a butterfly resting on a purple flower

Summer Camps

This summer, experience adventure in the great outdoors by hiking, conducting science experiments, and visiting LSNC's resident raptors and critters. Create art, make music, write stories, and enjoy the summer weather—rain or shine. Every day has opportunities to learn new skills like fire-building or animal tracking and make new friends as you hike the trails, play scatter ball, or search for creatures in Black Pond. Whether you've been to LSNC one or one hundred times, adventure and discovery await you this summer!

For general information and policies that apply to all of our camps, please review the Policy Handbook for Camp Families. Required forms for Summer Camp 2017 will be available in late Spring 2017.

Members–Only Discounts and Early Registration

Become a Leslie Science & Nature Center Member to gain access to early registration and discounts on all of our camps! Learn more here.

Volunteer at Summer Camp!

Teens ages 13-17 can spend some of the summer in the great outdoors when you volunteer at LSNC's Summer Camp! Join other teens from throughout the Ann Arbor area as you develop new leadership skills, gain valuable work experience, and learn about Michigan's natural history and ecology. Applications for the 2017 summer will open in March. Learn more and sign up for a reminder email here.

Integrating the Arts into Summer Camp

LSNC strives to integrate art-making opportunities in music, performing, culinary, and visual arts into every camp day. Arts programming for our camp programs, including the Nature Rocks! Summer Camp Music Program Program featuring Joe Reilly and Drummunity! with Lori Fithian is supported in part by awards from the Michigan Humanities Council, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Please contact these organizations to thank them for their support!

Summer Camp Registration

Click here to view a PDF of the 2017 Summer Camp Catalog

Please click on a camp below, or sign in here to register


Ages 4-5
Grades K-1

Grades 2-3

Grades 4-5

Camp Cooldown

Week 1:
June 19-23
Splatter, Mix, and Sculpt-join the waitlist! Lost!-join the waitlist! The Art of Survival Camp Cool Down
Week 2:
June 26-30
Ecosystem Explorers Nature Detectives Alien Invaders Camp Cool Down
Week 3:
July 5-7
Nature’s Superheroes Whiz Kids Myth, Legend, and Lore Camp Cool Down
Week 4:
July 10-14
Michiganology Make a Splash Into the Wild Camp Cool Down
Week 5:
July 17-21
Sensational Summer Splatter, Mix, and Sculpt Lost! Camp Cool Down
Week 6:
July 24-28
Ecosystem Explorers Nature Detectives The Art of Survival Camp Cool Down
Week 7:
July 31-August 4
Nature’s Superheroes -join the waitlist! Whiz Kids Alien Invaders Camp Cool Down
Week 8:
August 7-11
Bug-tastic Michiganology Make a Splash Camp Cool Down
Week 9:
August 14-18
Splatter, Mix, and Sculpt Lost! Myth, Legend, and Lore Camp Cool Down
Week 10:
August 21-25
Ecosystem Explorers Nature Detectives Into the Wild Camp Cool Down
Week 11:
August 28-31
Animal Homes Nature’s Superheroes-join the waitlist! Whiz Kids The Art of Survival Camp Cool Down

Summer Camp Information


Camp pricing varies depending on the age of the camper and the length of the camp as some camp weeks are shorter than others. LSNC’s membership program entitles member families to discounts for each camper and each session. Our 2017 Summer Camp prices corresponded to the following scale:

  • Tykes and K/1 Camp-5 days: $260/per camper; LSNC Members receive $10 off
  • Tykes and K/1 Camp-4 days (week of August 28 only): $210/per camper; LSNC Members receive $10 off
  • K/1 Camp-3 days (week of July 3 only): $160/per camper; LSNC Members receive $10 off
  • 2/3 Camp-5 days: $280/per camper; LSNC Members receive $10 off
  • 2/3 Camp-4 days (week of August 28 only): $226/per camper; LSNC Members receive $10 off
  • 2/3 Camp-3 days (week of July 3 only): $172/per camper; LSNC Members receive $10 off
  • 4/5 Camp (with overnight)-5 days: $300/per camper; LSNC Members receive $10 off
  • 4/5 Camp (with overnight)-3 days (week of July 3 only): $184/per camper; LSNC Members receive $10 off
  • 4/5 Camp (without overnight)-4 days: $226/per camper; LSNC Members receive $10 off

Camp Cool Down Fees

During the 2016 summer we have 20 slots available each week for our “Camp Cool Down” session which runs from 3:30pm to 5:30pm. At Camp Cool Down, campers can unwind from an action-packed day of exploration by playing games, reading, making art, or otherwise relaxing outside. Campers get an extra two hours of fun and parents have the benefit of a later pick-up time. Camp Cool Down is $75/week per child, or $60/week per child if your camper is attending a 4/5th grade overnight camp. For four-day weeks: $60/$45; three-day weeks: $45/$30. Preregistration is required and is for the full-week only.

