Summer Camp

Summer Camp

2023 Nature Explorers Summer Day Camp 


The Santa Lucia Conservancy’s Education Program is excited to launch a pilot Nature Explorers Summer Day Camp! Our goal is to connect kids in Monterey County with nature, build their confidence in the outdoors, and promote ecological literacy, environmental stewardship, and social-emotional learning! We integrate science, natural history, and art through fun, engaging activities that teach children to become keen observers of the natural world, give them the space to ask questions, and encourage them to express themselves creatively. 

Each week-long camp will bring kids to two ecologically significant learning sites within protected lands in Carmel Valley. Each learning site has a network of trails where we will explore topics including native plants, redwood ecology, watershed function, songbirds, owls, cultural history, mammals, restoration, and the wildlife corridor from the mountains to the sea.

Camp Dates and Times:

  • 3rd and 4th graders: June 5-9 (M-F), 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 
  • 5th and 6th graders: June 12-16 (M-F), 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Outdoor Learning Sites

Potrero Canyon on the Santa Lucia Preserve

Old-growth coast redwoods stand together with oaks, sycamores, and red alders along Potrero Creek, where salamanders slither, owls hoot, butterflies flutter, and coyotes build their dens. This site is perfect for exploring healthy forest ecosystems, understanding riparian zones, and enjoying the privacy of The Preserve.

Garland Ranch Regional Park

Oak savannas and spectacular vistas rise from maple-filled canyons, dense oak woodlands, and thick stands of chaparral. The Carmel River passes through the park and slows into swimming holes. Throughout the park there are reminders of Carmel Valley’s past: Rumsen Ohlone habitation sites; homestead, hunting and logging remains; livestock trails and ponds.

Topics we’ll cover at camp:

  • Native plants & habitat restoration
  • Coast redwood ecology
  • Owls in the forest
  • Grassland songbirds and raptors
  • Watershed structure & function
  • Cultural history of Carmel Valley
  • Mammal adaptations

Pricing & Scholarships

Each week-long camp costs $415 per child. 

Thanks to a generous grant from Save the Redwoods League, we will provide full scholarships to 10 children from underserved communities. The scholarship application CLOSED on April 30, 2023. Recipients will be notified by May 19, 2023.