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Lake County Forest Preserves | Preservation, Restoration, Education and Recreation

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Summer Camp

Adventures in Nature, Art, History and More

Our Summer Camps are designed for summer fun and learning. Camps are led by our professional educators. Our trained staff is experienced in supervision, safety techniques and activity development.

Research has proven that time spent in nature fosters the healthy development of children. Most of our camps are held completely outdoors, and those that aren’t have components outside. Outdoor play helps children manage stress and become resilient. Natural spaces stimulate children’s limitless imaginations and foster creativity. Camp provides children with a safe, positive environment that helps children grow.


2017 Camp Registration Now Open

Our wide variety of topics allows your camper to attend camps from ages four through 14 without repeating a topic. If attending more than one week of camp during the summer season, please register your camper in one camp session per topic only.

Browse the 2017 camp sessions below by age, date, location or topic. If your first choice is full, ask to be added to the waiting list. If a space opens or a section is added, you’ll be notified. Campers must be the appropriate age by the first day of camp.

Early bird discounts apply through February 15, 2017.

Partial scholarships are available through an easy and confidential process in the case of financial hardship. To apply, fill out the Financial Assistance form or call us at 847-968-3321.

Please review the Summer Camp Essential Eligibility Criteria.

Ages 4–5, with an adult

WILDLIFE HOMES

You and your little explorer will discover the variety of places animals make their homes: hives, nests, dens, lodges, tree cavities and more! Sessions may include hands-on nature activities, a hike, story, craft and interaction with live animals. Limit two children per adult. Register »

Ages 6–7

ART IN YOUR BACKYARD

Explore the plants, trees and flowers that are right outside our doors, and create art from natural materials. Projects include leaf print stationary, pressed flower art, pine cone animals and more. Register »


PINT-SIZED FARMERS

Step into the boots of a modern-day farmer. Discover how food makes its way from the farm field to your kitchen table through hands-on exploration, activities and games. We’ll look at some magnificent machinery, plant crops and even meet farm animals along the way. Register »


PONDERING PLANTS

Take an in-depth look at the wonders of the plant world through interactive exploration of trees, flowers, grasses, aquatic plants and “invaders” (non-native plants). Activities may include netting for insects in fields and water, and removal of invasive plants. Register »

Ages 7–9

PREHISTORIC CAMP

Young paleontologists will uncover the past from the Paleozoic Era to the Ice Age, discovering the diversity of plants and animals from tiny trilobites to mega mastodons. As a junior geologist, campers will explore the county’s dynamic shift from shallow seas to mile-high glaciers. Taking on the role of archaeologist, campers will dig into prehistoric cultures to learn what life was like for the first people in Lake County. Register »

Ages 8–9

SPIDERS, SLUGS AND REALLY COOL BUGS

Search prairies, forests and wetlands in search of invertebrates (animals without backbones). Campers will gain better understanding of the invertebrates of Lake County and what makes them so special. Register »

SummerCamp-20160722_092426-LCFPD-cropped

Ages 9–10

HISTORY DETECTIVES

Did the Underground Railroad really stop in Lake County? Does Lake County resident Elisha Gray deserve the credit for inventing the telephone? History Detectives will piece together clues from the past to answer these historical questions and more. Examine documents, run experiments and investigate the facts to decide what really happened. Register »

Ages 9–11

FISHING CAMP

Explore the watery world fish inhabit and learn the basic skills, techniques and lures needed to catch them. Each day includes a fishing session. All equipment is supplied. Register »

Ages 9–12

EXPLORE AND RESTORE

Engage your senses and explore. Through hands-on activities, campers will discover secrets of Lake County’s three major habitats—woodlands, wetlands and prairies. See what happens when nature is out of balance. Practice restoration techniques, such as brush cutting and identifying invasive plants. Campers become stewards of the earth by making healthier habitats for the plants and animals that call Lake County home. Register »


