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At Go Green Travel Green, we believe kids who travel at a young age grow up to appreciate different places and cultures. The same is true for spending time in the outdoors in nature conservation programs: kids gain an understanding of ecology and green living they can carry into adulthood.
The following 10 best environmental summer camps for kids across the U.S. will immerse your child in eco-friendly practices and instill a love for the outdoors.
Best Environmental Summer Camps for Kids
Camp Unalayee, Trinity Alps, CA
Camp Unalayee is a backpacking camp for kids 10-18, located in Northern California’s Trinity Alps wilderness. Campers spend time at both unplugged ‘Base Camp’ and on the trail on multi-day backpacking trips during Unalayee’s 10-14 day programs, learning important outdoor skills, leadership skills, and teamwork.
Camp Lovewell, South Nashua, New Hampshire
Camp Lovewell is a day camp for kids 8-14 on 22 acres (abutting another 350 across of wooded conservation land). Campers spend their days hiking, kayaking, and exploring wetlands, ones, and a working farm. Emphasis at Lovewell is placed on animal care, imagination, and exploration.
4-H Camp and Learning Centers at Tanglewood and Blueberry Cove, University of Maine
The University of Maine offers several eco-camping option for kids as young as 4-17. Day camp and overnight camp options at Tanglewood Summer Camp and Blueberry Cove Summer Camp include sailing, leadership, swimming, and hiking, but also allow campers to determine a ‘focus’ subject matter such as watershed management or trail conservation. There’s also a mini-camp option for younger kids who may not be ready for a full week or two weeks away from home.
Circle Pines Center, Delton, Michigan
The mission of Circle Pines Center is to promote environmental stewardship, peace, and social justice. Its 294 acres of land includes forests, meadows, lake frontage, and an organic garden. The residential camp’s two week sessions are open to kids 8-17.
Green River Preserve, Cedar Mountain, NC
The GRP is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering elementary through high school students 1-3 week residential camps with an emphasis on non-competitive self-discovery. Older kids can enroll in ‘expeditions’ away from camp as well, and all are encouraged to focus on character and being at their personal best.
Blackwood Nature Camp, Hempstead, Texas
Located on a formally neglected tract of land, Blackwood is now a living environmental lesson for the kids who come to fish, garden, hike, and learn skills such as archery and canoeing. Week-long camp sessions follow a given theme per session, offering something of interest for most kids.
Audubon Nature Camps, multiple locations
The Audubon Society offers specialized nature camps from Arizona to Maine and most states in-between. Some programs are day camps while others are residential, and some are specialized, but all place an emphasis on nature-themed outdoor learning and conservation.
Plantation Farm Camp, Sonoma County, CA
Plantation Farm Camp is on a year-round sustainable farm, where campers take part in farming chores, tending to animals, and enjoying the harvest. The campus is completely unplugged, and a green lifestyle is taught. Camp sessions are 3.5 weeks long, and a short family camp option is also available.
DEC-NY Camps, New York state
The Department of Environmental Conservation offers four distinct summer camping experiences in New York state. For ages 11-17, DEC-NY camps teach kids about forests, water quality, other environmental lessons while kids swim, hike, can canoe on pristine acreage.
Appalachian Mountain Club Family Camp, New Hampshire
AMC’s family adventure camps combine five days of outdoor fun with your kids with accommodations at their AMC lodges. A great introduction to an eco-friendly summer camp experience, kids as young as age three can participate with parents.
A full range of green summer camps are available across the country, whether parents are looking for a day camp experience or sleep-over adventure for their child.
Have you experienced an eco-friendly summer camp? Have one to recommend? Please let us know!
Photo credit: Camp Lovewell and Audubon Nature Camps