Lyman Woods, 901 31st Street, Downers Grove

Spend your summer outside! Join our adventure and discover nature. Led by our team of Naturalists, counselors and volunteers, your child will spend time outdoor playing, exploring and making new friends. Each week is an exciting new adventure with new games, crafts, experiments and explorations. Sign up for the weeks that spark your child's interest, or choose all for a fun-filled summer! Please note that we offer half-day camps only. No full-day camps are available at Lyman Woods. Children are responsible for bringing their own mid-camp snack. Need before or after care? Hours are available! Check out Before care at Lyman Woods and After Care at Lyman Woods!

  • Printed guide delivered to residents: Week of April 12
  • Resident registration begins: April 26 at 9am
  • Non-resident registration begins: May 3 at 9am
  • Registration will be available online only at

Participant Information form

If you child is attending Kinder Camp, Adventure Camp, Museum Camps or Lyman Woods camps, please complete a participant information form by clicking on the link here: Summer Camp Participant Info Form . Each registered participant must have a completed form submitted by the first day of camp. If you have multiple children attending camp, each camper must have their own form completed.

Parent Manual

For specific information regarding camp procedures and what to expect while at Nature Camp, please view the Lyman Woods Nature Camp Parent Manual: Parent Manual

What to bring to camp each day

  • Backpack
  • Change of clothes
  • 1 snack (Teen Wilderness Explorers campers will need 2 snacks)
  • Teen Wilderness Explorers camp only - will need a lunch
  • Filled re-fillable water bottle
  • Face coverings for indoors
  • Sunscreen (arrive already applied - sunscreen is for re-applying)
  • Insect Repellant (arrive already applied)
  • Art Supplies: Please see the list below for the art supplies to bring in your camper's backpack each day.
  • For Lyman Woods camps, we strongly recommend wearing or bringing a hat

Art Supplies

In efforts to reduce the amount of shared supplies we are asking that every camper bring the following items to camp every day in his/her backpack. These items will be used by your camper ONLY and not shared. All other art supplies will be sanitized before and after each use.

  • 1 box of crayons - box of 24 or less
  • 1 box of washable markers
  • 1 box of colored pencils
  • 1 bottle of glue
  • 2 glue sticks
  • 3 pencils with erasers
  • Blunt tipped scissors

What to wear to camp each day

  • Comfortable clothing that can get messy/wet/muddy
  • Closed toed shoes/boots with socks
  • Face covering/mask (recommended, but not required)
  • Sunscreen


Cancellation/refund requests must be made the Monday prior to a camp session beginning (one week prior) in order to qualify for a full refund. Any requests made after that time will only be granted a refund if the spot is filled by a waitlisted participant or if accompanied by a doctor's note due to a medical reason. Notifications on the status of a refund request will be made by the Thursday prior to the start of camp.

NEW! Reptilemania

June 14-18 | Ages 4-5, Entering Grades 1-3 or 4-6

Kick off your summer learning all about snakes, lizards, alligators and turtles! Each day will feature a new animal! We'll go on adventures, make crafts, play games and say "hi" to our resident reptiles. You might even get to touch them!

Muddy Sneakers

June 21-25 | Ages 4-5, Entering Grades 1-3 or 4-6

Come get as messy and muddy as you want this week! Each day will be a new adventure as we investigate and discover creatures that live in the mud and dirt, like worms and bugs! Make sure to bring extra sets of clothes and your rain boots for this week of messy fun!

NEW! Stepping Through the Past

June 28-July 2 | Ages 4-5, Entering Grades 1-3 or 4-6

Each day will be a new adventure as we work our way through time! We'll learn about dinosaurs, ice age animals, Native American traditions and early settler history through games, crafts and fun activities! We might even take a guess at what the future might be like!


July 6-9 | Ages 4-5, Entering Grades 1-3 or 4-6

Join us this week for lots of fun experiments, demonstrations and crafts all having to do with S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). We'll investigate different properties and do different challenges all week!

Things with Wings

July 12-16 | Ages 4-5, Entering Grades 1-3 or 4-6

Can you name an animal that has wings? Not all wings are alike! Come learn about all the flying creatures this week, like birds, bats and different types of bugs! Also learn about animals that seem to fly but really aren't!

NEW! Nature Pirates

July 19-23 | Ages 4-5, Entering Grades 1-3 or 4-6

Yaaarrrrrr Mateys! Are ya ready to be a Lyman Woods pirate this week? We'll have to search for a treasure hiding in the woods, make a boat of our own, and figure out our pirate names! This will be one of the best weeks of camp, ya won't wanna miss it!

