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What is Discovery Day Camp?

Your camper will enjoy a week full of exploration; discovering birds, wildlife, insects, water features, and nature knowledge at The Nature Institute. We will explore the woods, prairies, and ponds at Olin Nature Preserve and will play in the streams and waterfalls at Mississippi Sanctuary.

Campers will have opportunities to gain STEM skills while playing on our natural playground which includes a Mud Kitchen, Fossil Dig, Art Center, Burrow, Eagle’s Nest, Climbing Wall and much more. Campers will learn through discovery and guided play and explore our natural resources. Expect to hear about the new adventures your camper experienced while outdoors.

2021 Parent Manual


Explorers (3-6 years)

Camper must be potty trained
Our half-day camp is divided into morning and afternoon sessions this year.  PLEASE PICK ONE. 

The Secret Life of Plants – 

June 7-11, 2021 – 8:30am to noon (Morning Session Full)


June 7-11 – 1:00 to 4:30 pm

What do plants do when we are not looking at them? Do they get up and move around like the toys in Toy Story? How do they eat and what happens when it rains? This week at camp we will discover the answers to these questions and more. We will figure out the Secret Life of Plants. $160

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Full Day Camp

Adventurers (6-9 years)

All full day camps begin at 8:30am and end at 3:00pm. All camps except TNI Wilderness are Monday-Friday.

Agents of NATURE: Native Animal Traits Uncovered by Real Exploration

Sessions: June 14-18, 28-July 2, or July 19-23 (All Sessions Full)

What Superhero qualities do you have? Can you fly like Superman? Are you super strong like the Hulk? Can you shoot an arrow like Hawkeye or climb walls like Spiderman? Probably not, but did you know there are animals at TNI that can do all of those things and more. This week we will discover the amazing adaptations that the plants and animals around us have and use every day. $250, current members receive 15% off

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Pioneers (age 9-12)

TNI Wilderness

Sessions: June 21-24 or July 26-29 (All Sessions Full)

Are Hatchet or My Side of the Mountain your favorite books? If you would like to survive out in the wilderness like the characters from those stories, this camp is the one for you. We will learn some wilderness survival skills such as tracking, fort-building, firebuilding, and we will even have a chance to go on a night hike and experience the quiet of a summer night. You will learn how to navigate using a compass and map, and test your skills at moving quietly through the woods. Note: This camp runs Monday-Thursday. On the Thursday of each week, pickup time will be at 10:00 pm. $250

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Junior Camp (12+)

Mission: Mississippi

Sessions: June 28-July 2 (Full) or July 19-23
What makes our region special? The confluence of three great rivers! This week you will discover why the Mississippi is such a vital resource for our community. You will learn how past explorers have used it to gain knowledge, how commerce is affected by the flow of the river, and what animals live here specifically because we have a major river outside our back door.  $275

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