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.

April 27 – Spring has Sprung

Join us for a whole day of exploring all the ways that spring comes to the ELC. We will catch insects, search for blooming flowers and follow deer trails. We will offer this special program free of charge for all Poudre School District teachers and staff.

The April 27 Great School Escape is now sold out. If you would like to be added to the wait list, please email us at

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 read below for descriptions of each camp. While each camp has a theme, our overall focus is getting children outside, comfortable and connected to the natural world.

This year, current ELC members will have the opportunity to register early. Registration opens for current ELC members on Wednesday, January 17 at 8 am and for non-members on Friday, January 19 at 8 am. In order to register early as a member, your membership must be paid through January 31, 2018. We suggest you register quickly as space is limited and these programs fill up fast!

All camps are open to ages 7 through 12. We may accept 6-year-old siblings on a case-by-case basis. If you would like to request permission to register a younger sibling, please contact us at or (970) 491-1661 by January 1, 2018. 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. Each camp is limited to 36 participants. A wait list will be started for each camp once it reaches 36 registrations.

Camps take place from 8:30am-4:30pm each day. Drop off and pick up will always be at our East Drake site. Please note that the ELC will not be providing snacks at camp this year, please plan to send a morning and afternoon snack with your child.

Camps are $155 per child, per week for ELC members and $180 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 contact Nicole Stafford at or (970) 491-1661 for more information or to request a scholarship. Scholarship requests must be received by January 1, 2018.

Has your child aged out of our Summer Day Camps? Check out our new Counselor-in-Training summer program!

Payment and refund policy for summer 2018:

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. Instructions on using the registration system can be found here, please read the instructions thoroughly prior to starting the registration process. The registration link will become live at 8 am on January 17 for members and at 8 am on January 19 for non-members.

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


Camp Descriptions

Method to the Nature Madness

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

Ages 7-12

There’s a method to the madness of nature, a scientific method, that is! Get ready to use the scientific method to test out your questions about nature, plus we’ll put our building skills to the test to build and race miniature rafts and make forts that can withstand a Colorado downpour.

The Method to the Nature Madness camp is full. Please contact us at 970-491-1661 or to be added to the wait list.


Wonders of Wildlife

June 11-15, 8:30 am-4:30 pm

Ages 7-12

We wanna win the wisdom of wildlife in this wonderful, wacky week! The ELC is filled with fascinating wildlife, and we’ll try to spot as many of them as we can in this camp. We’ll explore the adaptations that make each creature unique and discover how they each fit into their habitats and ecosystems.

The Wonders of Wildlife camp is full. Please contact us at 970-491-1661 or to be added to the wait list.


Plants, Plots and Play, Oh My!

June 18-22, 8:30 am-4:30 pm

Ages 7-12

We’ll explore the plentiful plants that call the ELC home this week, as well as spending some time in the garden’s green growth. Get ready to investigate the parts of a plant, what makes soil so special and the insects and animals that depend on these green things.

The Plants, Plots and Play, Oh My! camp is full. Please contact us at 970-491-1661 or to be added to the wait list.


The Art of Nature

June 25-29, 8:30 am-4:30 pm

Ages 7-12

Bring your creativity to this week of camp as we uncover the beauty of the natural world. We’ll use all forms of artful expression from painting to drawing to sculpture, gathering our inspiration from the land around us. After all, you can’t spell “nature” without spelling “art.”

The Art of Nature camp is full. Please contact us at 970-491-1661 or to be added to the wait list.


Environmental Experimenters

July 9-13, 8:30 am-4:30 pm

Ages 7-12

Put on your investigation caps and prepare to run experiments every day at the ELC! We’ll use scientific tools like soil corers and microscopes to answer questions and discover how nature works.

The Environmental Experimenters camp is full. Please contact us at 970-491-1661 or to be added to the wait list.


River Rovers I

July 16-20, 8:30 am-4:30 pm

Ages 7-12

It wouldn’t be a proper ELC summer without our popular river themed camps! We will spend nearly every day at the river, catching crawdads, looking for toads and splashing around. We will also bring back our Trout Unlimited partners for a special presentation.

The River Rovers I camp is full. Please contact us at 970-491-1661 or to be added to the wait list.


River Rovers II

July 23-27, 8:30 am-4:30 pm

Ages 7-12

The programming for this week will be identical to the July 16-20, River Rovers I camp, we encourage you to only register for one week of this camp.

The River Rovers II camp is full. Please contact us at 970-491-1661 or to be added to the wait list.


Survival of the Fittest

August 6-10, 8:30 am-4:30 pm

Ages 7-12

Master the skills you need to rough it in the wild, including fire starting, shelter building and compass/GPS. Each day, we’ll put our skills to the test in team building activities and competitions. See if you and your team can master the skills to survive in the wild!

The Survival of the Fittest camp is full. Please contact us at 970-491-1661 or to be added to the wait list.