Summer Youth Programs

2024 Summer Camps

Coming Soon!

Please see below for all of our summer camp offerings from 2023, the 2024 schedule will be posted by late February. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions. 

2023 In-Person Camps

Craft Camp in the Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden

Dates: Tuesdays, July 11-25
6-8 years old: 10-11:30am
9-12 years old: 1-2:30pm
Location: Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden, Lake of the Woods
Fee: $30

Do you love making crafts that connect with nature and history? Do you enjoy spending time outside? Then join us for an exciting camp, where we will make crafts while we take in the beauty of our Mabery Gelvin Botanical Gardens!

Questions: 217-586-2612, [email protected] 


July 11: Gazebo

There are so many beautiful flowers surrounding our gazebo! Today we will make crafts that feature flowers found in our gardens in the summer.


July 18: Nature Trail

Do you like the wilder side of nature? Today we will spend some time in our Nature Trail, right next to the botanical gardens, and incorporate that side of nature into our crafting.


July 25: Pond

Who doesn’t love our pond and the iconic red bridge? Today we will work down by the pond as we create crafts that have to do with the plants and animals that live in and by the water.

2023 Eco-adventures Day Camp

Dates: June 20 - July 21 (no camp the week of July 4 - July 7)
Time: 10-11:30am
Age: 3-Age 11 (at the time of the camp start date)
Fee: $40 per child

When signing up your child, please choose a day of the week and location that works for you. If you are interested in Homer Lake Forest Preserve, choose either a Tuesday or Wednesday camp. If you are interested in Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve choose either a Thursday or Friday camp.

Questions: 217-896-2455, [email protected]

Homer Lake - Tuesday and Wednesday Lake of the Woods - Thrusday and Friday
3-5 years old, 10-11:30am 3-5 years old, 10-11:30am
6-8 years old, 10-11:30am 6-8 years old, 10-11:30am
9-11 years old, 10-11:30am 9-11 years old, 10-11:30am

 

Week 1 (June 20 - June 23): Habitat Explore

Every living thing needs a place to call home. From the forest to the prairie and even the sidewalk, habitats are everywhere! Venture into these habitats to see who or what calls them home.


Week 2 (June 27 - June 30): Sustainable is Obtainable

Being sustainable can be surprisingly easy! Learn about preserving nature and becoming an earth steward with some fun activities centered around sustainability. Campers will gain the knowledge that even the smallest act can make a positive impact on the environment.


Week 3 (July 11 - July 14): Nature’s Myths! Busted!

Are snakes slimy? Do bats get tangled in your hair? Do toads give you warts? Come prepared to take a look at some of the myths that surround the plants and animals that call Illinois home.


Week 4 (July 18 - July 21): Nature and the Imagination

Nature has a way of activating our creative side and inspiring us to use our imagination. This week, campers will find limitless inspiration as they create art and other things with nature as their muse. 

Scholarships

Scholarships are available that cover half the cost of individual camps and open to all children. If you are interested in receiving a scholarship for your child(ren) please contact Stacey.

Email Us

Have Questions?

Eco-adventures/Nature Explorers/Wilderness Explorers

Patrick Ahasic
217-896-2455
[email protected]


One Day Camps

Marina Montez-Ellis
217-586-2612
[email protected]


Fire, Earth, and Air Camp

Stacey Clementz
217-586-2612
[email protected]


Craft Camp

Selena Gonzalez
217-586-2612
[email protected]


Junior Golf/Junior Golf Lessons

David Sebestik
217-586-2183
[email protected]

2023 One Day Camps

Powerful Pollinators

Date: Tuesday, June 6, 10-11am
Location: Museum of the Grand Prairie, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve 
Ages: 4-7 with adult
Fee: $10
Questions: 217-586-2612, [email protected]  

A single bee can pollinate about 5000 flowers in one day! Monarchs fly 2500 miles through North America on their annual migration!  Busy insects, small mammals and amazing birds are an important part of our ecosystem and our agriculture in Illinois. Let’s celebrate pollinators by sharing their stories. Join us as we talk about the fascinating lives of pollinators and what they do for us.

Trees of Illinois

Date: Wednesday, June 7, 10-11:30am
Location: Museum of the Grand Prairie, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve
Ages: 8-11
Fee: $10
Questions: 217-586-2612, [email protected]

Let’s spend some time out in the woods and examine trees such as oaks, maples and birches. We will learn their unique characteristics and create a miniature structure out of wood and found material.

