Educational Summer Camps in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex

Summer Nature Camps

Overview

Summer Nature Camps

Do you remember the joy of spending childhood summers outdoors? Register for Heard Summer Nature Camps and share those wonderful moments and memories with your child. The Heard’s mission is to inspire children to discover, enjoy, experience, and restore our priceless environment.

Heard Summer Camps feature opportunities for children from north Texas and beyond to delve into the wonders of nature on our 289-acre sanctuary, encounter animal ambassadors, investigate nature-themed topics, and more. Studies have shown that spending time outdoors is not only fun for our children, but also plays an important role in many facets of child development.

Two friends posing for a picture in the woods at camp

A Message About Covid-19

At this time, Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary is planning to hold our in-person Summer Nature and Specialty Camps as scheduled. Because the health and safety of our campers and staff are a priority, we will implement recommended CDC guidelines as applicable.


Safety precautions may include requiring all staff and campers to wear face masks, conducting health screenings on arrival for both staff and campers such as taking temperatures, and asking pertinent questions about recent travel activities and health status. All campers and staff that have recently been ill or exposed to COVID-19 will not be allowed at camp. While we always limit class sizes to ensure the best possible camp experience, we will further limit class sizes to levels that allow for appropriate social distancing while in our classrooms and outside. Diligent adherence to regular hand washing and sanitizing for all will be stressed. We will also conduct extra sanitizing and cleaning of shared spaces and classroom items.


Recent studies also indicate that outdoor activities, such as provided during our Nature Camps, have inherently less risk for catching Covid 19. Specific guidelines for each camp will be provided to registered campers before their scheduled camp. Camps may be rescheduled or canceled as dictated by changing conditions or governmental orders.

Our Camp Programs

Summer Nature Camps

These weeklong Heard Summer Nature Camps will feature opportunities to delve into the wonders of nature on our 289-acre sanctuary, encounter animal ambassadors, investigate nature-themed topics, and more!

Camp Dragonfly Topics

 

  • Insects: Hunters and Hunted  
    Learn about what makes an insect an insect, how they are some of the best hunters and favorite snacks in the animal kingdom, how they help us, and which ones to avoid.
  • Microscopic World  
    Have you ever wondered what’s in a drop of water? What does a piece of hair look like up close? Use magnifying tools to explore everyday things in a fascinating new way.
  • Who Am I?  
    Are you a mammal, a plant or a dragonfly? Do you walk on two legs or slide on your belly? The answer is all in your DNA! Find out more about these remarkable instructions found in every living thing that help determine who you are.
  • Water is Life  
    What is water? Why do we need it? Learn about the important properties of water and how we can’t live without it.
  • Nature Journaling  
    Naturalists often keep a journal to record their explorations of the natural world. Make a journal to use during camp and take it home to keep using on your own.

 

Camp Snapping Turtle Topics

 

  • Turtles Through Time    
    Test your turtle knowledge! What kind of animal are they? Can they take off their shell? Did they live with dinosaurs? Are any of them endangered and what can we do to help?
  • Meet the Neighbors    
    How do scientists figure out if there are things like volcanoes, oceans, or craters on other planets? Explore the planets in our solar system and find out how they are like or not like Earth.
  • Animal Olympics    
    Who’s the fastest animal on land? In the air? In the ocean? Who’s the tallest? Who is the smallest? Who jumps the highest? Who’s the strongest? Find out as we marvel at some of the amazing feats found in the animal world.
  • Wetland Wonders    
    What are wetlands? Who lives there? Why are they important to us? Explore the wetlands on our sanctuary and find out these things and more.
  • Nature Journaling    
    Naturalists often keep a journal to record their explorations of the natural world. Make a journal to use during camp and take it home to keep using on your own.

Reservations

Ages

5 – 12 Years (as of June 1, 2021)

Price

Member Rate: $220

Non-Member Rate: $245

 

Pre-registration is required

Schedule

Camp Dragonfly:

June 14 – 18

June 21 – 25

Camp Snapping Turtle:

June 28 – July 2

July 5 – 9

9:30 A.M. – 2:30 P.M.

Nature Art Camps

Youth artists will follow in the footsteps of great artists such as Audubon, Beatrix Potter and Anna Atkins, with unique opportunities to create their own art inspired by nature and live animals. Each day, a different type of medium will be explored.

Projects

  • botanical blueprints
  • watercolor
  • fabric wall hanging
  • paper mache sculpture

 

Campers will respond to the beauty of the Heard Sanctuary and wildlife through hands on art experiences.

 

Our Nature Art Camps will be led by Lynne Hubner, who serves as the exhibit curator at the Heard. Ms. Hubner earned a BFA in Drawing from Manhattanville College, New York, as well as an MFA in Printmaking from the University of North Texas. Hubner is the co-founder and past president of the North Texas Printmakers Guild. She runs an active printmaking studio in the Historic District of McKinney, Texas where non-toxic processes are stressed. She is an independent artist, lecturer, educator and workshop facilitator.

Reservations

Ages

6 – 12 Years (as of June 1, 2021)

Price

Member Rate: $170

Non-Member Rate: $195

 

Pre-registration is required.

Schedule

July 12 – 16

July 19 – 23

 

9:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.

Additional Information

All art supplies are included.

Keeper Camps

Campers experience a behind-the-scenes, hands-on adventure with our education and exhibit animals. Learn about our different animals and what it takes to properly care for them. 

Keeper Camp 1:

Campers experience a behind-the-scenes, hands-on adventure with our education and exhibit animals. Learn about our different animals and what it takes to properly care for them. Pre-registration is required.

