NATURE CAMPS IN WASHINGTON
Based in Clifton, this weeklong day and overnight program takes 8-to-14-year-olds canoeing, spelunking, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Contact the camp for rates.
Audubon Naturalist Society
Campers ages 4 to 17 come to the 44-acre preserves in Chevy Chase and Leesburg. Day camps run $148 to $360 a week for Audubon members, $218 to $430 for nonmembers. Overnight programs are $288 to $600 for members, $358 to $670 for nonmembers.
Barrie’s 45-acre Silver Spring campus has riding stables, fields, ponds, and streams. Two weeks of day camp cost $870.
Browne Summer Camp
This camp’s grounds feature a competition-size swimming pool and three playgrounds. In the “Nature in Your Own Backyard” program, campers raise monarch butterflies from eggs. Open to children in preschool through eighth grade. The cost is $255 to $525 a week.
Burgundy Summer Day Camp
This Alexandria day camp’s 25 acres include a pond, barn, and amphitheater. A week’s tuition for 4-to-15-year-olds is $340. Extended days are available for a surcharge.
Calleva Outdoor Adventures
This family-owned camp on the Potomac River offers day and overnight programs. Core staff work full-time and lead campers (ages 6 to 15) as they rock-climb, kayak, and ride horses. A week of day camp costs $475 to $495; overnight is $795 to $1,200.
Three-to-ten-year-olds spend an hour a day with a science-and-nature specialist who leads nature walks and outdoor science experiments. Two weeks at this day camp cost $250 to $490.
Camp Sonshine Wilderness Adventure
Rising fourth-through-tenth-graders hike, swim, build fires, and learn archery at this day camp near Silver Spring. Rates run $207 to $329 a week.
This 40-acre Falls Church day camp has nature-themed specialty programs including “Green Science” and “Eco Quest.” Designed for children ages 3 to 14. One week costs $200 to $350.
Discovery Creek and Discovery Adventure
Five day-camp programs are tailored to children ages 4 to 14. Days start at 9 am at multiple locations including Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and Glen Echo Park. A week costs $295 and up.
202-488-0627 ext. 236
Grace Episcopal Day School
Led by an elementary-school science teacher, the four-day nature program for day campers ages six to ten has a bug-digging, creek-stomping, muck-making ecological curriculum. The four-day camp costs $290.
301-949-5860 ext. 54
Summer Safari Day Camps
At the National Zoo, campers learn about animal behavior through science projects, arts and crafts, and zoo walks. Four- and five-day sessions cost $280 to $350 for full day, $200 to $250 for mornings only. Kindergarten through seventh grade.
Valley Mill Camp
This Darnestown day camp on a two-acre lake offers canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, swimming, nature study, and more. Ages 4 to 14. Tuition is $2,940 for a six-week session, $1,470 for three weeks.
YMCA Camp Letts
Set on a Chesapeake Bay inlet, this camp is more than 100 years old. Kids can canoe, swim, ride ponies, and build campfires. One- and two-week overnight programs for campers ages 6 to 16. YMCA members pay $300 to $1,315, nonmembers $330 to $1,365.
This article first appeared in the February 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.