Youth and Family

Youth and family programs photo

For programs requiring registration, please click here.

For programs requesting an RSVP, call or email us.

Great School Escapes

Our Great School Escapes take place on Poudre School District school-out days and are available for students in grades K-5. Each Great School Escape runs 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. The cost is $25 per child for members or $50 per child for non-members.

Pick up and drop off for all Great School Escapes will take place at our East Drake site, please click here for directions. In case of cold weather, we may transport students to the CSU main campus to use an indoor space. Parents will be informed in advance of any off-site field trips. Please note that if the weather forecast is favorable, we will spend the entire day at the East Drake site and most of the day will be spent outside.

Earth’s Elements

During our Great School Escapes this spring, explore nature from the perspective of the four elements of western culture: Earth, Water, Wind and Fire! We will make use of our observational skills to discover the influences of each of the four elements and learn about each of their roles in the natural world.

We have full and partial scholarships available, please call us at (970) 491-1661 or email us at elc@csuelc.org if you are interested in a scholarship.

Registration for Great School Escapes will open at 6 am on Wednesday, January 9. Click here to register.

February 18: Earth

In our introduction to the four elements, we will begin our investigation by defining what all life requires on Earth and relating these requirements to the four elements originally put forth by ancient Greek philosophers. Find out about the myth and lore surrounding the four elements and explore deeper into the physical nature of Earth.

March 4: Water

Let’s take advantage of our ideal location on the Cache la Poudre River to explore the importance of water to the natural and man-made world around us!

April 12: Wind

Learn how wind shapes our world through processes including erosion, weather and climate. Explore the property to find signs of wind’s influence on rock formation, vegetation growth and wildlife behavior.

May 17: Fire

On this day, we will learn about fire’s influence on vegetation and wildlife. In our final Great School Escape of the season, we will also be putting together the four elements to understand more about how Earth, Water, Wind and Fire interact with one another!

 

Summer Day Camps

Join the CSU Environmental Learning Center (ELC) this summer for adventure in the outdoors! Our camps aim to connect youth to our natural world through learner-led inquiry, hands-on and active exploration, and fun in a safe environment. We can’t wait to be part of your summer!

This summer, we will hold eight, week-long summer day camps. Please scroll to the bottom of this page for dates and descriptions of each camp. While each camp has a theme, our overall focus is getting children outside, comfortable and connected to the natural world.

Registration

We have moved to a new registration system and, with this new system, ELC members will not have the opportunity to register early. Registration will be first come, first served and will open for everyone at 6am on Wednesday January 23. We suggest you register quickly as space is limited and these programs fill up fast!

To ease the registration process, we will only collect some basic information when you register (i.e. child’s name, parent/guardian name, phone and email). After your registration is completely processed, you will receive an email asking you to complete a more detailed form with important information (e.g. emergency contacts, allergies/health concerns, etc). Even though you will be asked to fill out multiple forms, we believe that registration will be simpler since you will only need to enter a small amount of information at that time.

Each camp is limited to 36 participants and camps will be automatically removed from the registration system once they reach capacity. A wait list will be started for each camp once it reaches capacity, and people will be added to the wait list in the order in which their request is received. We prefer to receive wait list requests via email at elc@csuelc.org.

All camps are open to ages 7 through 12. We may accept 6-year-old siblings of older campers on a case-by-case basis. If you would like to request permission to register a younger sibling, please contact us at elc@csuelc.org or (970) 491-1661 by January 16, 2019. Participants will be broken up into age-appropriate groups for most activities, though this will vary based on number of attendees and the age break-down of each camp.

Instructions on using the registration system can be found here, please read the instructions thoroughly prior to starting the registration process.

Camp Schedule

Drop off for camp begins at 8:30am and all children must be picked up by 4:30pm each day. Drop off and pick up will always be at our East Drake site.

Prices and Scholarships

Camps are $170 per child, per week for ELC members and $195 per child, per week for non-members. Please see below for our payment and refund policy.

We do have several need-based scholarships (both full and partial) available. Please complete the scholarship request form no later than January 16 to request a scholarship for summer camp.

Payment and Refund Policy

You will have the option either to pay for summer camps online with a credit card at the time of registration, or to mail us a check after registering. Payment for summer camps is due in full by May 1. If payment is not received by May 1, you will forgo your spot in the camp(s).

Cancellations made prior to May 1 will be refunded at 100%. After May 1 and up to two weeks prior to the first day of camp, a 50% refund will be given. After two weeks prior, no refunds will be given. Cancellations must be made in writing and emailed to elc@csuelc.org.

Camp Dates and Description

Skills and Thrills

June 3-7, 8:30am-4:30pm

Ages 7-12

Navigation, knot tying and nature knowledge, oh my! Join us this week to learn outdoor skills and test your knowledge of the natural world. Please note that the programming for this week and the week of July 8-12 will be identical, we strongly encourage you to only register for one of these weeks.

Growing Up Green

June 10-14, 8:30am-4:30pm

Ages 7-12

How does your garden grow? We’ll find out in this week that’s all about plants, soil and all things green. We’ll do some planting in the garden as well as exploring the plants and trees that grow all over the ELC property.

Animal Antics

June 17-21, 8:30am-4:30pm

Ages 7-12

Furry or scaly, flying or swimming, we’ll explore all the animals that call the ELC home this week. See how many different animals you can spot in the wild this week and learn all about the adaptations that help them survive out there.

 

Creative Curiosity
June 24-28, 8:30am-4:30pm
Ages 7-12

Get your creative juices flowing this week as we explore all the ways we can make art in nature. Use natural materials to make works of art, create nature-inspired music and get dramatic with nature skits.

Skills and Thrills

July 8-12, 8:30am-4:30pm

Ages 7-12

Navigation, knot tying and nature knowledge, oh my! Join us this week to learn outdoor skills and test your knowledge of the natural world. Please note that the programming for this week and the week of June 3-7 will be identical, we strongly encourage you to only register for one of these weeks.

 

Splish Splash
July 15-19, 8:30am-4:30pm
Ages 7-12

We love the Poudre River and it wouldn’t be a proper ELC summer if we didn’t spend some time splishing and splashing around in it. We will spend nearly every day at the river, catching crawdads, looking for toads and exploring this amazing river ecosystem. Please note that the programming for this week and the week of July 22-26 will be identical, we strongly encourage you to only register for one of these weeks.

 

Splish Splash

July 22-26, 8:30am-4:30pm

Ages 7-12

We love the Poudre River and it wouldn’t be a proper ELC summer if we didn’t spend some time splishing and splashing around in it. We will spend nearly every day at the river, catching crawdads, looking for toads and exploring this amazing river ecosystem. Please note that the programming for this week and the week of July 15-19 will be identical, we strongly encourage you to only register for one of these weeks.

 

Team E.S.I. (Environmental Science Investigators)

August 5-9, 8:30am-4:30pm

Ages 7-12

Put on your science caps and get ready to investigate nature this week. You’ll ask questions about nature and set out to find the answer for yourself through observation and exploration. A curious mind: required; lab coat: optional.