COVID-19 UPDATE

Join our adventure and discover nature! Led by our team of Naturalists, counselors, and volunteers, your child will spend time outdoors 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!

  • Camp fee includes camp T-shirt.
  • Children are responsible for bringing their own mid-camp snack.
  • Full day is not available for the Summer 2020 - only half-day camps are available


Half-day Nature Camps

Half-day Nature Camps have campers exploring weekly themed adventures at Lyman Woods. Conveniently located off I-88, our nature camps are a great option for working parents. Before - and after - care options are available. Call the Interpretive Center at 630.963.9388 for more details. Learn more

What to expect at camp

Watch the video to learn more about:

  • What to bring each day
  • Camper drop off
  • Safety and cleaning procedures
  • Camp activities


Ages 4-5

Choose from morning or afternoon options.

REGISTER ONLIne

NEW! Nature Construction Zone

Animals in nature are builders, and you can be too! We'll take a look at how crafty animals can be. Try your hand at some woodworking, construct a beaver dam and bird nest, and use natural materials around you to let your creativity run wild!

NEW! Animal Superheroes

Did you know that animals have hidden super powers? Come learn all about their powers and create your very own animal super hero, complete with cape and mask! This will be a fun week of testing out crazy super powers, so bring your iron will!

NEW! Dig into Dirt

Mud pies, worms, and puddles, oh my! Spend the week learning what animals live in the dirt and why they are so important! We'll dig for bugs and worms, do some gardening and plant seeds, and of course play in the mud! Make sure to bring extra sets of clothes and your rain boots for this one!

NEW! Dinosaur Adventures!

Do you know which dinosaur had the longest tail? Which was the fiercest meat-eater around? Discover these answers and much more as we go dinosaur hunting, make some fossils, and learn all about the different kinds of dinosaurs that once roamed the Earth!

NEW! Lights, Camera, Action!

Do you like to use your imagination and pretend to be something else? This week is for you! We will make costumes, dress up and act out some stories written by you and your fellow campers!

Wild Water

Water games, wetland explorations, fishy crafts, and more! This week we will learn all about water and have fun while doing it! Make sure to bring clothes that can get muddy and wet. Extra sets of clothing are a must this week!

Trails & Treasure

Scout out an adventure! Can you solve the riddle and find the hidden treasure? Uncover new clues each day that will lead you on a journey through the woods, wetlands, and prairies at Lyman Woods in search of wild fun!

Animal Olympics

Think you have what it takes to beat some of the top-notch competitors of the animal world? Put your skills to the test by participating in fun challenges while learning about the cool and crazy things animals can do! Parents, you're invited to the closing ceremonies on the last day of camp!


Ages 6-8

Choose from morning or afternoon options.

REGISTER ONLIne

Nature Detectives

Can you solve the case of whodunit? Put your thinking caps on for the week as we learn all about the signs and clues that animals leave behind. Who visited our garbage last night? Maybe we'll use these clues to even solve our own nature crime!

NEW! Animal Superheroes

Did you know that animals have hidden super powers? Come learn all about their powers and create your very own animal super hero, complete with cape and mask! This will be a fun week of testing out crazy super powers, and comparing them with the animal kingdom.

Muddy Sneakers

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. We'll also do some gardening, learn about compost, and of course play in the mud! Make sure to bring extra clothes with you this week!

NEW! PaleoQuest

Who doesn't love dinosaurs and fossils? Hike the woods in search of fossils and learn about how this land looked long ago. What kinds of animals lived here? Were there any dinosaurs? Let's find out!

NEW! Mythical Beasts & Where to Find Them

What's your favorite mythological creature? Spend the week creating your own creatures, fighting dragons, and learning about all sorts of cryptic animals. We might even go for a hike to see if any reside here at Lyman Woods!

Water Works

Let's go explore the wacky world of water! Investigate the wetlands and the creatures that live in it, do some experiments, and of course some water games!

NEW! Child vs. Wild

Do you have what it takes to survive in the wilderness? Test your knowledge! This week we'll learn about venomous animals and poisonous plants, practice Native American silent walking, learn to tie knots and hike!

Animal Olympics

Think you have what it takes to beat some of the top-notch competitors of the animal world? Put your skills to the test by participating in fun challenges while learning about the cool and crazy things animals can do! Parents, you're invited to the closing ceremonies on the last day of camp!


Ages 9-12

Choose from morning or afternoon options.

REGISTER ONLIne

Nature CSI

Dive into the detective world and learn all about animal forensics by studying their skulls, scat, and footprints. Each day will be a new adventure with a new crime to solve!

NEW! Nature Yard Wars

You've heard of junk yard wars, now it's time for Nature Yard Wars! Spend the week constructing some cool nature related creatures and see how they stack up against each other in a match!

Slippery, Slimy, Mud

Spend the week getting messy and learning about the wetlands! We'll do some experiments, learn about the ecosystem, and of course get muddy and slimy in the mud puddles! Make sure to bring extra clothes each day to this one!

NEW! PaleoQuest

Who doesn't love dinosaurs and fossils? Hike the woods in search of fossils and learn how this land looked long ago. Learn about minerals and crystals too through experiments and maybe even break open your own geode!

NEW! Mythical Beasts & Where to Find Them

What's your favorite mythological creature? Learn the history behind the stories of mermaids, werewolves and other cryptids. Try your hand at creating your own, and hunt down the ones that might live in our forests!

Nature Tube

Express your creative side as you help create a nature YouTube series! Campers will learn how to put together short videos, from script, to storyboard, to screen. Videos will be premiered to parents and other campers on the last day of camp and uploaded onto the Park District YouTube page.

Wilderness Survival

Do you have what it takes to survive in the wilderness? Test your knowledge! This week we'll learn about venomous animals and poisonous plants, practice Native American silent walking, learn to tie knots, build some forts, learn about fire safety, and go for some day long hikes!

Animal Olympics

Think you have what it takes to beat some of the top-notch competitors of the animal world? Put your skills to the test by participating in fun challenges while learning about the cool and crazy things animals can do! Parents, you're invited to the closing ceremonies on the last day of camp!

Before Care from 7-9am is available for morning camps and After care from 4-6pm is available for afternoon camps. Pre-registration required and an additional fee is charged for this service.


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 offer morning (9:00am - 12:00pm), afternoon (1:00 - 4:00pm), or full-day (9:00am - 4:00pm) camps. Volunteers can stay the entire day (bring a lunch!) or they can choose mornings or afternoons only. 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).

2020 Nature Summer Camps are held the following weeks:

  • June 15 - 19
  • June 22 - 26
  • July 6 - 10
  • July 13 - 17
  • July 20 - 24
  • July 27 - 31
  • August 3 - 7
  • August 10 - 14
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 lymanwoods@dgparks.org

Nature summer camp volunteer application