Children explore the natural world when they attend Camp Dawes. Journey through a variety of ecosystems, observe nature, create outdoor-inspired crafts and cultivate a sense of adventure and curiosity. Every session of camp includes a balance of organized games and activities and child-directed choices, with nature as the focus.
2017 Camp Sessions
A Camp Dawes Favorite (❤︎) New for 2017 (+)
June 5 – 9
A great place for budding nature enthusiasts! Observe animals in their natural habitats, hike through woods and wade through streams. Each day is a new adventure in this camp that brings your senses alive in nature.
Junior Scientists (ages 9 – 11) ❤︎
Discover your inner scientist as you conduct experiments each day. Ask questions, plan fun experiments, collect data and draw conclusions. You will visit The Works Museum in Newark to explore even more hands-on science.
June 12 – 16
Little Sprouts (ages 5 – 6) +
In this new program, our youngest explorers get a taste of the day camp experience during an abbreviated session. Popular children’s literature becomes an avenue for exploring the natural world. Read stories, make crafts and play games in this active and hands-on camp. Please note, this half-day camp meets from 9am to noon, Wednesday, June 14 – Friday, June 16, only.
Bird Sleuths (ages 9 – 11) +
Learn how to use binoculars and a field guide, start a “life list,” search for birds around the grounds, conduct experiments and make bird feeders and nest boxes. You’ll meet real scientists who study birds and get up and close with some live feathered friends.
Digging Through the Past (ages 12 – 14) +
Uncover the hidden wonders of the ancient world. Participate in an archaeological dig, hike to a Hopewell mound and put your clue-seeking and map-reading skills to good use to solve a mystery. Please note, this camp meets Monday, June 12 – Wednesday, June 14, only.
Family Night at Camp Dawes (all ages), June 16, 6:30 – 9pm +
Families are invited to Camp Dawes for a special opportunity to enjoy some of our favorite camp activities. Tie die, dig-in to the pond, go on a nature hike and enjoy a crackling campfire complete with s’mores. Children are not required to participate in other 2017 Camp Dawes sessions. $7 per participant / $5 per member (please see our registration/member pricing policy) / Children under 3 are free.
June 19 – 23
Budding Artists (ages 6 – 8) ❤︎
Explore colors and textures in nature and create your own unique artwork. Young artists try their hands at watercolors, printmaking and sculpture then showcase their masterpieces at an art show for friends and families.
Artrageous (ages 9 – 11) ❤︎
Learn about different artists and experiment with various techniques to create unique art, inspired by the outdoors. You’ll even meet a local artist who will guide you in a project in the beautiful gardens of The Arboretum and showcase your masterpieces at an art show for friends and families.
June 26 – 30
Amazing Animals (ages 6 – 8) ❤︎
Meet a variety of critters who call The Arboretum their home. Explore the life and habitat of a new animal each day and discover what characteristics make them unique. Campers will especially enjoy meeting our resident reptiles and a visit from some live Ohio birds and mammals.
Incredible Edible Plants (ages 9 – 11) +
Pull on your gardening gloves and dig in to this new camp that gets you up close with your food! You’ll spend time in the Learning Garden, caring for plants and tasting what’s growing. All participants make and take a windowsill herb garden and receive veggie plant seedlings to grow at home. Please note, participants will sample produce and make simple recipes in this program. We follow best practices for food safety and preparation, but this program is not regulated by the Licking County Health Department.
July 10 – 14
Are you ready to put your clue-seeking skills to good use? Each day will begin with a riddle that inspires our investigations. Observe nature, engage in hands-on activities and solve mysteries to uncover the wonders of the natural world.
Water Warriors (ages 12 – 14) +
We all need water! Learn about why water is so important and how to keep it healthy in this camp session that will get you searching for crawdads and fishes in the stream, dipping into the wetland, paddling a canoe on an excursion on the Licking River and visiting a local water park.
July 17 – 21
Buzz, Flutter, Crawl (ages 6 – 8) ❤︎
Become a junior entomologist in this exciting insect-themed camp! Catch and identify insects and other arthropods in fields, woods, ponds and streams. Build a bug box, see bugs up close and make bug-tastic crafts.
Wilderness Survival (ages 9 – 11) ❤︎
What would you do if you were stranded in the wilderness? How would you survive? In this hands-on camp, we’ll cover the basics of what it takes, including nature awareness and mental preparedness. Learn how to use a compass and other tools essential for survival.
July 24 – 28
Nature’s Superheroes (ages 6 – 8) +
What do superheroes have to do with nature? Explore the creatures that gave some of your favorite heroes their names and learn why their characteristics are so useful in saving the world!
Wet ‘n Wild (ages 9 – 11) +
Cool off in the heat of the summer as you explore water environments throughout The Arboretum. Catch a fish, learn to paddle a canoe or kayak, dig in to wetlands and wade into a creek — splash into all things aquatic!