Summer Camp Programs


2021 Summer Camp Opportunities

The Vermilion County Conservation District’s summer programs offer outdoor fun for children ages 3 and older.  With almost 4,500 acres between Kennekuk County Park and Forest Glen Preserve, children will gain appreciation and knowledge of wildlife and the great outdoors.  Our camp programs give children the opportunity to explore their natural world through hands-on discoveries, hiking excursions, and art experiences.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, safety guidelines and limited camp sizes will be implemented to protect staff and participants.  The Covid-19 Guidelines for summer camps can be found here.  All parents and guardians must agree to and have their children follow the COVID-19 guidelines during in-person programs.

Parents or guardians will need to sign a COVID waiver after registering children for camps.  The COVID waiver will be emailed with the registration confirmation.  The signed waiver needs to be returned to the VCCD either before or the day of camp.

If you have any questions regarding our summer camp programs, please call Kennekuk County Park at 217-442-1691.  You can mail or drop off your registration form with payment at the Kennekuk or Forest Glen Visitor Centers.

2021 Summer Camp Registration Form

Nature Connect Camp
Environmental Education Center, Kennekuk County Park
June 17
Grades K-2nd
9:30 am – 11:30 am

Children will explore nature and how it all works together: from the trees to flowers, and the not-so-creepy crawly insects to other wildlife.  We will hike a trail and make a craft to take home.  Fee is $10/child, due upon registration, fee includes craft.

Young Explorers Camp
July 14 – Environmental Education Center, Kennekuk County Park
Grades K-5th
9:00 am – 3:00 pm

During this fun-filled classic summer camp, your child will participate in a nature hike, hayride, and an arts and craft session from the Young Explorers archives with experienced camp counselors.  The July 8 camp session at Forest Glen will have an up-close visit with some reptiles while the July 14 camp session at Kennekuk will include fishing.  Fee is $35/child, due upon registration which includes a wiener roast lunch, snacks,
and a nature craft to take.

Toddling Into Nature
Environmental Education Center, Kennekuk County Park

June 22 – Brown Bat, Brown Bat, What do you See? – 2:00 pm
June 23 – Brown Bat, Brown Bat, What do you See? – 10:00 am OR 2:00 pm
Bats are amazing mammals, let’s learn why they are beneficial to our environment!

June 29 – Investigating for Wildlife – 2:00 pm
June 30 – Investigating for Wildlife – 10:00 am OR 2:00 pm
With a hike through the woods, we will use our senses to find evidence of wildlife!

This camp will introduce young children, ages 3-5, to the natural world, exploring through songs, activities, crafts, and more with a parent or guardian.  Each class is organized around a theme and emphasizes active learning through sensory experiences, and movement activities.  Toddlers may sign up for one camp or both.  Fee is $5.00 per child per session, due upon registration.  Each session is approximately one hour long.

 Kids Cooking Class
Gannett Outdoor Education Center, Forest Glen Preserve
July 22
Grades 3rd – 5th
9:00 am – 12:30 pm

Back by popular demand, the Kid’s Cooking Class will be offered on two dates.  Each camp will have the same format, so please only register for one date.  This camp is for kids who want to try their hand at cooking.  Campers will take a short walk to the homestead garden to cut herbs for pizza.  Back in the kitchen they will create their own pizza and help with making home-made ice cream.  At lunch everyone gets to eat their handy work and make an ice cream sundae for dessert.  Fee is $15/child, due upon registration.  Fee includes lunch.

Paddling Around Lake Mingo
Lake Mingo Boat Ramp, Kennekuk County Park
August 3
Grades 4th-7th
9:00 am – 11:00 am

We will explore Lake Mingo in kayaks on a guided tour with District naturalists.  Learn about the diversity of fish, birds, mammals, and more that call Lake Mingo home.  Kayaking basics will be covered.  All participants are required to wear a provided life jacket.
Fee for camp is $15/child, due upon registration.

Pioneer Kids
Gannett Outdoor Education Center, Forest Glen Preserve
July 27
Grades 1st-3rd
9:30 am – 11:30 am

What was it like to be a kid in the 1850’s?  Come out and join us for Pioneer Kids Camp to find out!  Campers will hike to the Pioneer Homestead and make a candle to take home.  Before leaving, we will cook a sweet treat on the hearth to enjoy.  Fee is $10/child, due upon registration.  Fee includes craft and a snack.

Creek Stomping Ecology Camp
Gannett Outdoor Education Center, Forest Glen Preserve
August 10
Grades 4th-6th
9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Spend the day getting wet while exploring Willow Creek.  Follow our naturalists on an adventure while searching for aquatic life and observing animal tracks along the way.  After eating lunch a hayride will be given back to the Gannett Outdoor Education Center.  Participants must bring their own lunch, water bottle, and should wear shoes and clothes that can get wet.  Fee is $25/child, due upon registration.  Fee includes snack.

All About Birds Program