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Nature & Science Summer Camps (Ages 4-16)

Registration for Camps for Summer 2024 will open on Monday, January 29, 2024 at 12 pm (noon). 

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

Camps at a glance

  • Nature and Science Preschool and Half Day Camps
  • Nature and Science Specialty Camps
  • Nature and Science Outdoor Discovery Camp (see 2023 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 JCPRD camps only when all of the following conditions are met.

  • Full refunds will be granted if requested no later than (2) weeks prior to the camp start date the participant is registered for.
  • All requests must be submitted via email to [email protected]

  • Phone requests will not be accepted.  

  • Reason for withdrawal must be stated in the written request.  

  • Please allow two to three weeks for refunds to be received.

  • Withdraw requests made within two weeks of the camp start date may transfer to another JCPRD camp, program, or activity within the calendar year.  The deadline for transferring is noon the Friday before camp starts the following week.

  • A $15 processing fee will be assessed to each individual transfer or refund transaction.  

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 from ePACT via email within 24 hours after registration for these camps with the link and instructions for filling out required forms using our online system. This will be a new separate login from your JCPRD account. ePACT users from previous years will not receive a new invite, but must log in and update all forms for 2023. If you are having trouble with the ePACT online camp forms, you may download our 2023 form here to submit a printed copy of your form in advance by May 18th at the Nature Center. 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

Nature & Science Outdoor Discovery Camp Parent Orientation Meeting: Thursday, May 18, 2023 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 18.
  • 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 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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2023 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.

2023 Outdoor Discovery Camp Themes

Memorial Day Week: Summer Adventure - Your summer adventure starts here! Explore and experience nature as we kick off a summer of fun.

WEEK 1: Nature Champions - Learn to be a nature champion! Learn about our local ecosystems and the wildlife that live here and how you can help them thrive.

WEEK 2: Hoot & Howl - Hear the calls of nature and learn about animal communication. Why do they bark? Who are they hooting at? Learn why animals make the sounds they do.

WEEK 3: Amazing Arthropods - No bones about it, insects, spiders, and crustaceans are amazing. Learn about how these little critters make a huge impact on our world.

WEEK 4: Birds of a Feather - Come flock together! Come learn all about our bird friends we have here in Kansas! Learn how they hunt, where they live, and about the habitats where they thrive.

WEEK 5: Water Fest - Splish, splash, it’s time for some water fun! Water Fest is a celebration of all things wet and wild. Meet our aquatic habitats, explore the creek beds, and have some fun with water.

WEEK 6: Journey through Time - Ever wonder what Kansas looked like in Prehistoric times? Explore the tracks of the past - shells, fossils from past seas, mammoths in the ice age, or even the footprints of the pioneers and native tribes. Learn the stories of our history through a week of summer fun!

WEEK 7: Reptile Rangers - Shiny scales and slippery tales. This week is about exploring the lives of our scaly-covered friends! Learn how they hunt, eat, sleep, and live in our world.

WEEK 8: Out of this World - Let’s go to space in this week’s astronomical adventure. Explore the solar system, learn about the constellation and distant galaxies, and check out our new planetarium!

WEEK 9: Camp Traditions - Celebrate camp traditions and share the legends of summer camp. See animals, explore the park, and celebrate the end of summer with an ice cream social with camp friends.