Conservation

Summer Camps

These day camps are designed to encourage hands-on learning through outdoor explorations, activities, games, crafts, and more. Camps will be led by naturalists. Campers are asked to bring a water bottle and sack lunch for day long camps. Prepackaged snacks will be provided.

Summer Camp Registration Opens - March 1, 2021 at 8am

Our top priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the public and the staff. In response to the ongoing development of COVID-19, Polk County Conservation programs will adhere to social distancing, smaller group size, increased sanitation and mandatory facemasks.

Ages 6-7

Mammal Mania Camp

June 28-29, 2021 - 9-11:30am

Learn what animals like rabbits, squirrels, and foxes have in common and what makes animals with fur unique. We'll take a look at their homes, tracks and more!

  • Fee: $40
  • Registration deadline is June 14
  • Limited to 12 campers
  • Meeting location: Jester Park, Shelter #5
Insectigations Camp

July 6-7, 2021 - 9-11:30am

Learn about the fascinating world of insects! Find out why insects are important and the role they play in nature. Scavenger hunts will have us searching for insects high and low in the park.

  • Fee: $40
  • Registration deadline is June 22
  • Limited to 12 campers
  • Meeting location: Jester Park, Shelter #5

Ages 8-9

Nature Discovery Camp

June 22-23, 2021 - 9am-3:30pm

Discover the wonders of nature and unlock some of nature’s mysteries. How does a snake catch it’s food? Can a lizard really regrow its tail? Whose footprints were left in the mud? Bring your nature detective skills for two days of discovery.

  • Fee: $90
  • Registration deadline is June 8
  • Limited to 12 campers
  • Meeting location: Jester Park, Shelter #5
Water Wonders Camp

July 20-21, 2021 - 9am-3:30pm

Come get your feet wet as we discover all we can about water. We’ll compare ponds, rivers, lakes, and wetlands plus the animals that live in them. 

  • Fee: $90
  • Registration deadline is July 13
  • Limited to 12 campers
  • Day 1 Meeting location: Jester Park, Shelter #5
  • Day 2 Meeting location: Thomas Mitchell Park, Shelter #2
Geology Camp

August 2-3, 2021 - 9am-3:30pm

Come learn all about geology; it rocks! We will explore how geology is all around you, how rocks form, and how it has changed Iowa for millions of years. Campers will go rock and fossil hunting, play games, and make crafts.

  • Fee: $90
  • Registration deadline is July 23
  • Limited to 12 campers
  • Day 1 Meeting location: Jester Park, Shelter #5
  • Day 2 Meeting location: Yellow Banks Park, Tent Camping Area

Ages 10-11

Junior Naturalist Camp

Session 1: June 14-16, 2021 - 9am-3:30pm

Session 2: July 12-14, 2021 - 9am-3:30pm

Do you know a child who loves the outdoors? Campers will spend go fishing, canoeing, hiking, geocaching, building campfires and more while exploring the outdoors. On the last day of camp, campers will receive a badge and certificate.

  • Fee: $135
  • Registration deadline is June 1 and June 28
  • Limited to 12 campers
  • Meeting location: Jester Park, Shelter #5

Ages 12-16

Shooting Camp

July 12-13, 2021 - 9am - 3:30pm

This camp will introduce participants to the lifelong sport of target shooting. We'll learn the basics of archery, air rifle and even throw Atlatls. The experience continues with a visit to the Butch Olofson Shooting Range where we'll practice our skills using .22 rifles and 20 gauge shotguns. All equipment, ammo, targets, ear and eye protection provided. All shooting activities led by certified trained range instructors.

  • Fee: $90
  • Registration deadline is July 2
  • Limited to 12 campers each session
  • Day 1 Meeting location: Jester Park Outdoor Recreation & Wellness Center
  • Day 2 Meeting location: Olofson Shooting Range, Polk City
Paddle Camp 

June 29-30, 2021 - 9am-3:30pm

Learn the basics of both canoeing and kayaking, including self and assisted rescues. Then try out your new skills on an adventurous river trip. Bring a sack lunch, filled water bottle, towel, sturdy water shoes and dress to get wet each day. Camp led by American Canoe and Kayak Certified instructors, all equipment and PFD’s provided.

  • Fee: $90
  • Registration deadline is June 11
  • Limited to 12 campers
  • Day 1 Meeting location: Jester Park Outdoor Recreation & Wellness Center
  • Day 2 Meeting location: Chichaqua Bottom Greenbelt
Survival Camp

Session 1: June 24, 2021 - 9am - 3:30pm

Session 2: July 22, 2021 - 9am - 3:30pm

Set your kid’s imagination and adventurous spirit free as they learn about the natural environment and important survival skills. Activities range from plant identification, animal tracking study, and survival skills like fire and shelter building. Kids will gain confidence and comfort in being outdoors, while have a great time and staying active.

  • Fee: $45
  • Registration deadline is June 10 and July 8
  • Limited to 12 campers
  • Meeting location: Jester Park, Shelter #5