SKULLS, SCAT AND TRACKS

Campers become detectives with keen observation skills, deciphering the clues that animals leave behind. They’ll go on exploratory hikes, dissect owl pellets, shape skulls from sculpting material, identify animals by their scat and solve mysteries using tracking skills. Register »


SKY WATCHERS

Interactive experiments, observations and exploration introduce campers to the science of meteorology. Activities emphasize the connections between weather and our world, including creating weather station tools, reading clouds and forecasting. Register »

summercamplistings10

Ages 10–11

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

Campers bike, hike, canoe, swim, fish and participate in team building activities while exploring the forest preserve. Environmental concepts are incorporated into each day. Register »

Ages 12–14

FISHING CAMP 2

Want to practice and improve your fishing skills? Join us as we learn more about fish, bait, lures and techniques. Each day features a fishing session. One day of boat fishing is part of sessions held at Independence Grove. Boat fishing is not offered at Nippersink. Register »


SURVIVAL BASICS

Campers are introduced to outdoor and wilderness skills with a focus on team-building. They will learn what is required to survive in the great outdoors with and without survival equipment. Activities may include shelter and fire building, cooking, orienteering and water safety. The whole week prepares them for one final test, which involves applying the skills they learned. Register »

June 12–16

WILDLIFE HOMES, Ages 4–5, with an adult

You and your little explorer will discover the variety of places animals make their homes: hives, nests, dens, lodges, tree cavities and more! Sessions may include hands-on nature activities, a hike, story, craft and interaction with live animals. Limit two children per adult. Register »


PONDERING PLANTS, Ages 6–7

Take an in-depth look at the wonders of the plant world through interactive exploration of trees, flowers, grasses, aquatic plants and “invaders” (non-native plants). Activities may include netting for insects in fields and water, and removal of invasive plants. Register »


SPIDERS, SLUGS AND REALLY COOL BUGS, Ages 8–9

Search prairies, forests and wetlands in search of invertebrates (animals without backbones). Campers will gain better understanding of the invertebrates of Lake County and what makes them so special. Register »


FISHING CAMP, Ages 9–11

Explore the watery world fish inhabit and learn the basic skills, techniques and lures needed to catch them. Each day includes a fishing session. All equipment is supplied. Register »

summercamplistings5

June 19–23

HISTORY DETECTIVES, Ages 9–10

Did the Underground Railroad really stop in Lake County? Does Lake County resident Elisha Gray deserve the credit for inventing the telephone? History Detectives will piece together clues from the past to answer these historical questions and more. Examine documents, run experiments and investigate the facts to decide what really happened. Register »


OUTDOOR ADVENTURES, Ages 10–11

Campers bike, hike, canoe, swim, fish and participate in team building activities while exploring the forest preserve. Environmental concepts are incorporated into each day. Register »


FISHING CAMP 2, Ages 12–14

Want to practice and improve your fishing skills? Join us as we learn more about fish, bait, lures and techniques. Each day features a fishing session. One day of boat fishing is part of sessions held at Independence Grove. Boat fishing is not offered at Nippersink. Register »


SURVIVAL BASICS, Ages 12–14

Campers are introduced to outdoor and wilderness skills with a focus on team-building. They will learn what is required to survive in the great outdoors with and without survival equipment. Activities may include shelter and fire building, cooking, orienteering and water safety. The whole week prepares them for one final test, which involves applying the skills they learned. Register »

June 26–30

PONDERING PLANTS, Ages 6–7

Take an in-depth look at the wonders of the plant world through interactive exploration of trees, flowers, grasses, aquatic plants and “invaders” (non-native plants). Activities may include netting for insects in fields and water, and removal of invasive plants. Register »


SPIDERS, SLUGS AND REALLY COOL BUGS, Ages 8–9

Search prairies, forests and wetlands in search of invertebrates (animals without backbones). Campers will gain better understanding of the invertebrates of Lake County and what makes them so special. Register »


FISHING CAMP, Ages 9–11

Explore the watery world fish inhabit and learn the basic skills, techniques and lures needed to catch them. Each day includes a fishing session. All equipment is supplied. Register »


EXPLORE AND RESTORE, Ages 9–12

Engage your senses and explore. Through hands-on activities, campers will discover secrets of Lake County’s three major habitats—woodlands, wetlands and prairies. See what happens when nature is out of balance. Practice restoration techniques, such as brush cutting and identifying invasive plants. Campers become stewards of the earth by making healthier habitats for the plants and animals that call Lake County home. Register »

summercamplistings2

July 3–7

We understand that this is a busy week for many families. Therefore, in lieu of camps, we will offer exciting drop-in programs.

