1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
May 20, 2020
Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) closed our community and art centers, and pools, and canceled all outdoor programming in March to protect public health and to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 in our community. PP&R was also forced to lay off or not hire hundreds of valuable seasonal team members due to COVID-19.
Those closures and cancelations made it impossible for PP&R to earn revenue through swim lessons, exercise classes, and permitted events. PP&R's funding structure relies on earned revenue to deliver services to the community.
Unable to earn revenue and lacking a critical seasonal workforce, the bureau is now unable to open community centers or pools or offer traditional summer programming in 2020. This includes all summer camps, which are canceled.
We were already in the planning mode for the 2020 summer of Nature Day Camp, and we are saddened by the announcement that there would not be camp this summer. Campers were already registered, volunteers were already in process, and numerous people had applied to be on staff. We thank you so much for your interest in Nature Day Camp – no matter what your role would have been during the camp season. We hope that you will still find a way to connect to Portland’s natural areas on your own time this summer.
Everyone who registered for camp will receive a full refund, including the non-refundable $50 deposit. These will be processed as quickly as possible and will go back to the credit card used to pay for the camp in the first place. If there are any issues with expired cards, or if you paid by cash or check, we will work with your family individually to ensure you receive a full refund. To ensure that you DO receive the non-refundable $50 deposit, please be patient and let us process the refunds on our end. (If you try to withdraw online, you will lose the $50.) For more information on refunds related to COVID-19, please see https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/756846.
The impact of COVID-19 on PP&R's operations has grown the resolve to fulfill the late Commissioner Nick Fish's vision of a Sustainable Future for PP&R to ensure that we can serve all Portlanders.
What Portland Parks & Recreation will do to serve the community in summer 2020:
We will continue to provide updates around how COVID-19 is affecting PP&R on our web page: portlandoregon.gov/parks/COVID-19.
Thank you and have an outdoorsy summer,
Connect to nature with Environmental Education
Ecology-based day camps for preschool, elementary, and older youth (Plus we have a teen volunteer program too!)
Children and youth ages 4 - 17 can find all find a place in Environmental Education's Nature Day Camp program. Grab your backpack, a lunch, a water bottle, a sweatshirt, and head out into Portland's Natural Areas to learn about ecology, play imaginative games, tell stories, and make memories! Each day of Nature Day Camp starts and ends as one group with all ages together. About half the day is structured with nature-themed games, skits, crafts, scavenger hunts, and science investigations. The other half of the day is spent playing, hiking, and exploring in small traveling groups, divided by age. Our programs cater to children as young as 4 up to age 12.
If you are looking for options for teens or young adults, check out our Jr Naturalist Volunteer program (ages 13-17) or apply to be on our paid Nature Day Camp staff! (ages 16+)
We hire staff who have an interest in children, ecology, teaching, and play. Our summer staff naturalists are trained for over 45 hours in risk management, youth development, dealing with challenging behaviors, communication skills, group facilitation, Leave No Trace principles, science and inquiry, stewardship, and the benefits of unstructured play. Our goals are to connect children to nature through experiential ecology, to model curiosity and wonder, and to be positive role models toward youth of all ages.
All camps run Monday through Friday (No Camps on July 3)
Before-care is available at no cost between 8:00-9:00am. No need to pre-register, just show up and we'll have staff available to get you signed in and hang out with your child until 9:00am.
Camp activities for all camps begin each day at 9:00am.
In fairness to our staff and to your child, please be on time so your child does not miss out! Campers under the ages of 13 MUST be signed in by an adult each morning and signed out by an authorized person each afternoon. Portland Parks uses ePACT, an online health and emergency information system to collect all health and emergency information for each participant. Once you are registered for camp, you will receive an emailed invite to complete your child's health record and share it with our program. This must be done before your child arrives on Monday morning . (If you are doing multiple weeks of camp, but you will need to share the information with each program you have registered for. The good news is once you fill it out, it will be accessible to our staff all summer!)
Camper pick-up times are listed below:
1:30pm | Partial-Day Nature Camp - Chickadees (ages 4 - 6)
3:30pm | Nature Day Camp - Flickers, Hawks, Juncos, Ospreys, and Ravens (ages 5 - 11)
3:30pm | Nature Skills Camp (ages 10-12)
3:30-5:30pm | After-care hours (pre-registration required). Find more information about after-care HERE.
Partial-day Nature Camp | $190 (Resident), $213 (Non-residents)
Nature Day Camp, Nature Skills Camp | $275 (Resident), $385 (Non-residents)
Curious what your fee pays for? Click HERE to find out!
We offer scholarships to help cover the cost of camp. Complete the scholarship application found on the Portland Parks & Recreation Main Page. Completed applications can be returned by fax, postal mail, or in-person.
To Mail or Drop off in person:
Portland Parks & Recreation
Attn: Nature Day Camp
2909 SW 2nd Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97201
Fax Number: 503-865-3251 (please email firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure we received it!)
Children of all abilities and interests are welcome to participate in our programs. If your child requires special assistance to participate, please contact the Environmental Education Office at 503-823-3601, and we will help connect you to our Adaptive & Inclusive Recreation program.
"My daughter has been attending 1-2 weeks for the last three summers and she LOVES it! You all do a wonderful job!"
"Your child will be engaged, active, and happy all day!"
"The PP&R nature camps are, by far, my son's all-time favorite summer camps, both last year and this year. The counselors do an amazing job of engaging the kids and creating a fun, exciting experience. I can't quite express how much I appreciate the wonderful instruction and experience provided by your counselors. Thank you!"
Important information about Summer 2020
You'll notice the cost of camp has increased. This summer, one week of full-day camp will cost $275 per camper, and we put every penny to use! Wondering where this money goes?
Here's how the fee breaks down: