon
Camp dates: Two, week-long sessions, June 21-25, and July 19-23
Ages: Session 1: ages 4-6. Half-day camp from 9:00 a.m. — 12:00 (noon) p.m. Session 4: ages 11-13, 9:00 a.m. — 3:30 p.m.
Cost: Session 1: $95 for members,$135 for non-members. Session 4: $135 for members; $170 nonmembers.
Program focus: Session 1: Bugs, Birds, and Butterflies; Session 4: Wild Life
As part of this camp, there are sessions available within the Tualatin River watershed.
For registration and program details, visit http://www.tualatinriverkeepers.org/summercamp2010.html.
For more information on the refuge, visit http://www.fws.gov/tualatinriver/ or call 503-625-5944.

Children in the Woods Day Camp
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia
Camp dates: Four, one-week sessions between June 21 and August 13.
Ages: 8-12
Cost: $50, scholarships are available
Program focus: Activities may include crabbing, clamming, bird walks, surf fishing, bicycling, archery, photography, kayaking and marine exploration.
Deadline: Applications must be received in the refuge office by 5:00 p.m. on June 4. Campers will be chosen by lottery.
For application forms, visit http://www.fws.gov/northeast/chinco/. Camp details and photos from last year’s program are also available at the Chincoteague Natural History Association’s Web site at http://www.piping-plover.org/. Go to the Kids Corner tab and click on Children in the Woods.
For more information on the refuge, visit http://www.fws.gov/northeast/chinco/ or call 757-336-6122.

Nature Explorers Day Camp
Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, Sudbury, Massachusetts
Camp dates: Three days. July 21-23, 9:00 a.m. — 4:00 p.m.
Ages: 8-12
Cost:  $150
Program focus: Hands-on, nature-based activities and team building such as fishing, photography workshop and learning about refuge wetlands.
To register, call 978-443-4661, ext 34.
For more information, visit http://www.fws.gov/northeast/assabetriver/ or call 978-443-4661.

Nature Camp
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Camp dates: Three, week-long sessions: June 28-July 1, July 19-30 and August 2-6.
Ages: 8-14
Cost: Free
Program focus: Session 1, 9:00 a.m. — 2:00 p.m., Monday-Thursday. Schoolyard/backyard habitat. Sessions 2 and 3, 9:00 a.m. — 2:00 p.m., Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m. — noon on Friday. Hiking, birding, fishing and other nature activities.
For more information, visit http://www.fws.gov/heinz/index.html or call 215-365-3118.

Student Conservation Association (SCA) Youth Work Camp
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Camp dates: Six, six-week-long sessions, July 6-August 13.
Ages: High school
Cost:  Free. Participants earn $7.25 per hour.
Program focus: After three days of training, each week of camp session will consist of four days of outdoor trail maintenance or habitat work such as invasive species removal, followed by one day of environmental education field trips.
To apply, visit http://www.thesca.org/. At the top of webpage, select "serve," then "community programs," then "Philadelphia."
For more information on the refuge, visit http://www.fws.gov/heinz/index.html or call 215-365-3118.

Other Refuge Camps:

Browse the websites of National Wildlife Refuges for openings in camps they host. Start by visiting http://www.fws.gov/refuges/. Use the map to "Find Your Refuge." The drop-down menu below "Find Your Refuge" lets you search for refuges by state, alphabetic listing or zip code.
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