Greener Together: Summer Camp at Home

Join us this summer for a self-guided summer camp experience from your own home. Learn about nature, explore environmental issues from your backyard, and have fun while you become an even stronger voice for protecting our planet! 
  • <h6 style='color:#ddd!important'>WEEK ONE CURRICULUM</h6><h4>Nature in your neighborhood</h4><p>Explore the plants and animals in your neighborhood. Learn about pollinators, birds and wildlife habitats by participating in fun activities and end the week with a campout. <a style='text-decoration:underline!important;' href='#week1'>Learn more.</a></p>
  • <h6 style='color:#ddd!important'>WEEK TWO CURRICULUM</h6><h4>Caring for our waters</h4><p>Learn how the smallest streams in your neighborhood connect to the largest oceans in the world. See the ways that oil and plastic pollution are having a negative impact and how water filtration can help ensure safe drinking water. <a style='text-decoration:underline!important;' href='#week2'>Learn more.</a></p>
  • <h6 style='color:#ddd!important'>WEEK THREE CURRICULUM</h6><h4>Caring for our climate</h4><p>Learn about climate change, how we have contributed to it and how we can use clean, green and renewable energy to move forward. <a style='text-decoration:underline!important;' href='#week3'>Learn more.</a></p>
  • <h6 style='color:#ddd!important'>WEEK FOUR CURRICULUM</h6><h4>Using your voice</h4><p>Learn how everyone has a unique voice that they can use to make a difference for our environment. Learn lessons from history, what some kids are already doing to advance the cause, and how you can do your part to protect our environment. <a style='text-decoration:underline!important;' href='#week4'>Learn more.</a></p>
Learning goals

By the end of the month, you will have a deeper understanding of the nature that exists in your community, the underlying problems facing our waterways and climate, and how you can use your voice to make a difference for the environment.

Age range

The activities are designed for kids aged 5 through 12, but can be tailored to be more challenging for high school-aged students.

Time commitment

Plan on spending approximately 1 hour a day doing the activity. But there are endless opportunities for exploration on each daily topic!

Materials needed

Most of the activities can be done with materials you already have in your home. We provide a list for each week of materials needed to do the activities. You can either follow along with the activities online, or print out this activity booklet.

Week one: Nature in your neighborhood

DAY 1 - Learn about the plants and animals in your neighborhood, play nature in your neighborhood bingo and learn how to camouflage yourself like animals.

DAY 2 - Learn about pollinators and the threats facing them, make seed bombs or learn how to plant a pollinator garden.

DAY 3 - Learn about birding — learn about birds in your area, make a homemade bird feeder, and make binoculars out of toilet paper rolls, and learn how to become a birder!

DAY 4 - Learn about wildlife habitats and make your own! Read about animal architects and create your own habitat out of found materials in your yard or neighborhood. You can also make a self-portrait out of found materials like leaves, sticks and flowers.

DAY 5 - Camp out! Set up a tent or make a pillow fort in your yard. Learn about nocturnal animals like bats, owls and racoons. Learn about the phases of the moon with Oreos. Make s’mores, sing camp songs, and read campfire stories.

Supplies needed for week 1
  • Access to a computer and internet, or ability to print the activity sheets
  • Wildflower seeds, like Joe Pyes, milkweed, goldenrod, aster, bee balm and purple coneflower, or native plants from your area
  • 2 toilet paper rolls
  • String
  • Paint or stickers
  • Stapler
  • Oreos (optional)
  • S’mores ingredients, or any other camp-out snacks you like
Week two: Caring for our waters

DAY 1 - Learn about how our waters are connected and how clean waterways impact our lives. Map the waterways in your area, and draw a picture of the rivers and streams that flow in your state or county. Take a virtual field trip down the Mississippi River, the largest river in the United States.

DAY 2 - Learn about how oil pollution impacts our waterways and the animals living in and around them. Learn about efforts to protect our oceans from pollution, and do this activity to learn what happens to water during an oil spill.

DAY 3 - Learn about plastic waste and how it impacts our waters and wildlife. Learn about ways to reduce waste and make your own reusable bag from old t-shirts. For high school-aged students, learn about why we need to move to a circular economy.

DAY 4 - Map your family’s water footprint. Use this online calculator to find out how much water your family uses, including the water needed to produce your food and energy and power your household products. Talk with you family about ways you can reduce your water consumption and put your plan into action!

DAY 5 - Go on a water adventure! Following local, state and CDC guidelines and with adult supervision, make a plan to go to a nearby lake, stream or river. Sit beside the water or get out on a canoe. Draw a picture of the area or write about it and why it’s important to you.

Supplies needed for week 2
  • Access to a computer and internet, or ability to print the activity sheets
  • Bowl
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Olive oil or other cooking oil
  • Old t-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Glass jar with lid
  • Coffee filter
  • Aluminum foil (optional)
  • Paper
  • Pencils, pens or crayons
Week three: Caring for our climate


DAY 1 - Learn about climate change, how humans have contributed to it, and discuss with your families ways you can work to reduce your carbon footprint. For more climate resources for kids, check out the climate gallery at the American Museum of Natural History.

DAY 2 - Learn about fossil fuels and how we use them in our day-to-day life. Head over to the NASA Climate Kids website to learn more about how our current energy use is contributing to climate change.

DAY 3 - Learn about renewable energy, like solar power and wind power. Make a solar oven and your own wind turbine.

DAY 4 - Learn about energy efficiency: Become an energy vampire slayer!

DAY 5 - Learn about how to make healthy communities. Learn about the impact of transportation on our climate. Make a plan for how to incorporate more walking and biking into your family’s daily life — and more public transit, like electric buses, once we get past “social distancing.”

 

Supplies needed for week three
  • Access to a computer and internet, or ability to print the activity sheets
  • Paper
  • Nail
  • Oatmeal or other container
  • Scissors
  • Skewer or pencil
  • Old pizza box or other cardboard box
  • Tin foil
  • Tape
  • Plastic wrap
  • Black construction paper
  • Newspaper
  • Ruler or wooden spoon
  • Thermometer
Week four: Using your voice

DAY 1 - Learn about efforts to make a difference for our environment. Check out our favorite nature books for elementary school-aged children. For middle and high school students, head to your local library or purchase a copy of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. 

DAY 2 - Learn how to tell your nature story. Write down what you care about and why. View the past youth winners of the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness contest to gain some inspiration for your own story.

DAY 3 - Learn how to use your voice to influence decision makers. Young people around the world are calling on our decision makers to take bold action on climate change.

DAY 4 - Learn about how kids across the world are making a difference for climate, animals, waterways and parks. Write a plan for how you plan to make a difference in your community and share it with your family.

DAY 5 - Celebrate your environmental accomplishments!

Supplies needed for week 4
  • Access to a computer and internet, or ability to print the activity sheets
  • Paper
  • Pencils, pens or crayons
Reserve your spot today

While this summer will look different in many parts of the country with some parks closed, some campgrounds at limited capacity and most in-person summer camps cancelled, we can still connect with the natural world and each other.