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.

Click here to view the message regarding Heard Summer Camps and COVID-19.

Two friends posing for a picture in the woods at camp

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! Spots are limited. Registration coming soon.

Camp Tadpole Topics

  • Amazing Amphibians
    How do you tell the difference between a reptile and an amphibian? We’ll explore the answer as we discover amphibians’ unique life cycle and other amazing facts about them.
  • Pond Life
    What is a pond and who lives in one? We’ll take a look at the critters big and small that call a pond their home.
  • Grossology
    We’ll get down and dirty as we explore some of the weird, wacky, and wild things found in nature.
  • Fossil Finds
    How do we know what plant and animals used to live on the earth? We’ll take a look at how fossils are formed and what they tell us about the past.
  • 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 Chickadee Topics

  • Bird Basics
    Our sanctuary is home to many different types of birds. We’ll see how many of them we can spot or hear. We’ll also explore the purpose of the many different beaks, feet, and feathers they have.
  • Wetland Wonders
    We’ll explore our wetlands and find out how vital they are to not only the plants and animals that live in and around them, but to people too.
  • Eye Spy
    Do all animals see the same way? What are some of the roles that color plays in nature? We’ll take a look at the answer to these and other fun facts about color and vision.
  • Rock Stars
    How are rocks made? What everyday objects are made from rocks and minerals? Find out as we explore the answers and look for signs of the rock cycle that are all around us.
  • 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.
Kids walking the trail with a camp leader during spring break mini camp

Reservations

Heard Museum* Members-Only Registration

Through 2/21

Registration Open to Public

Begins 2/22

Early Bird Registration

Ends 3/15

Ages

5 – 12 Years (as of June 1, 2023)

Price

Member Rate: $225

Non-Member Rate: $250

Pre-registration is required

Schedule

9:30 A.M. – 2:30 P.M.

 

Camp Tadpole 

June 12 – 16

June 19 – 23

 

Camp Chickadee

June 26 – June 30

July 10 – July 14

Nature Art Camps

Information coming soon!

Would you like to receive an email notification when more information is available? Click here.

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

Heard Museum Members Pre-sale on Magic Planet Camps through February 28. Reservations open to the public beginning March 1.

Ages

6 – 12 Years (as of June 1, 2022)

Price

Member Rate: $170

Non-Member Rate: $195

 

Pre-registration is required.

Schedule

9:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.

July 11 – 15

July 18 – 22

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. Spots are limited. Registration coming soon.

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

Heard Museum* Members-Only Registration

Through 2/21

Registration Open to Public

Begins 2/22

Early Bird Registration

Ends 3/15

Ages

Ages: 10 – 15 (as of June 1, 2023)

Price

Member Rate: $270

Non-Member Rate: $295

 

Pre-registration required.

Schedule

9:30 A.M. – 2:30 P.M.

 

Keeper Camp 1

June 5-9

July 17-21

 

Keeper Camp 2

July 24-28

Additional Information

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

Magic Planet Camp

Information coming soon!

Journey through our Solar System and beyond!  This camp will use the Magic Planet, a digital interactive globe, to explore the unique  characteristics of the planets, their moons, and other objects seen in our night sky.  We’ll also spend time outdoors exploring the fascinating characteristics of the planet we know best – the Earth! Spots are limited. Registration coming soon.

Reservations

Heard Museum* Members-Only Registration

Through 2/21

Registration Open to Public

Begins 2/22

Ages

5*-10

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

Price

Member Rate: $120

Non-Member Rate: $135

Schedule

9:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

June 5 – 9

Additional Information

Spots are limited.

Snack time not included.

Summer Mini Camps

Fit a little more fun in nature into your summer! Spots are limited. Register today.

July 26, 27 & 28 – More information coming soon

Wednesday, July 5 – Amazing Amphibians
How do you tell the difference between a reptile and an amphibian? We’ll explore the answer as we discover amphibians’ unique life cycle and other amazing facts about them.

 

Thursday, July 6 – Fossil Finds
How do we know what plant and animals used to live on the earth? We’ll take a look at how fossils are formed and what they tell us about the past.

 

Friday, July 7 – Bird Basics
Our sanctuary is home to many different types of birds. We’ll see how many of them we can spot or hear. We’ll also explore the purpose of the many different beaks, feet, and feathers they have.

Reservations

Heard Museum* Members-Only Registration

Through 2/21

Registration Open to Public

Begins 2/22

Ages

6-12 (as of June 1, 2023)

Price (per mini camp)

Member Rate: $22

Non-Member Rate: $24

 

Pre-registration required

Mini Camps are not included in the Early Bird Offer.

Schedule

(9:30 a.m. – noon)

Wednesday, July 5 – Amazing Amphibians
Thursday, July 6 – Fossil Finds
Friday, July 7 – Bird Basics

Frequently Asked Questions

Early Bird Special

Register for Camp Dragonfly, Camp Snapping Turtle or Keeper Camp (full day, weeklong camps) by March 17 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).

  • Deadline for 100% refund less a $20 admin fee – May 1
  • Deadline for 50% refund less the $20 admin fee – May 22 (no refunds available after this date).
  • Before May 22, if space is available, rescheduling from one camp week to another may be offered without an admin fee.
  • Rescheduling of camp weeks may be possible after May 22 only as available
    • Please note that a $20 admin fee will apply for any modifications to registration after May 22.
    • 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.

A Message About Covid-19 & Heard Summer Camps

We do not know what the coronavirus situation will be when camp actually occurs. But assuming conditions are the same as they are now, the following procedures, based on CDC guidelines, will be implemented to help reduce potential exposure for campers and staff. If community conditions improve or worsen, we will adjust our policies accordingly.

 

What About Face Masks?

  • Currently, face masks will only be required to be worn only when live animal ambassadors are visiting class (about 10-15 minutes) or when visiting the mammals on the animal trail.
  • They are welcome to be worn at any time if desired.

What Else Are We Doing?

  • Daily health screening for all camp staff and campers. (See below)
  • Social distancing practices will be maintained during camp as much as possible.
  • Soap and/or hand sanitizer will be available at all times in all camp classrooms and restrooms.
  • Ongoing sanitizing/cleaning in classrooms and public areas.
  • All live animal visitors and some specimens will be “look only.” Masks must be worn by everyone in the room when animal visitors are outside their carriers.

Health Screening

  • Pre-arrival Health screening by family – please keep your camper at home if:
    • They have any COVID-19 symptoms such as cough, fever, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, sore throat, chills, aches, new loss or change of smell or taste, etc.
    • They have recently had close contact with anyone who has tested positive for or has symptoms of COVID-19.
    • If the answer is yes to either question or they have tested positive, campers will not be allowed to be at camp for at least 5 days from onset of symptoms or exposure and/or have had a negative covid test.
    • A health screening may occur at check-in for all campers and staff which could include a temperature check. Anyone with a temperature of 100 oF or higher will not be allowed to attend camp, and may not return until fever has been normal for at least 24 hours if there are no other COVID-19 symptoms.

(Policy current as of 1.24.23)