Nature Day Camp at the Yakima Area Arboretum

What better way for your child to spend their summer than outside in the fresh air and sun at Yakima Area Arboretum's Nature Day Camp!

Here you can find information on Nature Day Camp, how we will be maintaining a safe and fun environment in the COVID era, and how to register for your child's weeks of camp. Please keep in mind during this time and through the summer, we will be following any and all guidelines set forth by local and state health officials.

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Our 2019 Nature Day Camp Kids

We will be following all applicable county, state, and federal COVID-19 guidelines for our summer day camp.

  • As of March 12th, 2022 masks will not be required for outdoor summer day camps like Yakima Area Arboretum's Nature Day Camp.
  • We will not require masks at camp unless guidelines change, but we encourage any and all campers who wish to protect themselves to wear masks during camp.
  • We will not require any doctor notes on your child's COVID vaccination status, though we will be doing temperature checks and symptom screening at morning drop off. If any symptoms are of concern, the camp may ask that your child stay home until symptoms have been resolved.
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The Yakima Area Arboretum is committed to offering first rate environmental education to people of all ages. We believe that facilitating positive outdoor experiences while developing an understanding of local ecology yields a powerful and lasting educational experience that helps to create a more informed, sensitive, and thoughtful citizen.

Through our Nature Day Camp Program we strive to provide a collaborative learning environment that blends the arts, sciences, and playfulness, that actively engages the hearts, hands, and minds of our students.

Campers will spend their days outdoors, exploring, conducting experiments, gathering and documenting information, listening to stories, playing games, climbing, walking, building, observing, collecting, getting dirty, wet, and so much more. At the end of the day your camper will arrive home tired, a little messy and full of stories about their adventures and will be eager to do it all again the next day.

Our camp themes help guide the games, lessons, activities, and exploration of each camp week. Themes will also help focus the camp towards your child’s interest and add variety for our multi-week campers. However, nature being nature, we also reserve the right to switch it up a bit if a unique opportunity presents itself, i.e. taking the time to literally stop and smell the roses during Survivor, or sitting quietly and listening to the American bullfrog bellow his tune during Arts and Crafts week. As we like to say, “There is always something new to do and view at the Arboretum.”

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2022 Schedule & Camp Themes:

Camper grade is based on camper's 2022-2023 school year grade!

Eight (8) Weeks to Choose From

All Camps Will Run from 9:00am to 3:00pm


Warmup to Summer (1st-3rd and 4th-7th)

Get those muscles moving during this nature-game and teamwork focused camp to start the summer! Kids will be active throughout the week flying around like busy bees, collecting nuts as squirrels, looking for meals as mosquitoes, being a bear in the river, and more. Different team games will get campers working together on building projects, trivia, and high energy events to complete the week's challenges. This is a new camp for this year, and this camp theme is only offered once for 2022!

Week 1- June 20 to June 24

Explorers (1st-3rd) and Survivors (4th-7th)

Kids learn the basics of what it takes to explore the wilderness and some basic survival techniques. Both groups will learn the basics of what to bring on a trip in the wilderness and what to do if you're lost. Explorers will focus on what to look for while walking (plants, wildlife, safety, etc.) through games, creature features, and projects. Survivors will create a survival shelter, learn about ways to get clean water, learn what’s needed to build a fire, and how identify native plants and animals. Survivor is our most popular camp!

Week 2- June 27 to July 1

Week 5- July 25 to July 29

Leap, Slither, and Crawl (1st-3rd) and Call, Growl, and Howl (4th-7th)

Explore the creatures of the Yakima Area Arboretum. Younger campers spend their days looking for smaller creatures that might be leaping, slithering, or crawling through the grounds and trees. Older campers learn about larger and stealthier animals, focusing on their sounds and identifying their tracks.

Week 3- July 11 to July 15

Week 6- August 1 to August 5

Funky Forests (1st-3rd and 4th-7th)

Campers learn about what goes on in our forests. Both groups will learn the basics of what makes up our forests and what the trees there can tell us! They’ll learn about how forest fires move through terrain, what you can find in the forest above and below ground, and the effects of removing too many trees from the landscape. This camp theme is only offered once for 2022!  

Week 4- July 18 to July 22

Art and Nature (1st-3rd) and Creature Creations (4th-7th)  

Campers will be inspired to create natural art and recreate engineering feats found in the natural world. Art and Nature campers will use natural materials to use for art projects which may include making their own creatures, wind chimes, and other fun projects with natural materials that they will get to take home. Creature Creations campers will learn from lessons that can include making "owl pellets" to dissect at home, "bird nest" weaving, and more. This camp theme is only offered once for 2022!

Week 7- August 8 to August 12


Best of Camp (1st-3rd and 4th-7th)

Kids will end the summer with a week filled with a little bit of everything! High energy games, group projects, crafting survival gear, going on off-grounds expeditions, making creature creations and more. This is a fun week-long "field day" experience for the campers at the end of summer before school starts up the following week. This is a new camp for this year, and this camp theme is only offered once for 2022!

Week 8- August 15 to August 19

Cancellation/Refund Policy: If you need to cancel your child’s Nature Day Camp session for any reason, please contact us immediately. If the session is cancelled with at least 21 days’ notice for Nature Day Camp you will receive a full refund minus a $30 processing fee for Nature Day Camp. If the session is cancelled by you with less than 21 days, no refund will be given.

Thank You to Our Sponsors of Nature Day Camp!

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Questions, Comments, Concerns?


Garrett Brenden

Nature Day Camp Director


(509) 248-7337

Looking for some Spring, Fall, and Winter Youth events? Try Kids Nature Nights!


Looking for a fun, safe, and educational night for the kids while you enjoy an evening out on the town? Then send your kiddos to Kids Nature Night at the Arboretum! Kids Nature Night is for children aged 5 through 12 who will enjoy a night full of science, games, arts and crafts, movies and more. Please note all attendees must be potty trained.

Kids will have free range of the Jewett Interpretive Center (with supervision of course!) to move freely between activities and stations throughout the evening. After dinner, attendees can explore the dark grounds on our night hike (weather permitting). Towards the end of the program, everyone will gather in the Gardenview Room to watch a nature movie related to the theme.