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First Step- Register your Camper  

Discovery Day Camp Registration – online submission

Camp Registration Form- Printable PDF

Camp Materials

Discovery Day Camp Brochure 

Frequently Asked Questions/Parent Manual

Online-Camp Packet

Printable-Camp Packet

Camp Donation Wish List

Pre-K Camp Schedule

Camp Schedule (Kindergarten-6th grade camps)

Junior Camp Schedule


Non-members $185.00 per camper

TNI members receive a 10% discount        

Kindergarten through 3rd and 4th grade camps are
M-F from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

5th and 6th grade camp is M-W from 8:30 a.m.

to 3 p.m. and Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Junior camp is W-Sat with Friday being an

overnight camp-out


Pre-K camp: 

Non-members $125.00 per camper

TNI Members receive 10% off

Pre-K camp is M-F from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.


Tuition includes: the $25 registration fee, a TNI

camp t-shirt, take home crafts, 5:1 camper to

counselor ratio, educational curriculum, guest

speaker and a Friday family program and picnic.


We accept check, cash, credit or debit cards.

Become a member of TNI and save!

You can join online by visiting our homepage and clicking on the ‘Become a Member’ icon. You will also find an option there to print off and mail in a membership form. Thank you to all our current members for your continued support!



Did you know that children are spending half as much time outdoors as they did 20 years ago? Yet, children who get outside can be physically active, more creative, less aggressive, and show better concentration.

You will find our Discovery Day Camp to be a perfect place for fun, educational opportunity for your children to interact with nature. Your child won’t just hear about the outdoors, they will go out into the natural world and experience it for themselves! Your children may get their feet wet wading in a creek, create a tie-dye shirt, or catch their first fish.

The Nature Institute has offered a quality day camp experiences for the youth of Riverbend area for over 35 years. Our staff will provide a safe, caring atmosphere with age appropriate activities for children aged Pre-K through 6th grade.
Campers will have a fun, hands-on, outdoor experience while developing a lifelong love and appreciation of our natural world. Campers will experience outdoor fun while they learn through activities, hikes, free play, arts and crafts, and more!

Children will observe wild animals in the woodlands and prairies during camp. They will learn how to improve habitats, read what nature is telling them, understand which animals are in danger of extinction, and also what animals have made a comeback due to habitat improvement. Participants will learn how to take positive actions outdoors and become good stewards of the land in their own backyard.

2017 Discovery Day Camp Dates

FULL-Pre-Kindergarten- A Worm’s Life- June 5-9, 2017 – 8:30 a.m. to noon

Worms! Slippery, slimy, wiggly worms live beneath our soil, but what do they really do? Your mini explorer will have a chance to discover all there is to know about worms and their contributions to our soil health at camp this week. They will find and feed their chosen wormy friend and then build them a compost container living space to bring home with them after camp so you can learn about worms right along with them.

Kindergarten- Above and Below- June 12-16, 2017 – 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The sky above and the earth below, but how much do we really know? This week campers will explore the extremes of our environment and the vastness of our wildlife. They will be able to explore and understand what lives and grows above and below the soil and above and below the water. They will get dirty and creative seeking out answers to the questions they produce on this nature expedition
into what lies above the ground and beneath our feet.

FULL- 1st and 2nd Grade Week One- Earth Ninja- June 19-23, 2017 – 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Moving silently, invisible to all creation, the Earth Ninja glides along the ridge top. Being a Ninja in the wilderness means coexisting and living closely with the plants and animals that surround us. By understanding movement and camouflage we learn to travel unseen and unheard in any environment. On their journey your Ninja will learn to read tracks and understand the language of the birds. They will become the silent Ninja who is the protector and provider for their people.

FULL- 3rd and 4th Grade Week One- Decomposition Mission- June 26-30, 2017 – 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

What happens to things after they die? On this learning adventure campers will discover what happens to plants, animals, and trash during decomposition. They will get the opportunity to watch decomposition in action by making their own compost pile from food scraps, searching for and learning about scavengers, and creating an experiment to watch how long it takes discarded human trash to disappear in soil. Campers will leave with a new found appreciation for nature’s clean-up crew and the circle of life.

FULL- Junior Camp (7th-12th Grade)- Foods of the Forest- July 5-8, 2017—Times will vary

This year our experienced campers will learn about food. We will check out a dairy farm, look at old farming practices, and try some wild edibles. We will also camp-out and go on a night hike, and cook over the campfire.

FULL- 5th and 6th Grade- Gotta Catch ‘em All- July 10-13, 2017 – 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. *Thursday until 10 p.m.

Can you catch ‘em all? This week at camp your explorer, armed with their own “Naturedex” and writing utensil of choice, will find and “capture” in action some of the creatures that call TNI home. Campers will search for birds, reptiles, mammals, and more and learn about them through examining and researching their habitats, behaviors, diets, and adaptations. Not only will they learn how to identify these creatures and collect them in a “Naturedex” of their own, but they will also learn to use stealth and quietness (as Nature Trainers must) to find, observe, and “capture” them all.

1st and 2nd Grade Week- Two Season’s Symphony- July 17-21 , 2017 – 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Music is all around us, all you have to do is listen! It comes from the wind rustling through the leaves, the water gurgling along the creek bottom, the frogs chirping in the underbrush, the birds chirping from the trees. This week at camp your mini music enthusiast will travel the trails and paths of TNI in search of nature’s own songs. They will experience this winter season’s symphony, learn to identify each element of the forest that contributes to this song, and hopefully learn to appreciate the sounds of “silence”.

3rd and 4th Grade Week Two- When this was The West- July 24-28, 2017- 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

New experience ahead! Your camper will have the opportunity to try exotic foods, work as a team, and race to the finish. Along the way there will be challenges to complete and adventures to choose. There is no better way to end the summer than with a fun, challenging adventure.


Registration begins for Family Members and above on Thursday, March 16th at 9 a.m. and open to the public on Friday, March 17th at 9 a.m. Forms can be found with the links below. 

MEMBER ONLY Discovery Day Camp Registration

Discovery Day Camp Registration