Wacky Water

July 26-30 | Ages 4-5, Entering Grades 1-3 or 4-6

Let's get wet! Explore the wacky world of water this week! We'll go fishing, play some water games, explore the wetlands, and do some fun water-themed crafts! Make sure you bring extra clothes for this week! Staff will let you know when children can wear swimsuits for water game day!

Nature Tube

August 2-6 | Grades 4-6

Express your creative side as you help create a nature YouTube video! Campers will learn how to put together short videos, from script, to storyboard, to screen. Videos will be posted and emailed out to campers after their week of camp so they can share it with everyone they know! This is a fun week of camp not to be missed!

Bug Safari

August 2-6 | Ages 4-5 and Entering Grades 1-3

They're creepy and crawly, sometimes they're slimy, sometimes they're beautiful! Come check out all sorts of bugs this week as we go bug hunting, learn about their cool body parts, do some crafts, and meet Lyman Woods resident insects!

NEW! Roots, Shoots & Flowers

August 9-13 | Ages 4-5, Entering Grades 1-3 or 4-6

Plants are all around us, but have you ever stopped to really look at them? Spend the week getting up close and personal with trees, flowers, and other plants in the preserve. We'll do some gardening, meet some trees, do some crafts, and play some games, all surrounding plants!

Wilderness Survival

August 16-20 | Ages 4-5, Entering Grades 1-3 or 4-6

Do you have what it takes to survive in the wilderness? This week we'll learn all about building forts, making fires, and discovering all the cool stuff that you can do out in the wild on your own! Make sure to bring good hiking shoes for this one, because we'll probably be out all day!

Wild Child NaturePlay

June 7-Aug. 19 | Ages 0-4

Camp Bring out your child's wild side and meet new friends during our parent-toddler camp! Our naturalists will lead as you experience the best of nature with your child(ren) through outdoor discovery stations, exploratory play and art projects that develop motor skills and the body's senses. Each week will feature new themes and activities so sign up for all six weeks! Monday/Wednesday/Friday Camp and the Tuesday/Thursday Camp will share similar themes and activities. No charge for infant siblings under 12 months. Dress for the weather and to get messy! An adult must accompany their child(ren) during the program. No camp on July 5.

Teen Wilderness Explorers

June 14-Aug. 20 | Entering Grades 6-8

Are you an outdoorsy person? Do you want to spend your summer exploring amazing natural spaces in the Chicago region and learn a thing or two about giving back to the environment? If so, then join our Teen Wilderness Explorers, where you will voyage and volunteer! Two days a week we will explore the wild areas around our base camp at Gilbert Park/Maple Grove Forest Preserve; two days we will check out another park in the Downers Grove Park District and practice ecological restoration; one day a week we will go on a fun field trip to a natural area in the Chicago region! Drop off and pick up will occur at Lyman Woods each day. Participants will be transported by Lyman Woods Staff to Gilbert Park (two days a week), other park sites (two days a week), or a larger wilderness area for Wednesday's field trip. Camp fee includes camp T-shirt. Participants are responsible for bringing their own lunch and mid-camp snack. For the week of July 6 to 9, camp will not meet on Monday. Price for that week includes fee for kayak rental.

Lyman Woods Before & After Care

June 14-Aug. 20 | Ages 4-13

Do you need some extra care before your AM camp or after your PM camp? Sign up for Lyman Woods extended hours. Please note that children will only be allowed to participate in the extended hours right before or after the camp that they are signed up for.

  • Before Care: 7:00-9:00am
  • After Care: 4:00-6:00pm

Nature Summer Camp Volunteers

Love being outdoors? Need volunteer hours or looking to build your resume? Join our team!

Over the Summer, Lyman Woods is host to a variety of nature-themed day camps for ages 4-14. Lyman Woods Summer Camp Volunteers gain valuable experience working with children in an adventurous, outdoor setting while meeting and working with other volunteers. Volunteers help the camp instructors and camps from assisting with crafts and games to set up and clean up to being a buddy to shy campers.

We prefer volunteers that are available for two or more weeks of camp, but no matter how many weeks you choose, you must commit to the entirety of that week.

Volunteers should be able to arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of camp and stay for 15 minutes after camp. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old and able to attend a volunteer training session in early June (date and time TBD).

If you are interested in applying, please complete the Volunteer Waiver and Nature Summer Camp Volunteer Application below and return them to Lyman Woods (901 31st Street, Downers Grove, IL 60515) or

Nature summer camp volunteer application