Iowa Green Summer Camps Combine Fun with Environmental Education


This summer encourage your kids to turn off the television and leave the cell phone at home with any of these fun green summer camps. From exploring wildlife to roasting marshmallows around a campfire, these green summer camps located throughout the state of Iowa will help your kids develop an appreciation for nature while staying active this summer.

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Kids who love adventure and meeting new friends will enjoy the green summer camp offerings sponsored by the Iowa 4-H Club. Summer camp activities are held at the Iowa 4-H Center that features over 1,100 acres in the Des Moines River Valley. Environmentally-focused day and week-long programs are available for tweens and teens to explore.

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There are many activities in Iowa 4H Camp – image by

From a week-long camping adventure learning about wildlife and bugs to a wilderness adventure that includes learning survival skills, there’s a summer camp opportunity to help kids make new friends while gaining a greater appreciation for the environment.

Another green summer camp in Iowa option for kids in the Des Moines area is the Living History Farms Summer Camp. A full schedule of summer day camps for kids in grades kindergarten through ninth. Campers take a trip back in time to explore creeks, rolling hills, learn historic crafts, discover more about Iowa’s natural resources and more.

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The Living History Farms offers a unique opportunity for kids to enjoy nature while experience what life was like for early Iowa settlers.

For kids living in or around Iowa City, the University of Iowa offers several wildlife summer camps for kids of all ages. The purpose of the University of Iowa summer day camp programs is to encourage kids to appreciate the environment and gain a conscientious concern for wild animals and their habitat.

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All the of lessons are taught in natural areas like the Lake Macbride Nature Recreation Area and other neighboring parks. Whether exploring wetlands or playing nature games, there is a specific camp catered to the all age levels.

Located in Eastern Iowa, Camp Wapsie is owned by the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Y.M.C.A. It’s also one of the favorite summer camp destinations for kids aged 6-18. Kids have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while learning outdoor living skills, how to build a fire, prepare and cook food over a campfire while making new friends.

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In addition to environmentally-focused camps, kids can also participate in sports and arts focused camps.

A special camp experience for girls 12-15 only is the Outdoor Journey for Girls. The 3-day, 2-night camp is held at the Springbrook Conservation Center in Guthrie Center, Iowa. It provides girls with a unique opportunity to learn outdoor skills through hands-on activities. teaches outdoor skills to kids through hands-on activities.

Outdoor Journey for Girls
A girl at Outdoor Journey for Girls – image by

For those days after camp, you can find a number of environmental education resources are available on the Iowa DNR Springbrook Conservation Education Center website to keep kids busy and learning about the environment.


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