Garden Art and Accessories

Date: Tuesday, June 13, 10-11am
Location: Museum of the Grand Prairie, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve
Ages: 4-7 with adult
Fee: $10
Questions: 217-586-2612, [email protected]  

You have your garden planted and now let the crafting begin. We will make our garden happy and bright with whimsical garden art projects for all to enjoy. Open up your crafty side to help your garden grow.

Prairie Plants and Garden Ponds

Date: Thursday, June 15, 10-11:30am
Location: Museum of the Grand Prairie, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve 
Ages: 8-11
Fee: $10
Questions: 217-586-2612, [email protected]  

Prairies and waterways are important and beautiful parts of the Illinois landscape. Let’s visit the prairie patch and garden pond at the Mabery Botanical Gardens. We will look to each ecosystem for inspiration to create unique arts and crafts.

Peel, Chop and Eat

Date(s): Tuesday, June 20, 10-11am: Ages 4-7 with adult and Thursday, June 22, 10-11:30am: Ages 8-11
Location: Museum of the Grand Prairie, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve
Fee: $10
Questions: 217-586-2612, [email protected]

What’s cooking in the summer kitchen? Let’s gather some fruits and veggies and have a feast. Kids will use basic kitchen tools, cook and eat a variety of foods available at the local grocer. As we cook we will learn the origins of these foods and the people that cultivated them.

Know Your Plants and Find Your Way! Escape the Mabery Botanical Gardens

Date: Tuesday, June 27, 10-11:30am
Location: Museum of the Grand Prairie, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve 
Ages: 12-15
Fee: $10
Questions: 217-586-2612, [email protected]  

Do you know your plants? Can you read a map? You’ll need these two skills to find your way through the Mabery botanical gardens. Find each marker and escape (or enjoy) the garden! Program may be cancelled due to weather.

Nature Explorers Preschool Program

Date: June 14, 9:30-11 a.m. 
Location: Salt Fork Center, Homer Lake Forest Preserve 
Fee: $10 per child 

Register: Closed

This program is designed for children 3-5 years old and one parent/guardian. Join a naturalist at the preserves to explore the outdoors. This program will be centered around the book A Tree For Me by Nancy Van Laan. We will do hands-on activities and a hike. Parent/guardian is required to attend with their children.


Date: June 15, 9:30-11 a.m. 
Location: Elks Lake Pavilion, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve 
Fee: $10 per child 

Register: Closed

This program is designed for children 3-5 years old and one parent/guardian. Join a naturalist at the preserves to explore the outdoors. This program will be centered around the book Hey, Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose. We will do hands-on activities and a hike. Parent/guardian is required to attend with their children.

Wilderness Explorers

Investigate nature through woodland expeditions, scav­enger hunts, and games! We’ll hike and explore our way through the preserve. 

Date: July 25, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. 
Location: Salt Fork Center Homer Lake Forest Preserve 
Ages: 6-12 
Fee: $10 per child 

Register: Closed


Date: July 26, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. 
Location: Elks Lake Pavilion Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve 
Ages: 6-12 
Fee: $10 per child 

Register: Closed


Date: July 27, 10 a.m.-12pm 
Location: Activity Center Middle Fork River Forest Preserve 
Ages: 6-12 
Fee: $10 per child

Register: Closed

Junior Golf Camp

Date: July 10-13, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Ages: 10-17
Fee: $100 per junior
Limit: 25 participants
To register contact: (217) 586-2183 or email [email protected]  

The junior golf camp is a more hands-on and in-depth teaching of the game of golf, its rules and proper etiquette.

Junior Golf Clinics

Dates: Tuesdays, June 6, 13, 20, 27
Location: Lake of the Woods Golf Course
Ages 8-9: 1-1:55 p.m.
Ages 10-12: 2-2:55 p.m.
Ages 13-17: 3-3:55 p.m.
To register contact: (217) 586-2183 or email [email protected]

Get your youngsters involved in the wonderful world of golf. Our golf professionals and staff will provide them with all the skills they need to enjoy the game of golf in this group setting.

Attendance is not mandatory. We understand that summer is a busy time. If your child can’t attend a session, there is no need to let us know, we do not expect perfect attendance.

Option 1

$50 per Junior
 4 Hours of Instruction
 Handout Materials


Option 2

$60 per Junior
Option 1 + comeback coupons


Option 3

$75 per Junior
Option 2 + individual lesson with PGA Professional