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Registration is now open for Discovery Day Camp.  Click on the link above or at the bottom of the page to connect with CampBrain.  Create a family profile, register, and you are all set! It is easy, fast, and safe. TNI Family Level Members and above receive 15% discount on camp prices, must contact office for your code (immediate family members only)


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.

Are you 13 years or older and have an enthusiasm for the outdoors? Join us as a Volunteer Junior Counselor and help out with Discovery Day Camp. 

View details of this position and find the link to apply here to become a member of TNI’s team.


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 1-5, 2020 – 8:30 am to noon 
June 1-5, 2020 – 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


Adventurers (age 6-9)

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

Agents of NATURE
June 8-12, 2020 – 8:30 am to 3 pm
June 22-26, 2020 – 8:30 am to 3 pm
July 13-17 2020 – 8:30 am to 3 pm
Agents of NATURE: Native Animal Traits Uncovered by Real Exploration
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? This week we will discover the amazing adaptations that plants and animals around us have and use every day. $250

Pioneers (age 9-12)

TNI Wilderness
June 15-18, 2020 Monday – Thursday, Pick up on Thursday is at 10 pm
July 20-23, 2020 Monday – Thursday, Pick up on Thursday is at 10 pm

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

Junior Camp (12+)

Mission: Mississippi
June 22-26, 2020 – This camp includes an overnight campout on July 18-19
July 6-10, 2020 – This camp includes an overnight campout on July 18-19
July 13-17, 2020 – This camp includes an overnight campout on July 18-19
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. You will have the opportunity to camp on the bluffs of the Illinois River and feel the power of the river while in a canoe. Note: Registration for any session of this camp includes an overnight campout on July 18-19. $275