Our facility will be closed today, Saturday, March 25th, due to the winter storm.
As always, you’re invited to hike our trails, which are open daily from dawn until dusk.
Please do exercise caution in these snowy conditions as we can’t guarantee the state of our parking lots and hiking trails.
Welcome! Our facility is open on weekdays from 9am to 4pm and on weekends from 10am to 2pm.
Wearing a face mask indoors is optional. Because we are a childcare facility and follow public health protocols, we have limited access to some public offerings and areas of our facility. We appreciate your patience as we work to find a healthy balance of access and safety for our community.
As always, our grounds and trails featuring self-guided tours are free and open daily from dawn until dusk.
Treat your child to a summer they’ll never forget with ALNC’s summer camps, where budding scientists can discover pond critters, future archaeologists can unearth ancient artifacts on a dig, young adventure-seekers can learn survival skills, and new friends are made every single day! ALNC’s action-packed summer camps will provide your child with exciting, hands-on experiences to explore, learn, and enjoy the wonders of nature.
This summer, we’re offering day camps for ages 4 to 10 – we are not offering overnight camps for ages 11-16. We’ve also made changes to the registration process, so please read on for important dates and information. We continue to offer full-day sessions for all ages, as well as two-hour sampler camps for ages 4 to 8. For full-day camps, families must register for either the full summer or select sessions as outlined below.
We recognize that the registration process for camps is inequitable with how quickly camps have filled up and, this year, we are holding a weighted lottery for full-day camps. Families have from January 20th to January 29th to indicate their interest in the full summer (June 12th – Aug 25th), one of the 3-week sessions, and/or the last week of camp. The weighted lottery randomly selects registrants with additional entries given to students who have been historically underserved and underrepresented. Families not selected in the weighted lottery will automatically be waitlisted. Once notified of selection, families will have the option to register for camps.
STEP 1: Choose which sessions* work for your family.
Full Summer: June 12 – August 25, 2023 (11 weeks) – $3,650
Session #1: June 12 – June 30, 2023 (3 weeks) – $1,095
Session #2: July 10 – July 28, 2023 (3 weeks) – $1,095
Session #3: July 31 – August 18, 2023 (3 weeks) – $1,095
Session #4: August 21 – August 25, 2023 (1 week) – $365
*To increase access, children who do not enroll in the full summer session may attend one three-week session AND/OR the final week of summer camp.
STEP 2: Register for the lottery by January 29th.
Enter your child’s information and indicate which session(s) work for your family. This does not guarantee your child a spot, but rather puts their name into our lottery system. The registration process will ask you to rank your preferences for camp sessions (e.g. first preference is for the full summer, second preference is for session #1, etc.). Please note that this process is NOT first-come, first-serve, so there’s no need to refresh your browser at midnight! Families have 10 days, starting January 20th, to register their interest, after which names will be placed into a lottery and pulled to fill camp spots.
STEP 3: Wait for placement notification.
Registration closes on January 29th. ALNC will let you know by February 17th if your child’s name has been drawn for a camp session or has been placed on the waitlist. You’ll receive an email with either a registration offering or notification of waitlist placement. You may choose to accept or decline the spot for your child. If selected for a camp spot, a non-refundable $200 deposit is required to reserve your spot in this session; please let us know if this amount is prohibitive for you and we can discuss an alternative amount.
STEP 4: Confirm your acceptance and complete enrollment.
Once you accept your placement and make your deposit payment, you will receive additional details and paperwork to complete your enrollment. You may make your final payment at once or by setting up a payment plan with us. Tuition assistance is available.
ENROLLMENT PROCESS FOR TWO-HOUR SAMPLER CAMPS
If you’re seeking a more flexible summer camp experience, we do have two-hour sampler camp sessions from 9-11 am M-F that you can register for 1 week at a time. This registration will begin on Tuesday, February 21st at noon and will not be a lottery. The age ranges are also broader for these camps.
Held June 18 – August 18, 2023 (1 week each) – $110
It is our goal to be inclusive and representative of our diverse community and to assist all families in enrolling, registering, and attending environmental education programs at ALNC. Families of ALL abilities, backgrounds, communities, income-levels, neighborhoods, and other societal structures are encouraged to register for Summer Camps at ALNC.
In an effort to be inclusive of our diverse community of varied backgrounds, ALNC reserves the right to hold space for families in financial need and/or who speak English as a second language.
Sprouts (4 year olds) Have Fun in the Forest, go on an Underground Adventure and explore The Pond & Beyond with these fun and engaging camps for 4-year olds. With full-day and two-hour programs, as well as aftercare, payment plans, and tuition assistance available, ALNC Summer Camps provide accessible avenues for children to explore and enjoy the natural world with their peers.
Tadpoles (5 year olds) Get Wildly Creative, use your Animal Senses and explore Unsolved Mysteries in these exciting and educational camps for 5-year olds. With full-day and two-hour programs, as well as aftercare, payment plans, and tuition assistance available, ALNC Summer Camps provide accessible avenues for children to explore and enjoy the natural world with their peers.
Polliwogs (6 year olds) Treat your child to a summer they’ll never forget with X Marks the Spot, The Great Outdoors and Summer Insects, Some Are Not camps for 6-year olds. With full-day and two-hour programs, as well as aftercare, payment plans, and tuition assistance available, ALNC Summer Camps provide accessible avenues for children to explore and enjoy the natural world with their peers.