You'll find these fun family programs listed in the 2017 summer Horizons magazine, or on our online calendar in late May. 

July 10–14

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES, Ages 10–11

Campers bike, hike, canoe, swim, fish and participate in team building activities while exploring the forest preserve. Environmental concepts are incorporated into each day. Register »


FISHING CAMP 2, Ages 12–14

Want to practice and improve your fishing skills? Join us as we learn more about fish, bait, lures and techniques. Each day features a fishing session. One day of boat fishing is part of sessions held at Independence Grove. Boat fishing is not offered at Nippersink. Register »


SURVIVAL BASICS, Ages 12–14

Campers are introduced to outdoor and wilderness skills with a focus on team-building. They will learn what is required to survive in the great outdoors with and without survival equipment. Activities may include shelter and fire building, cooking, orienteering and water safety. The whole week prepares them for one final test, which involves applying the skills they learned. Register »

July 17–21

PONDERING PLANTS, Ages 6–7

Take an in-depth look at the wonders of the plant world through interactive exploration of trees, flowers, grasses, aquatic plants and “invaders” (non-native plants). Activities may include netting for insects in fields and water, and removal of invasive plants. Register »


Prehistoric CampAges 7–9

Young paleontologists will uncover the past from the Paleozoic Era to the Ice Age, discovering the diversity of plants and animals from tiny trilobites to mega mastodons. As a junior geologist, campers will explore the county’s dynamic shift from shallow seas to mile-high glaciers. Taking on the role of archaeologist, campers will dig into prehistoric cultures to learn what life was like for the first people in Lake County. Register »


SPIDERS, SLUGS AND REALLY COOL BUGSAges 8–9

Search prairies, forests and wetlands in search of invertebrates (animals without backbones). Campers will gain better understanding of the invertebrates of Lake County and what makes them so special. Register »


SKULLS, SCAT AND TRACKS, Ages 9–12

Campers become detectives with keen observation skills, deciphering the clues that animals leave behind. They’ll go on exploratory hikes, dissect owl pellets, shape skulls from sculpting material, identify animals by their scat and solve mysteries using tracking skills. Register »


FISHING CAMP 2Ages 12–14

Want to practice and improve your fishing skills? Join us as we learn more about fish, bait, lures and techniques. Each day features a fishing session. One day of boat fishing is part of sessions held at Independence Grove. Boat fishing is not offered at Nippersink. Register »

summercamplistings6

July 24–28

ART IN YOUR BACKYARD, Ages 6–7

Explore the plants, trees, and flowers that are right outside our doors, and create art from natural materials. Projects include leaf print stationary, pressed flower art, pine cone animals and more. Register »


FISHING CAMP, Ages 9–11

Explore the watery world fish inhabit and learn the basic skills, techniques and lures needed to catch them. Each day includes a fishing session. All equipment is supplied. Register »


OUTDOOR ADVENTURES, Ages 10–11

Campers bike, hike, canoe, swim, fish and participate in team building activities while exploring the forest preserve. Environmental concepts are incorporated into each day. Register »


SURVIVAL BASICS, Ages 12–14

Campers are introduced to outdoor and wilderness skills with a focus on team-building. They will learn what is required to survive in the great outdoors with and without survival equipment. Activities may include shelter and fire building, cooking, orienteering and water safety. The whole week prepares them for one final test, which involves applying the skills they learned. Register »

summercamp9

July 31–August 4

PONDERING PLANTS, Ages 6–7

Take an in-depth look at the wonders of the plant world through interactive exploration of trees, flowers, grasses, aquatic plants and “invaders” (non-native plants). Activities may include netting for insects in fields and water, and removal of invasive plants. Register »


