ENC Nature Camps
The ENC has offered Nature Camps since 1977! Nature Camp provides quality science education in an outdoor, hands-on setting. Our campers learn while having a great time! ENC Nature Camp emphasizes experiential learning. Campers spend most of their time outside observing nature up close using tools like binoculars, magnifying lenses and microscopes. Science concepts are introduced in a fun environment, with crafts, games and hands-on activities.
The health and safety of our campers, staff, and volunteers is and always has been of utmost importance to the ENC. In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we are constantly assessing the status of Orange County’s public health and making decisions related to our camp programs based on the most up-to-date and scientific information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Orange County Healthcare Agency. To ensure the health, safety, and well-being of all our campers, staff, and volunteers, we are transitioning to modified camp protocols to be aligned with best health practices:
Drop Off & Pick Up
- Drop off and pick-up times are staggered. See registration pages for exact options.
- In order to minimize the number of persons on our property, our camps will move to a car drop off system in our parking lot. Cars will pull into the U-shaped lot at the clearly marked entrance and pull up to the camp registration table at the curb. A staff member will greet your child and escort them to their camp group.
- At Pick Up, cars will come to the same place and as they pull up a staff member will check their ID, ask the caregiver to sign out the child, and radio to our other camp staff with the child’s name. Your child(ren) will be escorted directly from their camp group to their car.
- Health checks will be conducted at each vehicle or with walking families during drop off time. Staff Members will check health symptoms for each camper by asking them and their family member about:
- Any coughing?
- Any shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?
- Any sign of body chills?
- Any muscles pain?
- Any sign of sore throat?
- Any loss of taste or smell?
- Any fever in last 24 hours? (fever over 100 degrees F will be excluded from attending camp)
- Does child have asthma, diabetes, any heart issues?
- Any gastrointestinal symptoms or concerns- like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea?
- Any conjunctivitis symptoms -red, itchy eye, or mucous discharge?
- Has (Child) or his/her family been in contact or near anyone that they know to be infected by COVID-19?
Staff member will take each campers temperature with infrared thermometer. If the temperature reading is 100 degrees F or more the temperature will be taken again. If the reading remains the same or higher the child will be excluded from camp.
- Staff First Aid kits will now include extra masks, hand sanitizer, gloves etc. Your child will be expected to apply their own sunscreen throughout the day. Please make sure your child is already wearing sunscreen when they arrive to the ENC in the morning.
- All campers must be completely proficient in restroom procedures – staff will not be permitted to help with any part of the process, including hand-washing. Restrooms will be disinfected after each camp group uses the facilities.
Camp Group Size
- Our ENC camps will maintain a smaller camper to teacher ratio than we typically offer. Under these modified camp protocols, camp groups will never exceed 10 campers per naturalist. Camp groups may also include up to 1 teenage Leader in Training.
Increased Sanitation Practices
- ENC staff will be increasing the sanitation of our public use surfaces – door handles, restrooms, etc. We will also have increased access to hand sanitizer and hand washing stations, which will be utilized in between activities.
Public Visitation to the ENC
- The ENC will NOT be open to the public during the week. Campers are permitted on ENC’s grounds during camp hours only. The facility will be disinfected before Camp begins each Monday.
- While it is unrealistic to expect children to maintain 6 feet of distance from each other at all times during the camp day, we will be doing what we can to maintain physical distancing. Camp groups will enjoy snack time as individual groups instead of as one large group at the log area.
- ENC staff will avoid team-teaching in order to keep groups small.
- Face masks: Children will be required to wear masks at pick-up and drop-off each day, as our parking lot is a high-traffic area. Campers must have their masks with them at all times (fastened around the neck) and wear their masks when they are not physically distanced.
Read the Nature Camp Newsletter prior to your first day of camp!
If you do not see your questions answered on this page, feel free to call us at 949-645-8489 or email the Camp Director!
My children are a few years apart, can they be in the same group? Our Campers are divided into groups by grade level. Curricula and activities are designed for these different age groups, which are developmentally distinct from each other.
What is the registration deadline? All camp registrations are open until 12PM on the weekday preceding the start of the camp OR until full.
Who are the Camp Teachers? Most of the Camp Teachers are our Naturalists who teach here throughout the school year. A few exceptional individuals join us to complement our amazing team (they also work year round in the outdoor environmental education field). All of our teachers are exceptionally qualified in elementary science education and represent a wide range of expertise in the Orange County educational community.