White banner with multi-colored handprints reading Outdoor Discovery Camp

Nature & Science Summer Camps - Ages 4-16

Locations include Ernie Miller Park, Shawnee Mission Park and TimberRidge Adventure Center.

Camps at a glance

  • Nature and Science Preschool and Half Day Camps
    • Summer Tots (ages 4-5)
    • Summer Vacation (ages 6-8)
    • Outdoor Basics (ages 9-12)
    • Junior Naturalist Camp (ages 9-12)
  • Nature and Science Specialty Camps
    • TRAC Amazing Adventures Camp (ages 11 - 13)
    • TRAC Biking Camp (ages 12-14)
    • TRAC Climbing and Rappelling (ages 12-14)
    • TRAC Fishing and Boating Camp (ages 11-13)
    • TRAC Junior Biologist Camp (ages 12-15)
    • TRAC Photography I and Photography II Camps (ages 12-15)
    • TRAC Sailing Camp (ages 12-16)
    • Outdoor Celebration Camp (ages 6-12)
  • Nature and Science Outdoor Discovery Camp (see 2022 camp themes below)
    • Ernie Miller Park (ages 6-7)
    • Ernie Miller Park (ages 8-12)
    • Shawnee Mission Park (ages 8-12)


Refunds will be granted for camps with the keywords Nature & Science only when all of the following conditions are met.

  • A replacement must be available from our wait list or you must find a replacement.
  • A written request must be received two weeks in advance of the camp week.
  • Each request must state the reason for the withdrawal.
  • These may be e-mailed to [email protected] or faxed to 913-831-6336. No phone requests.
  • Each canceled week is subject to a $15 processing fee to be deducted from the refund amount.  Please allow two to three weeks to receive any refunds. 

Camp MUST be paid in full at time of registration. If a camp is full we recommend getting on the wait list as soon as possible.

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Summer Camp Forms

Parents, please look carefully over the camp forms below. There are forms that are required before your child can attend a camp. If we do not have their forms on file they will not be able to attend. Full day camp forms can be filled out in ePACT. Paper printed forms and 1/2 day camp forms can be dropped off at Ernie Miller Nature Center.

If you have any questions email or call the nature center at (913) 826-2800.

Outdoor Discovery Camp and Nature & Science Specialty Camp Form

All-Day Camp Forms. (*Required) 

*You will receive a notice via email within 24 hours after registration for these camps with the link and instructions for filling out required forms using our online system. If you are having trouble with the ePACT online camp forms, you may download our 2022 form here to submit a printed copy of your form in advance. DO NOT EMAIL COMPLETED FORMS TO THE NATURE CENTER. Forms must either be completed in ePACT or be delivered in printed paper form.EMNC-Download-Forms Opens in new window

Outdoor Discovery Camp Information

Updated Shawnee Mission Park Shelter #12 cell phone number: 816-845-0436

Ernie Miller Park Outdoor Discovery Camp cell phone number: 913-909-3243

Nature & Science Outdoor Discovery Camp Parent Orientation Meeting: Thursday, May 19, 2022 at 7 pm

Ernie Miller Park Shelter and Shawnee Mission Park Shelter 12 

  • Attend the site where you are registered for summer camp.
  • Camp policies, paperwork, and general information will be discussed.
  • After camp registration parents will receive an email to complete required camp forms. Paperwork is required for attendance and is due by May 19.
  • No registration required for the parent orientation meeting.

Please review links below for Outdoor Discovery Camp! All other Nature & Science camps will have information sent one week prior to camp.

REQUIRED: Half-Day Camp Form 

  • Summer Tots 
  • Summer Vacation
  • Junior Naturalist
  • Outdoor Basics

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TRAC Health & Liability Form  

Required if attending TRAC Climbing & Rappelling or Amazing Adventures Camps.

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Medication Form

This form is required if your child will be using medication that will be administered while in our care. This includes the use of epi pens, inhalers, and any other daily medications.

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2022 Nature & Science Outdoor Discovery Camp

Who knew learning about the outdoors could be so much fun? Our Outdoor Discovery Camps are licensed KDHE school-age programs run by our award-winning Outdoor Education Team of full-time Park Naturalists from Ernie Miller Nature Center. Campers will discover nature through live animal programs, storytelling, hikes, crafts, fort-building in the forest, nature activities, weekly field trips or guest speakers, and creek exploration. Your child will get to choose from activities including boating, shooting sports (8 years and up), team building, and games during a weekly visit to TimberRidge Adventure Center. There will also be enough time to cool off with swimming. Your child will never stop exploring and discovering in this camp! Activities may vary week to week and are weather dependent.

Outdoor Discovery Camp hours: Supervision provided 7 am to 5:30 pm with scheduled activities between 9 am and 4 pm.

2022 Outdoor Discovery Camp Themes!

Week 1 (May 31 - June 3): Eco Explorers - Step into the wild and learn to read your surroundings. Visit the prairie, forest, and water biomes and meet live animals who live there!

Week 2 (June 6 - June 10): Quest for Adventure - Challenge yourself and learn some new skills! Play camouflage and ambush, build a fire, use a compass, and make a shelter. This week is sure to be an adventure!

Week 3 (June 13 - June 17): UP! UP! & Away - Many things can fly! Meet the raptors that make Kansas their home. Use this inspiration to create your own flying creature!

Week 4 (June 21 - June 24): Buggin’ Out - Follow the migratory path of a Monarch and learn about other pollinator creatures. Compare the behaviors of insects to other animals by investigating clues in the park!  

Week 5 (June 27 - July 1): Rise of the Beasts - Investigate the skulls, bones, teeth, and claws of animals big and small. Learn how mammals survive year-round and what you should do if you encounter a predator!

Week 6 (July 5 - July 8): H2Awesome - H2O into the water we go! With water games and wet water walks, there are lots to learn as we splash about. Let's look for awesome aquatic life!

Week 7 (July 11 - July 15): Scales and Slime - Search the habitats for the critters with scales or slimy skin. Observe and learn about these slithery and slippery animals and the important roles they play in nature. 

Week 8 (July 18 - July 22): Let off some STEAM - Can you make a boat that floats? Can you see the patterns and art in nature? Can you bring the solar system down to scale? Join us for a week that lets off some STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math).  

Week 9 (July 25 - July 29): Summer Skills - Do you have the skills of summer? How do you row your boat? Can you hit a bullseye? Is your fish the biggest catch? Test your summer outdoor skills and challenge yourself.

Week 10 (August 1 - August 2): Camp Legends - Celebrate camp traditions and share the legends of summer camp. Vote for your favorite camp activities to choose a camp adventure and celebrate with a potluck with friends!