SPIDERS, SLUGS AND REALLY COOL BUGSAges 8–9

Search prairies, forests and wetlands in search of invertebrates (animals without backbones). Campers will gain better understanding of the invertebrates of Lake County and what makes them so special. Register »


SKY WATCHERSAges 9–12

Interactive experiments, observations and exploration introduce campers to the science of meteorology. Activities emphasize the connections between weather and our world, including creating weather station tools, reading clouds and forecasting. Register »


FISHING CAMP 2Ages 12–14

Want to practice and improve your fishing skills? Join us as we learn more about fish, bait, lures and techniques. Each day features a fishing session. One day of boat fishing is part of sessions held at Independence Grove. Boat fishing is not offered at Nippersink. Register »

August 7–11

PINT-SIZED FARMERS, Ages 6–7

Step into the boots of a modern-day farmer. Discover how food makes its way from the farm field to your kitchen table through hands-on exploration, activities and games. We’ll look at some magnificent machinery, plant crops and even meet farm animals along the way. Register »


FISHING CAMPAges 9–11

Explore the watery world fish inhabit and learn the basic skills, techniques and lures needed to catch them. Each day includes a fishing session. All equipment is supplied. Register »


OUTDOOR ADVENTURES, Ages 10–11

Campers bike, hike, canoe, swim, fish and participate in team building activities while exploring the forest preserve. Environmental concepts are incorporated into each day. Register »


SURVIVAL BASICS, Ages 12–14

Campers are introduced to outdoor and wilderness skills with a focus on team-building. They will learn what is required to survive in the great outdoors with and without survival equipment. Activities may include shelter and fire building, cooking, orienteering and water safety. The whole week prepares them for one final test, which involves applying the skills they learned. Register »

Bonner Heritage Farm, Lindenhurst

PINT-SIZED FARMERS, Ages 6–7

Step into the boots of a modern-day farmer. Discover how food makes its way from the farm field to your kitchen table through hands-on exploration, activities and games. We’ll look at some magnificent machinery, plant crops and even meet farm animals along the way. Register »

summercamplistings7

Independence Grove, Libertyville

WILDLIFE HOMES, Ages 4–5, with an adult

You and your little explorer will discover the variety of places animals make their homes: hives, nests, dens, lodges, tree cavities and more! Sessions may include hands-on nature activities, a hike, story, craft and interaction with live animals. Limit two children per adult. Register »


PONDERING PLANTS, Ages 6–7

Take an in-depth look at the wonders of the plant world through interactive exploration of trees, flowers, grasses, aquatic plants and “invaders” (non-native plants). Activities may include netting for insects in fields and water, and removal of invasive plants.

June 12–16  Register »  July 31–August 4  Register » 


SPIDERS, SLUGS AND REALLY COOL BUGS, Ages 8–9

Search prairies, forests and wetlands in search of invertebrates (animals without backbones). Campers will gain better understanding of the invertebrates of Lake County and what makes them so special.

Jun 12–16  Register »  July 31–August 4  Register »


FISHING CAMPAges 9–11

Explore the watery world fish inhabit and learn the basic skills, techniques and lures needed to catch them. Each day includes a fishing session. All equipment is supplied.

June 26–30  Register »  July 24–28  Register »  August 7–11  Register »


SKY WATCHERSAges 9–12

Interactive experiments, observations and exploration introduce campers to the science of meteorology. Activities emphasize the connections between weather and our world, including creating weather station tools, reading clouds and forecasting. Register »


OUTDOOR ADVENTURESAges 10–11

Campers bike, hike, canoe, swim, fish and participate in team building activities while exploring the forest preserve. Environmental concepts are incorporated into each day.