Camp Session Limit

Enrollment is limited to three Summer Camp sessions per camper.

Camp Age Groups

We want all campers to have adequate opportunities to learn, be challenged, and grow. For this reason, campers may only register for camp sessions designated for their age or grade. There are many opportunities for campers in different age groups to play together at camp and taking advantage of these times in the schedule without switching to an older or younger age group ensures that each camper is participating in a camp that will be exciting and challenging for their developmental level.

LSNC summer camp sessions are offered to four mixed-age groups:

  • Tykes—Campers who are 4 or 5 years old by the first day of camp, including those who have completed a Young 5s program. Tykes campers must be able to use the bathroom and wash their hands independently.
  • K/1—Campers who have completed a full year of Kindergarten or First Grade
  • 2/3—Campers who have completed Second and Third Grade
  • 4/5—Campers who have completed Fourth and Fifth Grade

Typical Daily Schedule

Each camp day follows the same basic schedule, though daily activities vary depending on age group and camp theme.

8:30     Camper Sign In and Morning Stations
Parents and guardians sign campers in at their assigned camp building each day. While we are waiting for everyone to arrive, campers will choose from several different activities like art making, exploring specimens, or playing with blocks, Legos, and other manipulative toys.

9:00     House Meeting
To start off our day, campers will gather to hear the day's schedule, play some name games, sing songs, and do cheers. On Mondays, all camp groups review LSNC’s camp rules and talk about camper’s hopes and expectations for the week.

9:15-11:30     Morning Activities
We'll go outdoors to hike, explore, play games, and enjoy the sunshine. Campers will visit the Critter House at least once during their camp week. Morning snack will be provided. On Mondays, Morning Activities end early for All Camp when all camp groups come together for games and songs.

11:30-12:30    Lunch and Free Time
Lunch is held with all camps together, eating picnic style outside. To make sure they have enough energy for the day, campers, staff, and volunteers stay seated and focused on eating and drinking water for 20 minutes. Campers are encouraged to recycle and compost. After lunch, we head down to the big field for free play.

12:30-1:30     Chillaxation
Chillaxation is held by each camp group individually. Campers are given a time to relax and reflect on the day's adventures. Stories, reading, drawing, resting, cloud watching, and other quiet activities are included.

1:30-1:45              All Camp
All Camp provides all camp groups with the opportunity to play games, do house cheers, and share with other camp groups about what they have learned at camp. On the last day of camp we have Friday Finale in lieu of regular All Camp, from 2:45-3:15pm. Campers, staff and volunteers perform skits, sing songs, and enjoy popsicles before the weekend.

1:45-2:45        Choice Time
During choice time, Camp Educators and volunteers offer 3 activities from which each camper is able to choose. Each day there is an active choice, and artsy choice, and an environmental education choice (though these categories sometimes overlap). Thursday is Choice Day, with 3 choice times spaced throughout the day, ending with Choice Carnival in the afternoon, where campers are able to go to each of several stations, including s’more making, silly games, and tie dye. On some four-day weeks, Choice Day may be held on Wednesday.

2:45-3:30      Afternoon Snack, Clean-up, and Circle Games
After choice time, campers return to their houses to tidy up for the day, usually taking their belongings outside for pick-up. After the building is tidy and everyone is ready to go, camp groups will eat a healthy snack and work together to brainstorm a list for their “Ask Me About” board which includes a list of topics or questions that are meant to spark conversations about camp experiences between campers and their families. Camp groups will play silly circle games, sing songs, or practice brain teasers until families arrive.

3:30      Camper Sign Out
Our camp day ends promptly at 3:30pm. All campers must be picked up and signed out by someone on their Emergency & Release Form. Campers who are registered for Camp Cool Down are signed into the Camp Cool Down session by a staff member and must be signed out by someone listed on their Emergency & Release Form by 5:30pm.

Typical Weekly Schedule

Like the daily schedule, our weekly camp schedule follows the same basic arc, though activities change based on age group and camp theme. On short weeks, this schedule is subject to change, but will always include Choice Day—we know that is a favorite part of camp!








House Meeting

Morning Activities

All Camp*

House Meeting

Morning Activities


House Meeting
Off-site field trips for campers in 2-5th grade. Youngest campers stay on-site.

