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Nature Camp


The ENC has offered Nature Camps since 1977! From June 1 – June 19 we are offering our amazing Nature Camp to children of Essential Workers as defined by the State of California. Nature Camp provides quality science education in an outdoor setting. ENC Nature Camp emphasizes experiential learning. Campers spend ALL of their time outside, in the fresh air, having a great time observing nature up close using tools like binoculars, magnifying lenses and microscopes. Science concepts are introduced in a fun environment, with crafts, games and nature activities. Note: Start and pick-up times are staggered, so please take note when you register.

Summer Nature Camps (June 22 – August 28) are also being offered in one week sessions to children age 4 – 13. Check availability on our Events Calendar, HERE.

COVID-19 Policies

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 the OC Department of Health. 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 will be 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

  • All parents are encouraged to read through the current CDC guidelines pages on COVID-19 symptoms, transmission, prevention, and when to seek medical attention.
  • Parents will complete an at home self-screening each day prior to coming to Nature Camp. Per CDC guidelines a self-screening at home should include a temperature and symptom check. These symptoms include frequent cough, fever, difficulty breathing, chills muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and recent loss of taste or smell. Campers who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (including a temperature of 100.4° or higher) are required to stay home.
  • 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:
    1. Any coughing?
    2. Any shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?
    3. Any sign of body chills?
    4. Any muscles pain?
    5. Any sign of sore throat?
    6. Any loss of taste or smell?
    7. Any fever in last 24 hours? (fever over 100 degrees F will be excluded from attending camp)
    8. Does child have asthma, diabetes, any heart issues?
    9. Any gastrointestinal symptoms or concerns- like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea?
    10. Any conjunctivitis symptoms -red, itchy eye, or mucous discharge?
    11. 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.

Hygiene Practices

  • 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 between use by each camper.

Public Visitation to the ENC

  • The ENC will NOT be open to the public during Camp. Campers are permitted on ENC’s grounds during camp hours (9am-1pm, M-F) only. The facility will be disinfected before Camp begins on Monday.

Camp Group Size

  • Our ENC camps will maintain a smaller camper to teacher ratio than we typically offer. In previous camps we have maintained a 15:1 ratio; under these modified camp protocols, camp groups will never exceed 8 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. These areas will be disinfected at least three times during the camp day. We will also have increased access to hand sanitizer and hand washing stations, which will be utilized after every activity. Camp groups will have their own dedicated materials (such as binoculars, paintbrushes, etc.)., which will not come into contact with other camp groups, and which will be disinfected between each use.

Physical Distancing

  • 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: Child(ren) will be required to have one with them and encouraged to wear it as much as possible, especially at drop-off and pick-up, more group focused activities etc. Their masks will need to be washed or replaced daily. Masks must attach behind the neck so they do not become lost.

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 Mindy the Camp Director!

How old does my child have to be to go to Nature Camp at the ENC? Youngest campers are age 5 and currently “attending” Kindergarten (grade 1 in Fall 2020). Oldest campers are 10 years old.

My children are a few years apart, can they be in the same group? Our Campers are normally divided into groups by grade level, but if you would prefer for your siblings to be together at this time, simply sign the older sibling up to be in the group with your younger sibling.

What is the registration deadline? Registration closes at noon on the Friday before each camp, but frequently camps fill long before that. An additional fee ($60 per camper) applies for late registration (less than 96 hours before the first day of a camp session). Please realize that Camp Staff does not work between 5PM on Friday and 8AM on Monday, so contacting us about late registration over the weekend may not guarantee a spot in camp for your child.

Who are the Camp Teachers? Our Camp Teachers are our Naturalists who teach here throughout the school year. All of our teachers are exceptionally qualified in elementary science education and represent a wide range of expertise in the Orange County educational community.

What will the kids be doing? Camp teachers develop their own curricula, which includes nature themed activities like hiking, searching for animals and animal evidence, science experiments, and opportunities to be creative. Games that promote improved concentration, creativity, decision making, social interaction, and critical thinking are encouraged. Literature and literacy is highly regarded at the ENC, so story time and reading are usually a part of each day. Each week has a different theme and different activities, so feel free to sign up for more than one session! A lunch and a snack time will be provided for campers each day, food not provided.

What is your refund policy?

  • Refund requests made 4+ weeks prior to the start date of camp are subject to a $25.00 fee per week of camp.
  • Refund requests made 2-4 weeks prior to the start date of camp are subject to $50.00 fee per week of camp.
  • Refund requests made with 1-2 weeks notice 50% refund.
  • Less than 1 week notice no refund requests will be processed.
  • Absent Campers: There are no refunds, make up days or credits for days missed for any reason (including sickness/illness). The ENC depends on income from camps for the continued operations of the Center.
  • All session changes will incur a $25.00 fee.

Attention parents: you must complete registration for each child separately (to the point of paying – sorry!), or our system will not ask for the second child’s info (name, age, etc.).

All refund requests and camp changes must be submitted by email. PLEASE check your schedule before registering and be careful when choosing options. Changes are made by a human, a very time consuming (costly) endeavor. Please review our refund policy above. There will be no exceptions made.

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