Polk County Conservation
Polk County Conservation’s summer youth camps are designed to encourage hands-on learning through outdoor explorations, activities, games, crafts, and more. Camps are offered for various ages and interests such as horses, fishing, geology, paddling, water, and mammals. Get outside this summer!
Turtles and Tadpoles Camp – 2-day (ages 6-7)
June 22-23, Session 1: 9-11:30am or Session 2: 1-3:30pm
We will explore the world of reptiles and amphibians while hiking the trails, playing games, making crafts and meeting special guests. Campers are sure to discover everything that makes these creatures ‘toad’ally cool!
Registration deadline: June 10
Wild Kratts Camp – 3-day (ages 6-7)
June 29-July 1, Session 1: 9-11:30am or Session 2: 1-3:30pm
Learn how different animals have adapted to survive in Iowa’s environment, catch prey or elude predators. Then we’ll use our creature power discs to take on those powers ourselves!
Registration deadline: June 24
Mammal Mania Camp – 2-day (ages 6-7)
July 13-14 Session 1: 9-11:30am or Session 2: 1-3:30pm
Learn what animals like rabbits, squirrels, foxes have in common, and what makes animals with fur unique. We’ll take a look at their homes, tracks and more!
Registration deadline: June 29
Water Wonders – 3 day (ages 8-9)
June 15-17; 9 am – 3:30 pm
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. Daily field trips will take us to various county parks.
Registration deadline: June 1
Astronomy Adventures Camp – 2 day (ages 8-9)
June 24-25; 9 am – 3:30 pm
Shoot for the stars in this camp as we learn about the planets, moons, stars and comets. Campers will make models, do science experiments, and play games to help us explore the wonderful world of space!
Registration deadline: June 10
Geology Camp – 3-day (ages 8-9)
Session 1: July 8-10; 9 am – 3:30 pm
Session 2: August 3-5; 9 am – 3:30 pm
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, make crafts, and take daily field trips to various county parks.
Registration deadline: June 24 & July 20
Junior Naturalist Camp – 4-day (ages 10-11)
Session 1: June 8-11; 9 am – 3:30 pm
Session 2: June 22-25; 9 am – 3:30 pm
Do you know a child who loves the outdoors? Campers will spend the week 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.
Registration deadline: May 25 for session 1, June 8 for session 2
Fishing Camp – 2-day (ages 10-11)
Session 1: June 18-19; 9 am – 3:30 pm
Session 2: July 22-23; 9 am – 3:30 pm
This camp is all about fishing! We will spend time learning about different fish and how to catch them. We will then go try our luck at a couple different fishing spots in Polk County. Other activities may include knot tying, fish cleaning/cooking, and exploring a creek.
Registration deadline: June 4 for session 1, July 8 for session 2
Shooting Camp – 2-day (ages 12-16)
Session 1: June 8-9; 9 am – 3:30 pm
Session2: July 30-31; 9 am – 3:30 pm
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.
Registration deadline: May 25 for session 1, July 16 for session 2
Paddle Camp – 2-day (ages 12-16)
Session 1: June 22-23; 9 am – 3:30 pm
Session 2: July 6-7; 9 am – 3:30 pm
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/trip led by American Canoe and Kayak Certified instructors, all equipment and PFD’s provided.
Registration deadline: June 8 for session 1, June 22 for session 2
Survival Camp – 1 day (ages 12-16)
Session 1: June 10; 9 am – 3:30 pm
Session 2: July 16; 9 am – 3:30 pm
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. Campers will forage for and cook their own lunch.
Registration deadline: May 28 for session 1, July 2 for session 2
Caving Camp – 2 day (ages 12-16)
Let’s explore Iowa underground! Go caving, climbing, and hiking on an overnight trip to Maquoketa Caves State Park in Northeast, Iowa. We’ll provide the gear and campers must provide sleeping bag and personal items. Please note caving involves crawling through small dark places. Depart Jester Park at 8am on July 25 and return by 5pm on July 26.
Registration deadline: June 11
Upper Iowa River Youth Kayaking Adventure
Float past beautiful limestone bluffs along a crystal clear river as your child takes a kayak trip down this scenic waterway. We will depart Jester Park and head for Chimney Rock Campground, set camp and eat lunch before taking on the river. Experienced and trained naturalists will lead your child on a 3-4 hour paddling trip before returning to camp to share our adventures around the campfire, eat dinner and finish the evening with some tasty S ‘mores. The next morning we’ll continue our adventure with a short 2 hour float to Bluffton. Camping, kayaks, paddles, life jackets and most meals provided. Prior paddling experienced required and must have attended a Polk County Conservation sponsored paddling program or camp within the last two years.
• Child Participants will need to provide tent, sleeping bag, personal items, and cash for meals while traveling.
• Eligible ages are 12-16 and limited to 12 participants. Prior paddling experience required and participants must be in good physical condition.
• Registration deadline is July 31st.
Horse Adventures in Nature Camp 2020 Dates
June 9-12 | 4th-5th Grades
June 16-19 | 4th – 6th Grades
June 23-26 | 6th-8th Grades
July 7-10 | High School
Jr Horse Adventures in Nature Camp 2020 Dates
July 14-17 | K – 3rd Grades
July 21-24 | K – 3rd Grades
July 28-31 | K – 3rd Grades
August 4-7 | K – 3rd Grades
August 11-14 | K – 3rd Grades
NEED TO KNOW
The price is $385/Camper.
Must have COMPLETED the grades assigned to each week.
Camp starts at 9 AM and pick-up is promptly at 3:30 PM
All horses and equipment are provided.
All campers will be required to wear a JPEC ATSM helmet when interacting with the horses.
Children should wear jeans, close-toed shoes with at least a 1-inch heel, and sunscreen each day.
Bring a reusable water bottle and a good attitude!
Waivers must be signed for each camper.
Behavior agreements must be signed and brought in on the first day of camp.
All details for registration and camps can be found on our website.