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  • Location:
    Brookside Nature Center
    Wheaton Regional Park
    1400 Glenallen Ave.
    Wheaton, Maryland 20902
    Directions and Map

  • Hours of Operation:
    Tuesday through Saturday
    9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
    Closed Mondays and major

  • Contacts:
    Phone: 301-962-1480
    Fax: 301-962-8476

Summer Camps

Brookside Nature Center summer camp 2012Brookside Nature Center's camps are designed to fit a parent's busy schedule and keep a camper excited about being outside all summer long. All camps include Naturalist-lead activities, hikes, crafts, and games designed to inspire and foster a love for nature. Register for up to seven weeks of concurrent camp sessions for children entering grades 1-3 and/or grades 4-6. Camp sessions run Monday through Friday from 9 – 3:30, and extended care in the morning and afternoon is available for an additional fee.

Brookside Nature Center believes in sharing a passion for the natural world with others and modeling that passion through respect for all living things. Our camps are well known for high quality nature education delivered by professional teachers and naturalists.

Summer Camp registration begins January 9 for Montgomery County residents; January 10 open to all.

Here is a list of this summer's offerings at Brookside Nature Center:

Please note: The Visitors Center lot will be closed for renovations in 2014. Drop off and pick up your campers at Brookside Gardens Conservatory parking lot at 1500 Glenallan Ave.

June Bugs Camp 262749 FULL

Ages 4-6yrs
June 23-27, 9am-Noon, $150*

Your preschooler will go bug-eyed with wonder as we explore and investigate nature through outdoor activities, arts & crafts, and games at Brookside Nature Center. Let them spread their wings and traipse the trails of Brookside Nature Center, getting to know the plants and animals who call it home. It's a wonderful first day camp experience for your little “June Bug”!

*Pleae note: The price for this course was incorrectly listed in the Summer Camp Guide. The above listed price is correct.

It's “Fun”damental! 263553

Ages 6-11yrs
June 30-July 3, 9am-3:30pm, $232
Extended Care: 8-9am; $28 274349
Extended Care: 3:30pm-5:30pm; $56 274350

Ancient artists and scientists were inspired by the four elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire. We’ll build with mud, cook with fire, and experiment with air and splash in water. This experiential camp focuses on fun and play, which is a wonderful way to learn!

Tom Sawyer Camp 263555 FULL

Ages 6-11yrs
July 7-11, 9am-3:30pm, $290
Extended Care: 8-9am; $35 263556

Extended Care: 3:30pm-5:30pm; $70 263557

Ah, summertime...Tom Sawyer’s favorite season. School’s out, the Mississippi River is flowing gently, fishing's good, and Aunt Polly's inclined to forget about those bothersome chores. So what's an imaginative child to do but seek adventure? In this camp we'll re- enact some of Tom's escapades–from cane pole fishing and fence whitewashing to treasure hunting. We'll also learn about rural life in the 1850s, America's pre-industrial age, when most things were still handmade and self-sufficiency was the norm. We'll do a bit of tinsmithing, leatherworking, woodcarving, learn about blacksmithing, and maybe even build a raft! In the playful spirit of Mark Twain (who never quite grew up), come join us!

Survivor: Glenfield Island 263499 FULL

Ages 6-11yrs
July 14-18, 9am-3:30pm, $290
Extended Care: 8-9am; $35 263500
Extended Care: 3:30pm-5:30pm; $70 263501

No one will be voted off this island, but we will learn basic outdoor skills. Leave your GPS behind and learn some of the “primitive” ways to navigate. We’ll build shelters, learn emergency preparedness and basic camping skills, and practice knot tying. You’ll also learn how to make useful items from nature such as eating utensils, bowls, rafts and more.

Creek Week 263451 FULL

Ages 6-11yrs
July 21-25, 9am-3:30pm, $290
Extended Care: 8-9am; $35 263599
Extended Care: 3:30pm-5:30pm; $70 263600

From small streams to the Chesapeake Bay, water is home to many plants and animals. Come investigate the wonders of water! We'll explore the streams and ponds at Brookside Nature Center, and hike to Pine Lake and the Northwest to find out how these bodies of water were formed and who lives there. We'll scout for frogs, fish, ducks and dragonflies, and learn how to catch, identify and safely release other aquatic critters. It will be a wet and wonderful week!

Critter Scene Investigations 263549

Ages 6-11yrs
July 28-August 1, 9am-3:30pm, $290
Extended Care: 8-9am; $35 263551
Extended Care: 3:30pm-5:30pm; $70 263552

Uncover the mysteries animals leave behind! Critter Scene Investigator Trainees will put their nature detective skills to the test as they crack the code and recognize the many clues animals leave behind. Investigators will learn how to identify local animals by sight, tracks and signs; discover the different ways animals use their fur and feathers; and what to do if they encounter wild animals.

Naturally Creative 263201 FULL

Ages 6-11yrs
August 4-8, 9am-3:30pm, $290
Extended Care: 8-9am; $35 263202
Extended Care: 3:30pm-5:30pm; $70 263203

The elements of nature—plants, animals, water, rocks and light—are perfect for inspiring art and fueling the creative process. Each day we'll focus on a distinct natural element, exploring its qualities and allowing it to stimulate our imagination and our artistic sensibility. We’ll mold with river clay, print with feathers, paint while running an obstacle course, dribble with melted crayons, tell a story with stones and much more in this energetic, open-ended blend of art in the outdoors. All art materials are provided.

Parent & Child Nature Camp 263149

Ages 4-6yrs
August 11-15, 9am-3:30pm, $120

Have summer camp fun with your child as you explore nature together! Investigate the woods, stream, ponds and forest edge to discover and learn about the amazing plants and animals that live here at the Nature Center. On Friday, we'll finish up the week with a campfire lunch! Please bring close-toed shoes and a small towel so that we can go wading when the weather is nice. A parent or caretaker must accompany children throughout the camp (no fee for accompanying adult).


A typical day at camp!

8:00 – 8:45 a.m. Early Birds: morning early drop off care
8:45 – 9:30 Morning Assembly: Sign – in, free time
9:30 First Activity Period: Craft, Recreation, or Naturalist Program
10:00 Morning Snack Break
10:30 Second Activity Period: Craft, Recreation, or Naturalist Program
12:00 Lunch (Friday is a campfire lunch so pack something to cook over the fire!)
12:45 Hiking out and about in the park
2:00 Third Activity Period: Craft, Recreation, or Naturalist Program
3:00 Meet for snack and story under the great sycamore
3:30 Time to go home!
3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Night Owls: late care
Staff/child Ratio: 1:5

Summer Employment Opportunities!

  • Brookside Nature Center is looking for energetic, naturalist minded teachers to make the summer memorable for campers. Call 301-962-1482 for more information.

Date of last page update: April 29, 2014