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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

Survey: How are Nature Centers doing?

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:

Parent/Child Nature Play Date 308599

Ages 3-5 yrs
June15-19, 9:00 am-12:00pm, $155

Explore, laugh, play and learn about the natural world hand-in-hand with your young children! Play with water, make treasures with things you find in nature, move and stretch like your favoire animals, and get messy. Enjoy a balance of free play, organized games, story time and simple crafts with your best little nature buddy!

June Bugs Camp 308600

Ages 4-6 yrs
June 22-26, 9:00 am-12:00pm, $155

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”!

Spineless Wonders 308649FULL

Ages 6-11yrs
June 29- July 20, 9am-3:30pm, $232
Extended Care: 8-9am; $32 308902
Extended Care: 3:30pm-5:30pm; $64 308650

Celebrate insects and other invertebrates—from beetles and butterflies to snails and centipedes! We’ll use nets to capture and release bugs in the meadow and aquatic critters in the stream, and search for our spineless friends in the woods. Enjoy four days of buggy bliss as we come to understand the importance of insects through outdoor exploration, crafts and games.

Nature's Laboratory 308901 FULL

Ages 6-11yrs
July 6-10, 9am-3:30pm, $290
Extended Care: 8-9am; $40 308899
Extended Care: 3:30pm-5:30pm; $80
Do your kids question everything, love nature and enjoy experiments? Get them into Nature’s Laboratory! Our “lab” will be the meadows, trails and woodlands of Brookside Nature Center, where kid scientists will explore, observe and collect data, and try to solve some of nature’s many mysteries. They’ll dabble in botany, herpetology, ornithology and more, using specialized tools and real scientific equipment.

Native Ways 308700 FULL

Ages 6-11yrs
July 13-17, 9am-3:30pm, $290
Extended Care: 8-9am; $40 308701
Extended Care: 3:30pm-5:30pm; $80 308852

Imagine living in Maryland 400 years ago. What would you wear? What games would you play? What would you cookfor dinner?What stories would you hear around the camp fire? By recreating some of the day-to-day life experiences and traditions of Piscataway American Indian children, campers will gain a true understanding of the life and history of one of Maryland’s largest Native American tribes.

Counselor-in-Training (CIT) Camp 308749 FULL

Ages 13-16yrs
July 13-17, 9am-3:30pm, $155

Love nature? Like working with kids? Need Student Service Learning (SSL) hours? You can earn SSL hours, learn about nature, and have fun all at the same time at our Counselor-in-Training Camp? Shadow Park Naturalists, teachers and other professionals,  as they guide you through a fascinating exploration of science and nature. Learn environmental monitoring, animal tracking, plant/animal identification and nature crafts. Develop leadership skills, learn group dynamics and exercise decision-making skills. You’ll also get the opportunity to practice what you’ve learned with younger campers. The experience will last a lifetime (and won’t look bad on your resume, either!)

Creek Week 308800FULL

Ages 6-11yrs
July 20-24, 9am-3:30pm, $290
Extended Care: 8-9am; $40 308799
Extended Care: 3:30pm-5:30pm; $80 308851

Come investigate the wonders of water! From the small streams to the Chesapeake Bay, water is the home to so many plants and animals. We’ll explore the streams and ponds at Brookside Nature Center, as well as Pine Lake and Northwest Branch 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!

Beastly Buddies 308849 FULL

Ages 6-11yrs
July 27-31, 9am-3:30pm, $290
Extended Care: 8-9am; $40 308801
Extended Care: 3:30pm-5:30pm; $80 308850

Horses! Honeybees! Dogs! Here's your chance to learn about the animals that help humans, and the humans who help our wild and companion animals.  Build mason bee hives, learn how to monitor and provide habitat for birds, butterflies and amphibians, and meet some service animals and their trainers.  It's the perfect camp for animal lovers!

Naturally Creative308853 FULL

Ages 6-11yrs
August 3-7 9am-3:30pm, $290
Extended Care: 8-9am; $40 308854
Extended Care: 3:30pm-5:30pm; $80 308855

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.?

Little Explorers 308904

Ages 3-5yrs
August 10-14, 9am-noon, $155

Introduce your little one to the wonders within Montgomery Parks! Each day we will meet at a different park to learn to hike, play, and explore the different landscapes, playgrounds, and varieties of flora and fauna! A list of parks we’ll visit and specific meeting spots will be provided closer to the camp date.

A parent or caregiver must stay with their children throughout this camp. Please register the child only; 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: June 18, 2015