Nature Explorers Summer Camp

Registration begins Friday, February 1, 2019 at 12 p.m. (noon) and is exclusively online. Register early; space is limited!

Register Now!

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"This is my son's hands-down favorite summer experience. The counselors are great and he loves the activities."

"It was just lovely. I've already raved to anyone who would listen about the great time my child had. We'll definitely be back next year!"

"It was an excellent program overall and beautiful way for children to get acquainted or reacquainted with nature"


Does your child love being outside and exploring nature? Are you looking for an exciting and enriching summer camp that features discovery-based learning, small group sizes (camper to staff ratio of 4:1), experienced educators, and loads of fun? Nature Explorers Summer Camp is for you! Our unique program is designed to:

  • connect children to nature through direct experiences,
  • foster respect and appreciation for the environment,
  • cultivate a love for science-learning, and
  • promote conservation ethics.

Kids discover the wonders of the native plants, animals, and habitats of North Carolina through hands-on outdoor exploration, games, stories, arts/crafts, and more. Camps take place on the grounds of our beautiful campus, featuring native plant gardens, nature trails, ponds and stream, and LEED-certified Education Center. All programs offer a balance of in-classroom learning and outdoor field experiences taught by experienced educators, certified in CPR/First Aid, and supported by teen volunteer Counselors-in-Training (CIT).



June 10-14, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
June 17-21, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
June 24-28; 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Curious preschoolers will love this camp, designed to provide playful, hands-on experiences with the natural world in a small group setting. Young campers will use all of their senses to watch for frogs, listen for birdsong, smell the flowers, touch slimy worms, and taste from the vegetable garden. A new theme will be introduced each day through nature walks, crafts, stories, puppet shows, and group play. Snack included. Each session has 10 campers. *You may only register your child for one week of this camp theme.
Fee: $145 ($130 members)


July 8-12; 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
July 15-19; 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Learn about native bats, birds, bugs, and even seeds that fly as we search the gardens, forest, and ponds for nature's winged wonders. Campers will investigate the lives and habitats of our high-flying neighbors and enjoy hikes, games, stories, and crafts. Each session has 16 campers. *You may only register your child for one week of this camp theme.
Fee: $285 ($256 members)


July 29-August 2; 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
August 5-9; 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Whether your child is interested in plants, bugs, or birds, this is the camp for kids who love nature! Campers spend the week honing their naturalist skills and developing an understanding of ecology by getting their hands dirty exploring the Garden's woodlands and wetlands. Guest naturalists, art projects, and field trips will enrich our nature study and fun! Each session has 16 campers. *You may only register your child for one week of this camp theme.
Fee: $285 ($256 members)


Fee: $50 per week; Time: 3:00-5:00 p.m.
After Care is open to all campers enrolled in full-day (9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.) camps: Things with Wings and Junior Naturalists. After care may include games, quiet time for reading, and exploring in the children's garden and/or Discovery Room. Please provide an afternoon snack. You can add After Care during the online registration process. The additional fee will be added to your checkout total.


Registration begins Friday, February 1, 2019 at 12 p.m. (noon) and is exclusively online.

Register Now!


1. Choose your camp: Use the camp descriptions to choose the session that matches your child's age level and your schedule.

2. Register Online:

  • Access the online registration system via the yellow "Register Now" button after February 1, 2019 at 12 p.m. (noon)
  • Select the camp session from the calendar
  • Create a login and password (if you don't have one already).
  • Add your child as a registrant to your account by clicking on the “ Click Here to Add Another Registrant to Your Account” button. (If you do not do this, you will be registering yourself as an adult for camp!)
  • Follow the prompts to register and pay.
  • Need help? Please contact Emily Oglesby, Registrar, via email, or call 919-843-8524.

3. Submit Required Forms: To finalize your registration, please complete and return the Camp Release Forms, also included in your registration confirmation email, immediately. The Garden reserves the right to cancel your registration if these forms are not submitted by the due date, May 1, 2019. Your child cannot attend camp unless we receive these forms.

It’s easy to submit Camp Release Forms!