 

Keeper Camp 2:

Want more? Continue your adventure and discover even more about taking care of animals and enriching the lives of our animal ambassadors. Prerequisite: must have attended Keeper Camp 1. Pre-registration is required.

Reservations

Ages

Ages: 10 – 15 (as of June 1, 2021)

Price

Member Rate: $270

Non-Member Rate: $295

 

Pre-registration required.

Schedule

Keeper Camp 1: 

June 7-11

July 12-16

 

Keeper Camp 2: 

July 19-23

 

9:30 A.M. – 2:30 P.M.

Additional Information

Attendees of Keeper Camp 2 must have attended Keeper Camp 1.

Magic Planet Camp

What keeps the Earth (and us) cozy?  Discover the Earth’s insulating layer as we use the Magic Planet’s new program, Eyes on the Earth* by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to deepen our understanding of the atmosphere. Weather, the ocean, and even the satellites in the exosphere will be featured in our studies.  And, of course, our nature walks will allow us to experience atmospheric conditions in real time. *Thank you to Tropical Smoothie Café for making this program possible!

Reservations

Ages

5*-12

 

*Participants must have completed one year of Kindergarden prior to camp.

Price

Member Rate: $115

Non-Member Rate: $130

Schedule

June 7 – 11

9:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

Additional Information

Spots are limited.

Snack time not included.

Summer Mini Camps

Fit a little more fun in nature into your summer!

Tuesday, July 27 – Nature Journaling
Naturalists often keep a journal to record their explorations of the natural world. Make a journal to use during camp and take it home to keep using on your own.

 

Wednesday, July 28 – Insects: Hunters and Hunted
Learn about what makes an insect an insect, how they are some of the best hunters and favorite snacks in the animal kingdom, how they help us, and which ones to avoid.

 

Thursday, July 29 – Water is Life
What is water? Why do we need it? Learn about the important properties of water and how we can’t live without it.

 

Friday, July 30 – Animal Olympics
Who’s the fastest animal on land? In the air? In the ocean? Who’s the tallest? Who is the smallest? Who jumps the highest? Who’s the strongest? Find out as we marvel at some of the amazing feats found in the animal world.

Reservations

Ages

6-11 (as of June 1, 2021)

 

*Participants must have completed one year of Kindergarden prior to camp

Price (per mini camp)

Member Rate: $18

Non-Member Rate: $22 

 

Pre-registration required

Mini Camps are not included in the Early Bird Offer.

Schedule

(9:30 a.m. – noon)

Nature Journaling

July 27

Insects: Hunters and Hunted

July 28

Water is Life

July 29

Animal Olympics
July 30

Frequently Asked Questions

Early Bird Special

Register for Camp Dragonfly, Camp Snapping Turtle or Keeper Camp (full day, weeklong camps) by March 26 and get a $25 Heard Store Gift Certificate. Applications must be complete* to qualify. Limit one per family/household.

 

*A completed application must include:

  • A completed registration form
  • payment in full
  • immunization forms
  • A completed registration form
  • payment in full
  • immunization forms

The Heard offers Heard Summer Camp t-shirts (available only when ordered by May 1) and Heard insulated water bottle carriers (while supplies last).

  • Deadline for 100% refund less a $20 admin fee – May 1
  • Deadline for 50% refund less the $20 admin fee – May 15 (no refunds available after this date).
  • Rescheduling of camp weeks may be possible after May 15 only as available
    • Please note that a $20 admin fee will apply for any modifications to registration after May 15.
    • Participants will also be responsible for any applicable additional fees that may be required for different camp type selection. No refund will be available for camps of a lesser price.

Medication Policy

 

Our Medication Policy is for the protection and safety of your child while he/she participates in Museum Programs. Your cooperation with this policy is necessary for the safety of all participants. We appreciate your consideration.

  • Only those prescriptions indicated by a physician as necessary for a child’s medical care and that cannot be administered outside of class time will be given.
  • Medication (except for epi-pens and rescue inhalers) will be kept in the First Aid station and administered by the Camp Health Care Officer.
  • Prescription medications, including inhalers and epi-pens, must be in the original container, with the pharmacy label, and placed in a clear baggie with a note that includes the child’s name, parent(s)’ name(s), physician’s name, and date attending summer camp. If the pharmacy label is not available, a signed note from the doctor’s office stating the name of the medication, dosage and usage will be accepted. Medication will be administered only as stated on the label directions. If the medicine has an expired expiration date, the medication will not be administered.
  • Asthma Inhalers and Epi-pens will be permitted in the classroom and may be carried outside by camp staff. Written medical authorization from a physician and parent/guardian must be on file in the Education Office. If your child is used to using their inhaler on their own, please let them know that they MUST notify their summer camp teacher prior to each use.
  • Injectable medications, such as insulin, will only be administered with medical authorization from a physician and parent/guardian on file in the Education Office.
  • As with other medication, it will be kept in the First Aid Station and dispensed by the Camp Health Care Officer.
  • Non-prescription medication will only be administered with written instructions, authorization and signature of both a physician and a parent/guardian. Medication must be in the original container, and placed in a clear baggie with the physician’s authorization, dosage, and parental authorization as well as the child’s name, printed parent(s)’ name(s) and physician’s name, and date attending summer camp. Medication will be administered only as stated in the physician’s written instructions. If the medicine has an expired expiration date, the medication will not be administered. The medication will be kept in the First Aid Station and dispensed by the Camp Health Care Officer.
  • Food Allergy Information: Please be aware that summer camp participants eat lunch together. Children with peanut butter or other food allergies cannot be separated from other classmates.

 

*Please note that the reciprocal admission agreement that the Heard has with the Perot Museum, Fort Worth Museum of Nature & Science and ASTC Passport Program participants does not apply to education programs or special events.