The Nature Center offers a series of nature day camps each summer for ages 4 to 14.  Younger campers will have fun exploring the outdoors and learning about plants and animals through a variety of activities and games.  Older campers will conduct scientific research, develop team-building skills, and observe nature on adventure field trips into the Nantahala National Forest.

 Registration for the 2017 camps opens is open.

“Plants-a-Plenty”  Ages 4 – 6     May 30-June 2 & August 1-4   9:00 am – 11:00 am  Cost $75 per child

Highlands is a perfect place to investigate plant biodiversity. Campers will be exposed to plant and tree basics while exploring in the Highlands Botanical Garden. From flowers to ferns, the fun is never-ending!

“Nature Play”  Ages 4 – 6  July 9:00 am – 11:00 am; August 1-4  2:00 pm – 4:00 pm   Cost $75 per child

Most learning occurs outside of a formal classroom and numerous studies support playing and learning outdoors. Campers will have the opportunity to improve problem-solving techniques and enhance cognitive abilities all while using play as a learning tool. Interactive investigations, live animals, and fun games make this camp a truly hands-on experience

 “Cycling Through Nature”  Ages 7 – 8   June 6-9  9:00 am – 1:00 pm  Cost $110 per child

The natural world is very cyclical. From life cycles of plants and animals to the water cycle and even the seasons, things tend to happen in circular patterns. We will explore the richness of these cycles throughout the week.

 “Aquatic Adventures”   Ages 7 – 8  July 11-14  9:00 am – 1:00 pm   Cost $110 per child

Being mainly terrestrial animals, humans have long been interested in those organisms that make their home in the water. Join us as we investigate different aquatic habitats and compare those critters to the ones that live on land.

“Citizen Scientists”  Ages 9 – 10    June 13-16  9:00 am – 1:00 pm    Cost $110 per child

Ever dream of being a scientist? Now you can be one! This camp will focus on citizen science projects, where citizens help out scientists by collecting data. Bring your curiosity and investigation skills and prepare to science!

“Hogwarts in Highlands”  Ages 9 – 10   July 25-28   9:00 am – 1:00 pm    Cost $110 per child

The magic of Hogwarts comes to Highlands Biological Station as campers try their hand at classes including Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures, and Potions. Suitable even for Muggles, this camp will connect campers to the natural world with a literary twist!

“Eco-Trekkers: Round 1”  Ages 11 – 14  June 20-23   9:00 am – 4:00 pm    Cost $150 per child

Campers will travel off-campus to explore the wonder and beauty of the Blue Ridge through all-day hikes. Adventure awaits as we investigate natural habitats, reflect through journaling, and practice Leave No Trace ethics!

“Eco-Trekkers: Round 2”  Ages 11 – 14   July 18-21   9:00 am – 4:00 pm     Cost $150 per child

Campers will travel off-campus to explore the wonder and beauty of the Blue Ridge through all-day hikes. Adventure awaits as we investigate natural habitats, reflect through journaling, and practice Leave No Trace ethics!

“Wildlife Warriors”  Ages 11 – 14   June 27-30  9:00 am – 3:00 pm   Cost $145 per child

Campers will learn about different conservation topics through hands-on activities. They will have the opportunity to design investigations of their own and work through the challenges of data collection. Campers will also learn the importance of leadership and teamwork in the conservation field while experiencing all the fun of camp!

 2017 Session Dates:

Dates                     Camp Session

May 30- June 2 …………. Plants-a-Plenty

June 6-9 ………. Cycling Through Nature

June 13-16 ……… Citizen Scientists

June 20-23 ……… Eco-Trekkers: Round 1

June 27-30 ……… Wildlife Warriors

July 4-7 ………. Nature Play

July 11-14 ………. Aquatic Adventures

July 18-21 ………. Eco-Trekkers: Round 2

July 25-28 ………. Hogwarts in Highlands

August 1-4 ………. Nature Play

August 1-4 …………. Plants-a-Plenty

Important Information

Members of the Highlands Biological Foundation at the Salamember and Bear Pen Mountain level receive a discount and early registration for Nature Camps. Registration for members begins in February, and opens to the public in March. To take advantage of these benefits, consider becoming a member today.

If the camp session is full, you may request to be placed on a waiting list, should there be any cancellations.

Please note that each camp lasts four days (Tuesday – Friday).

Due to high demand, Highlands Nature Center reserves the right to cancel any reservations for which payment has not been received within two weeks of the camp session starting date.

How to Apply

Space is limited so we encourage you to register early (see above about early registration benefits for members).

1. Call (828) 526-2623 to reserve a spot in the session your child would like to attend.

2. After confirming that your spot is reserved, download and complete the “camp registration form” in the Links section below. Please return your completed registration form with payment in the form of a check made payable to the Highlands Biological Foundation as soon as possible. Mail the form to 265 North Sixth Street, Highlands, NC 28741.

3. Read the gear list to make sure your child has everything they need to enjoy camp.

4. Let us know if you have any questions – see you this summer!



printable camp schedule

camp registration form

what to bring