  • Scan and email to:
  • Fax to ATTN: Elisha Taylor to 919-962-3531
  • Hand-deliver to ATTN: Elisha Taylor to the Education Center reception desk during regular business hours
  • Mail to: ATTN: Elisha Taylor, NC Botanical Garden, UNC-CH, CB 3357, Chapel Hill, NC 27599


  • Registration is exclusively online. Phone or paper registrations are NOT accepted.
  • Full payment is due at the time of registration.
  • You must register your child for a camp planned for the age s/he will be by the first day of the camp session. There are NO EXCEPTIONS. Our programs are carefully designed to be age-appropriate.
  • Children may not repeat any camp program of the same name in the same summer.
  • No pro-rated daily rates are available.
  • No refunds for missed days of camp.
  • Membership fees and scholarship donations are non-refundable.
  • Members at the “Household” level (not “Individual”) are eligible for discounted camp fees. If you register for camp as a member but do not have current membership, your registration is subject to cancellation and your fees refunded, minus a 20 percent administrative fee. Membership status is subject to verification.


If the camp you have selected is full, you may choose to join the waitlist during the online registration process. Please do not call or email. If a spot should open up for your child, you will receive a phone call and email immediately, offering you the position. We will wait 48 hours to hear a response from the first person on the waitlist before we contact subsequent families. Once the open spot is accepted, payment and registration for the summer camp will be due.


The Garden reserves the right to cancel a camp session if there is insufficient enrollment. If a session is cancelled, all fees, minus non-refundable membership fees, will be fully refunded.

If you cancel on or before April 19, 2019, your camp fee is fully refundable minus a $50 administrative fee per camp.

If you cancel after April 19, 2019 but before May 24, 2019, you will receive a 50% refund of the camp fee.

If you cancel on or after May 24, 2019, you are not eligible for any refund.

To cancel your registration, click the cancellation link found in your original registration confirmation email, or submit your cancellation request in writing to Emily Oglesby, registrar, via email or call 919-843-8524.


The Garden depends on its members. Membership dues directly support the Garden's conservation mission and programs.

Members at the “Household” level (not “Individual”) are eligible for discounted camp fees. You must complete the membership process before you begin the camp registration process. There is no opportunity to become a member or renew your membership during the online camp registration process.

Download the Membership Form [PDF] to join or renew your membership. Print, complete, and either mail to the NCBG or hand-deliver to the Education Center. If you have questions about your membership status, please contact Allison Essen by email or call 919-962-0642.


For questions about registration, please contact Emily Oglesby, Registrar, via email or call 919-843-8524.

For questions about the camp program, please contact Elisha Taylor, Camp Director, by email or call 919-537-3770.


The Garden offers limited need-based scholarships to those who could not otherwise participate in camp. To apply, please complete and submit the 2019 Camp Scholarship Application. Applications must be received by March 8, 2019. Scholarship recipients will be notified by March 15, 2019. For questions, please contact Elisha Taylor, Camp Director, by email or call 919-537-3770.

Donate to the CAMP SCHOLARSHIP FUND! Please help give all children the opportunity to experience summer camp and the wonders of nature. Donate online now!


The Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program is open to students in rising grades 9-12 who have an interest in and enthusiasm for working with children in an outdoor setting and gaining experience in environmental education. CITs are part of the camp staff and volunteer under the supervision of the Camp Director and Garden Educators to assist with weeklong nature camps for children ages 4-12. Responsibilities include engaging and overseeing children during camp activities (hands-on outdoor explorations, games, crafts, etc.), set-up and cleanup, and assisting with after care. CITs serve for a minimum of two camp weeks and participate in a required orientation/training session. Being a CIT is a great opportunity to fulfill high school service-learning hour requirements and gain experience in environmental education!

To apply, please submit the 2019 CIT Application by April 5, 2019. Students, not parents, should complete the application and make any inquiries personally to the Camp Director! For questions, please contact Elisha Taylor, Camp Director, by email.

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Updated on February 02, 2017 at 08:19:55 am.