Explorer Camp

Ages: 9–11, entering fourth through sixth grades

Explorers will venture along the trails around Shaver’s woods, traveling further than their Discovery Camp counterparts, in their quest to discover all they can about mammals. Topics to explore include biodiversity, adaptations, cycles, and interrelationships. The week also includes fun games, team-building challenges, a trip to a local beach area, and reflection through journaling. Friday evening is an opportunity for families to experience the magic of camp together through ice cream, campfire performances, night walks, and a chance to camp out at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center! (Families need to bring all of their own equipment if camping out.) Pancakes are served on Saturday morning.

Registration Information

$255 for nonmembers (save 15% with membership)

Tuesday–Thursday, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Friday, 5:00 p.m.–Saturday, 8:00 a.m. (Optional family programming — see schedule for details)

Dates (Choose one):
June 18–22 , 2024
June 25–29, 2024
July 2–6, 2024*
July 16–20, 2024
July 23–27, 2024
July 30–August 3, 2024

*Please note that camp will run as scheduled on July 4.

Optional Transportation for the weeks of July 23 and July 30 only:
Bus transportation will be provided for an additional fee from the Spikes Stadium at Medlar Field, 701 Porter Road. Drop-off (Tuesday–Friday) will be from 8:00–8:30 a.m., and pick-up (Tuesday–Thursday) will be from 4:30–5:00 p.m. Pick-up on Friday is at 5:00 p.m. at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center. You must register for bus transportation separately during the registration process in order to secure space.

Visit the Camp Registration page

Day Activities


9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.: Biodiversity Day

Through guided explorations, we will discover what biodiversity is, why it is important, and what it looks like in Shaver’s Woods.


9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.: Adaptations Day

How do mammals survive? Today we will investigate the different adaptations of these incredible biotic organisms!


9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.: Cycles Day

Today we will delve into the cycles of the natural world, including a stream study that features exploration and critter-catching time! Because your camper will be in the stream, make sure they pack an extra pair of old, closed-toed shoes for the water and an extra pair of socks in a plastic bag.


9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.: Interrelationships Day

Tying together all the topics from the week, Interrelationships Day focuses on the relationships between different organisms. This day also includes swimming at a local beach area; have your camper WEAR a swimsuit under their clothes and pack a towel and clothes to change into later in a plastic bag! (Note that campers are only allowed into the water as deep as their armpits.)

Friday evening–Saturday morning

Optional Family Programming

Friday 5:00 p.m.: Enjoy your own self-provided dinner on the front lawn. With no cooking facilities available, please bring something that is easy and quick. Plan to take home any leftovers, plus the dishes the food came in and any plates/cups/silverware/napkins that you bring with you. *Please note that although we love dogs, only service dogs are welcome on Shaver’s Creek property.

Setup for all Friday evening activities (including the picnic and camping) begins no earlier than 4:45 p.m. This includes all types of tents, food, blankets, chairs, sleeping bags, tarps, and other materials related to any Friday evening activity on any part of Shaver’s Creek property, including the Front Yard, forested areas, open areas, and parking areas. People arriving before 4:45 p.m. will be asked to return to their vehicles with all their gear and remain there until 4:45 p.m. This is to ensure that all programming happening up until 5:00 p.m. can provide closure to the week for each participant. We appreciate your understanding and assistance to make the end of everyone’s camp week the best that it can be!

5:30–6:30 p.m.: Aviary open with an interpreter available to answer questions!

6:00 p.m.: Shaver’s Creek bookstore closes.

6:30 p.m.: Interested in staying for more camp fun? Meyer Dairy ice cream to be provided!

7:15 p.m.: Campfire program! Campers and staff from Discovery, Explorer, and Investigator programs will present a myriad of poems, skits, stories, and adventures from the camp week. Bring along a blanket/chair or sit on the giant rocks in front of the stage.

8:30–9:30 p.m.: It’s time to head out on the trail for a night walk! Bring warm layers and wear closed-toed shoes. Flashlights not needed.

10:00 p.m.: Settle into your tent for the night! Note that open flames (including lanterns and candles) are not permitted.

Saturday 7:00–8:00 a.m.: Breakfast is served, featuring freshly made pancakes and coffee, plus juices and pancake toppings!

8:00–8:30 a.m.: Clean up all overnight gear and get started with the rest of your day.

What do I need to wear and bring each day?

Have your camper wear comfortable outdoor clothing and closed-toed shoes each day for camp! The trails can be VERY MUDDY in some places and, in order to follow Leave No Trace principles, we will be walking through the mud.

In a backpack suitable for carrying throughout the day, please bring the following items:

  • Lunch and snacks — nutritionally balanced, nut-free, and packed in reusable containers when possible. Anything brought in will need to be packed back out. Do not send nuts or nut butters in lunches or snacks. (Food processed in a facility that also processes nuts is alright.)
  • 2 water bottles full of water — reusable, filled, 20+ oz/each
  • Raincoat or poncho — even on sunny days, as storms may roll in through in the afternoon
  • Sunscreen and hat

On Thursday, you need to bring an extra pair of old sneakers or a pair of closed-toed shoes that can get wet for stream exploration. Each group will explore streams by actually getting in and gently turning over rocks to look for aquatic life. If you are careful, you will get wet only up to your ankles.

On Friday, you need to wear your swimsuit and bring a towel and sunscreen!

Important Notes: If you are using insect repellent, apply it to your child before arriving at camp. Due to allergies, do not send the spray along with your child. We do our best to avoid natural areas that are conducive to high tick numbers, but still check your child for ticks every day.