House Meeting

Choice Time #1

Choice Time #2


House Meeting

Morning Activities


Lunch & Free Time

Lunch & Free Time

Lunch & Free Time

Lunch & Free Time

Lunch & Free Time



Choice Time

Clean-up & Games


All Camp*

Choice Time

Clean-up & Games


All Camp*

Choice Time

Clean-up & Games


All Camp*

Choice Carnival**

Clean-up & Games


Choice Time


Friday Finale*

Late Afternoon

Camp Cool Down (limited space available; must register separately)

Camp Cool Down

Camp Cool Down

Camp Cool Down

Camp Cool Down



Oranges/Ritz Crackers


Air-popped Popcorn/S’mores


*All Camp: When the whole camp gathers on the rock wall for singing, skits, and games.On Fridays we have Friday Finale in lieu of regular All Camp, from 2:45-3:15pm. Campers, staff and volunteers perform skits, sing songs, and enjoy popsicles before the weekend.
**Choice Carnival: Campers can circulate to several different stations including s’more making, Critter House visits, and tie dye.

Summer Camp Packing List

Please mark all items with your camper’s name! Campers are responsible for keeping track of their belongings while at LSNC.

  • Weather-appropriate clothing including layers for chillier mornings and shoes that are good for running and hiking (no Crocs or flip-flops, please!)
  • Backpack to hold everything
  • Lunch (nothing that needs refrigeration or warming please)
  • Refillable Water Bottle
  • Extra Clothes (including socks and underwear) and a plastic bag for wet or dirty clothes
  • Sun Screen & Bug Spray – Please see our Sun Screen and Bug Spray policy
  • Rain Gear – We go out rain or shine!
  • Book(s) to read during Chillaxation
  • Hat
  • Sun Glasses (optional)

Overnight Packing List

  • Sleeping bag or blanket roll and pillow
  • PJs and change of clothes (in addition to your spare change of clothes)
  • Rain gear (if needed)
  • Bug spray, sun screen, and hat
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and other toiletries
  • Water bottle
  • Flashlight
  • Medications: If a camper needs to take medication during dinner, before bed or in the morning, parents/guardians must give these to the Camp Educators on Thursday morning and fill out a Medication Authorization Form so that medication can be administered. All medication must be provided in the original container. Prescription medications must have the dosage and camper’s name printed on the label.

**LSNC will provide 4-person tents for campers

Not Allowed At Camp

Cell Phones, mp3 devices, tablets, electronic games, cameras, or other electronic devices are not allowed at camp. Please do not bring knives and weapons of any kind, or anything you can’t afford to lose. LSNC is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Prohibited items will be held in the camp office until the end of the day and must be picked up by a parent or guardian.

Summer Camp T-Shirts

In the summer, all campers receive one white LSNC summer camp shirt for each week of camp in which they are enrolled. Campers may choose to tie-dye this shirt on Thursday during Choice Carnival. Campers attending multiple weeks of camp may choose to bring in and tie dye a comparable garment from home instead of a second LSNC camp shirt. Acceptable items include: a t-shirt, a bandana, a pair of socks, or a pillow case. Sweatshirts, pants, and other large items cannot be tie dyed at camp. T-shirts are not provided during Days Off Outdoors or School Break camps.

LSNC Summer Camp Song Lyrics

This song was written by Joe Reilly along with campers and staff of LSNC summer camp. You can listen to a version of it on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WILr1ju0AT0
Chords: E / B / A / B


On the rock wall
by the walnut tree
we’re back at summer camp
at L-S-N-C.
It’s our favorite natural place to be
Thank you Dr. Eugene
and Emily!
It’s the Leslie Science and Nature Center.


At the Leslie Science and Nature Center
You can be a scientist or an inventor.
There’s so much nature for us to explore
From the Leslie House the Energy House
and out the front doors.

And don’t forget about the amazing Critter House
Where you can see a hissing cockroach and a mouse.
Oops did I say mouse? What I meant was an iguana
And a salamander, turtle, and other native fauna

We don’t really think that dirt is very dirty.
We play in the soil until 3:30.
We use hand sanitizer to kill all the germs,
And we learn from our experiences on our own terms.


We make new friends and learn about relationships
We walk to the Huron River and take canoe trips
And sometimes our counselor’s kayak tips
That’s why we fill out our permission slips.

We play circle games like Froggy Detective
We can be ourselves and be respected and accepted
What we do today helps keep the future protected
Remember that we are all interconnected.


I’ve got an extra set of clothes in my backpack
I like to go for hikes and look for animal tracks
I like to eat dirt and worms for a snack
I love this summer camp and just want to be coming back [getting slower]
So I can be

On the rock wall
by the walnut tree
we’re back at summer camp
at L-S-N-C.
It’s our favorite natural place to be
Thank you Dr. Eugene
and Emily!
It’s the Leslie Science and Nature Center
Sum-mer caaaaaaamp.