Wanderers (7-8 year olds) Engage your child with exciting camps that will have your 7 or 8-year old Muckin’ in the Marsh, Getting to Know Aldo and going on a Forage Frenzy. With full-day and two-hour programs, as well as aftercare, payment plans, and tuition assistance available, ALNC Summer Camps provide accessible avenues for children to explore and enjoy the natural world with their peers.
Explorers (9-10 year olds) Explorers will enjoy Woodworking for Wildlife, Becoming Botanists and competing in nature challenges to become the Ultimate Survivor. Full-day programs with aftercare, payment plans, and tuition assistance available, ALNC Summer Camps provide accessible avenues for children to explore and enjoy the natural world with their peers.
Adventurers I (11-13 year olds) Looking for an exciting, affordable, and educational experience this summer? Check out the Aldo Leopold Nature Center’s Adventure Summer Camps! These camps will give your child hands-on opportunities to experience and enjoy the best of the outdoors as they backpack local trails, learn to camp, and canoe the “crookedest river in the world”!
Adventurers II (14-16 year olds) Looking for an exciting, affordable, and educational experience this summer? Check out the Aldo Leopold Nature Center’s Adventure Summer Camps! These camps will give your teen hands-on opportunities to experience and enjoy the best of the outdoors with week-long canoeing or backpacking trips in the U.P.!
Changes to our policies and procedures last summer include:
Curbside drop-off and pick-up by age group. Parents are to stay in their vehicles at all times unless there are tears and the camper needs help with the transition. If you need to leave your vehicle to escort your camper to their group, a mask is required for all adults that enter the group, so please have one available if needed. ALNC will conduct a Verbal Health Screening and temperature reading upon arrival. Our staff will conduct curbside check-in and check-out during these times only. If you must drop-off or pick-up outside these windows, please contact (608) 221-0404 x0.
Groups will not co-mingle and assigned ALNC staff will only work with their individual group to reduce as many transitions/contacts as possible.
Outdoor handwashing stations will be available throughout the ALNC grounds. Campers will wash hands upon arrival, in between activities, before and after snacks and meals, and before departing. Staff will carry hand sanitizer to use as appropriate if a handwashing station isn’t nearby.
Please expect and prepare your camper to be outside at all times as long as weather permits. We expect to use inside spaces only in the event of inclement weather (thunder, lightning, heat in excess of 90 degrees) and for bathroom breaks, filling water, etc.
ALNC staff will provide spray-on sunscreen (minimum spf 30) and bug spray (both deet-free and 10% deet). We will not apply from individual bottles brought from home this year to reduce contact. 4-6 year olds are not allowed to bring their own sunscreen (SS) and bug spray (BS) as they cannot keep with their belongings. We will not have our staff carry campers’ SS or BS, but will apply the spray-on option provided. Ages 7+ can bring their own SS and BS as long as they can apply themselves and keep with their belongings. ALNC staff will also have spray-on options available. Parents are encouraged to help their children apply SS and BS before arriving to camp each morning. Staff will reapply at lunch and as needed.
Campers should bring:
Refillable Water bottle. Drinking fountains will not be used for sanitary reasons, but places to fill water bottles will be available.
Mask with a baggie to keep in (extra masks are recommended). ALNC is requiring masks be worn inside the building as well as recommending them anytime physical distancing cannot be maintained outside. Please prepare your camper for this as well as let them know that staff will also be wearing masks at drop-off and at other times inside and out.
Comfortable shoes that can get wet.
Full change of clothes, including layers for all weather and a raincoat as needed.
Baggie containing: markers and/or crayons and a pencil and/or pen. If you do not have a supply or access to these at home, ALNC can provide an individual baggie for your camper.
Please discuss physical distancing with your camper before they arrive. ALNC staff will share guidelines at the beginning of camp, but it will be helpful if children are already aware and mindful.
Please label each item clearly with camper’s name.
Campers should avoid bringing:
Any small trinkets, toys, etc.
Anything else easily lost or meant to be shared (pokemon cards, legos, etc).
Hand sanitizer, SS and BS, if they are under age 7. ALNC staff will have these available and carry them for campers to use. Younger campers cannot have access to hand sanitizer, SS and BS in their bags due to licensing restrictions.
We created a short video to give parents and campers a visual reference of drop-off and pick-up procedures this year:
COVID-19 Cancellation Policy:
If ALNC cancels a program due to COVID-19:
you will be contacted by an ALNC staff to ask your refund preference
you may request a full refund, a credit towards future programs, or donate your program fees
if you do not respond with a preference by August 10, ALNC will issue you a credit (good for future programming) less a 15% administrative fee
If you cannot attend or need to cancel a program registration:
you may request a full refund up to 3 days prior to your scheduled program
no refunds will be given if less than 3 days notice is given, as ALNC plans staffing based on registration numbers
if participants do not call or do not show, no refunds will be given
If you would like to be added to our email list and receive information on program registration as it becomes available, please click here.
In honor of Memorial Day, our facility will be closed tomorrow, Monday, May 29th. As always, you are invited to hike our trails, which are free and open daily from dawn until dusk.Take some time to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice this Memorial Day by joining us at the parade. The Monona Memorial Day Parade starts at Monona Grove High School at 10am, heads south on Monona Drive, and ends at Sennett Middle School. ALNC program families and staff will be marching in the parade, handing out seed packets along the route.To all those we’ve lost, and to all those who have lost loved ones in conflict, we honor you and thank you for your sacrifice. #MemorialDay #WIEnviroEd #NatureIsEverywhere #NatureIsForEveryone #EveryBodyOutside ...