June 19–23  Register »  July 10–14  Register »  July 24–28  Register »  August 7–11  Register »


FISHING CAMP 2Ages 12–14

Want to practice and improve your fishing skills? Join us as we learn more about fish, bait, lures and techniques. Each day features a fishing session. One day of boat fishing is part of sessions held at Independence Grove.

July 10–14  Register »  July 17–21  Register »  July 31–August 4  Register »


SURVIVAL BASICS, Ages 12–14

Campers are introduced to outdoor and wilderness skills with a focus on team-building. They will learn what is required to survive in the great outdoors with and without survival equipment. Activities may include shelter and fire building, cooking, orienteering and water safety. The whole week prepares them for one final test, which involves applying the skills they learned. Register »

summercamplistings8

Lakewood, Wauconda

PONDERING PLANTS, Ages 6–7

Take an in-depth look at the wonders of the plant world through interactive exploration of trees, flowers, grasses, aquatic plants and “invaders” (non-native plants). Activities may include netting for insects in fields and water, and removal of invasive plants.

June 26–30  Register »


PREHISTORIC CAMP, Ages 7–9

Young paleontologists will uncover the past from the Paleozoic Era to the Ice Age, discovering the diversity of plants and animals from tiny trilobites to mega mastodons. As a junior geologist, campers will explore the county’s dynamic shift from shallow seas to mile-high glaciers. Taking on the role of archaeologist, campers will dig into prehistoric cultures to learn what life was like for the first people in Lake County. Register »


SPIDERS, SLUGS AND REALLY COOL BUGS, Ages 8–9

Search prairies, forests and wetlands in search of invertebrates (animals without backbones). Campers will gain better understanding of the invertebrates of Lake County and what makes them so special.

June 26–30  Register »


HISTORY DETECTIVESAges 9–10

Did the Underground Railroad really stop in Lake County? Does Lake County resident Elisha Gray deserve the credit for inventing the telephone? History Detectives will piece together clues from the past to answer these historical questions and more. Examine documents, run experiments and investigate the facts to decide what really happened. Register »


EXPLORE AND RESTORE, Ages 9–12

Engage your senses and explore. Through hands-on activities, campers will discover secrets of Lake County’s three major habitats––woodlands, wetlands and prairies. See what happens when nature is out of balance. Practice restoration techniques, such as brush cutting and identifying invasive plants. Campers become stewards of the earth by making healthier habitats for the plants and animals that call Lake County home. Register »

Nippersink, Round Lake

FISHING CAMPAges 9–11

Explore the watery world fish inhabit and learn the basic skills, techniques and lures needed to catch them. Each day includes a fishing session. All equipment is supplied.

June 12–16  Register »


FISHING CAMP 2Ages 12–14

Want to practice and improve your fishing skills? Join us as we learn more about fish, bait, lures and techniques. Each day features a fishing session. One day of boat fishing is part of sessions held at Independence Grove. Boat fishing is not offered at Nippersink.

June 19–23  Register »

summercamplistings3

Ryerson Woods, Riverwoods

ART IN YOUR BACKYARD, Ages 6–7

Explore the plants, trees and flowers that are right outside our doors, and create art from natural materials. Projects include leaf print stationary, pressed flower art, pine cone animals and more. Register »


PONDERING PLANTS, Ages 6–7

Take an in-depth look at the wonders of the plant world through interactive exploration of trees, flowers, grasses, aquatic plants and “invaders” (non-native plants). Activities may include netting for insects in fields and water, and removal of invasive plants.

July 17–21  Register »


SPIDERS, SLUGS AND REALLY COOL BUGS, Ages 8–9

Search prairies, forests and wetlands in search of invertebrates (animals without backbones). Campers will gain better understanding of the invertebrates of Lake County and what makes them so special.

July 17–21  Register »


SKULLS, SCAT AND TRACKS, Ages 9–12

Campers become detectives with keen observation skills, deciphering the clues that animals leave behind. They’ll go on exploratory hikes, dissect owl pellets, shape skulls from sculpting material, identify animals by their scat and solve mysteries using tracking skills.

July 17–21  Register »

Art

ART IN YOUR BACKYARD, Ages 6–7

Explore the plants, trees and flowers that are right outside our doors, and create art from natural materials. Projects include leaf print stationary, pressed flower art, pine cone animals and more. Register »

summercamplistings4

Farm

PINT-SIZED FARMERS, Ages 6–7

Step into the boots of a modern-day farmer. Discover how food makes its way from the farm field to your kitchen table through hands-on exploration, activities and games. We’ll look at some magnificent machinery, plant crops and even meet farm animals along the way. Register »

Nature

WILDLIFE HOMESAges 4–5, with an adult

You and your little explorer will discover the variety of places animals make their homes: hives, nests, dens, lodges, tree cavities and more! Sessions may include hands-on nature activities, a hike, story, craft and interaction with live animals. Limit two children per adult. Register »


PONDERING PLANTS, Ages 6–7

Take an in-depth look at the wonders of the plant world through interactive exploration of trees, flowers, grasses, aquatic plants and “invaders” (non-native plants). Activities may include netting for insects in fields and water, and removal of invasive plants. Register »


SPIDERS, SLUGS AND REALLY COOL BUGS, Ages 8–9

Search prairies, forests and wetlands in search of invertebrates (animals without backbones). Campers will gain better understanding of the invertebrates of Lake County and what makes them so special. Register »


EXPLORE AND RESTORE, Ages 9–12

Engage your senses and explore. Through hands-on activities, campers will discover secrets of Lake County’s three major habitats––woodlands, wetlands and prairies. See what happens when nature is out of balance. Practice restoration techniques, such as brush cutting and identifying invasive plants. Campers become stewards of the earth by making healthier habitats for the plants and animals that call Lake County home. Register »


SKULLS, SCAT AND TRACKS, Ages 9–12

Campers become detectives with keen observation skills, deciphering the clues that animals leave behind. They’ll go on exploratory hikes, dissect owl pellets, shape skulls from sculpting material, identify animals by their scat and solve mysteries using tracking skills. Register »


SKY WATCHERS, Ages 9–12

Interactive experiments, observations and exploration introduce campers to the science of meteorology. Activities emphasize the connections between weather and our world, including creating weather station tools, reading clouds and forecasting. Register »

summercamplistings10

History

PREHISTORIC CAMP, Ages 7–9

Young paleontologists will uncover the past from the Paleozoic Era to the Ice Age, discovering the diversity of plants and animals from tiny trilobites to mega mastodons. As a junior geologist, campers will explore the county’s dynamic shift from shallow seas to mile-high glaciers. Taking on the role of archaeologist, campers will dig into prehistoric cultures to learn what life was like for the first people in Lake County. Register »


HISTORY DETECTIVES, Ages 9–10

Did the Underground Railroad really stop in Lake County? Does Lake County resident Elisha Gray deserve the credit for inventing the telephone? History Detectives will piece together clues from the past to answer these historical questions and more. Examine documents, run experiments and investigate the facts to decide what really happened. Register »

Recreation

FISHING CAMP, Ages 9–11

Explore the watery world fish inhabit and learn the basic skills, techniques and lures needed to catch them. Each day includes a fishing session. All equipment is supplied. Register »


OUTDOOR ADVENTURES, Ages 10–11

Campers bike, hike, canoe, swim, fish and participate in team building activities while exploring the forest preserve. Environmental concepts are incorporated into each day. Register »


FISHING CAMP 2, Ages 12–14

Want to practice and improve your fishing skills? Join us as we learn more about fish, bait, lures and techniques. Each day features a fishing session. One day of boat fishing is part of sessions held at Independence Grove. Boat fishing is not offered at Nippersink. Register »


SURVIVAL BASICS, Ages 12–14

Campers are introduced to outdoor and wilderness skills with a focus on team-building. They will learn what is required to survive in the great outdoors with and without survival equipment. Activities may include shelter and fire building, cooking, orienteering and water safety. The whole week prepares them for one final test, which involves applying the skills they learned. Register »

 
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    Lake County Nature Cam

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